Bulgaria ‘Plays’ with Oscar

Debut director Kalev's pic in contention for nomination

Bulgaria’s nomination for a foriegn language Oscar nomination is “Eastern Plays” by debut helmer Kamen Kalev.

Pic is an uncompromisingly acute glimpse into the ethnic and racist tensions of the Balkans focusing on four characters — three Bulgarian and one Turkish — caught up in a politically manipulated racist attack.

The film played at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2009 and won the grand prix at the Warsaw Film Festival the same year. It has picked up best director nods as far afield as Tokyo and Las Palmas, and was best Bulgarian feature at this year’s Sofia Film Festival.

Submissions for the foreign language Oscar must reach the Academy by 5 p.m. Oct. 1. Nominations will be announced on Jan. 25. The 83rd Academy Awards will be held at the Kodak Theater on Feb. 27.