Grand Jury Prize ~ World Cinema Dramatic
Sundance Film Festival
One of the great recent films by a woman about women…a treasure of the current cinema.



Maya Vitkova’s stunning debut feature Viktoria follows three generations of women in the final years of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and the early years of the new government, focusing on reluctant mother Boryana and her daughter, Viktoria, who in one of the film’s surreal, magical touches is born without an umbilical cord. Though unwanted by her mother, Viktoria is named the country’s Baby of the Decade, and is showered with gifts and attention until the disintegration of the Eastern Bloc. Despite throwing their worlds off balance, the resulting political changes also allow for the possibility of reconciliation.

Viktoria is both personal and universal, demonstrating a precocious command of all elements of the filmmaking process—most notably, the film’s visual sensibility and its command of a range of shifting tones, from absurdist humor to political allegory to deeply moving familial drama.

Vitkova, named a Producer on the Move by the European Film Promotion in Cannes, wrote, produced and directed
Viktoria through her own production company Viktoria Films (Bulgaria) and Anca and Cristi Puiu’s Mandragora (Romania).

“A strikingly assured and ambitious feature debut...VIKTORIA has a touch of “Garp” and “The Tin Drum,” as well as plenty of dryly absurdist Eastern European humor in its tale of a young woman whose first two decades of life are sharply divided by the fall of communism in Bulgaria... an arresting mix of satire, surrealism and ambivalently angsty drama, with the
helmer in precocious full command of pacing, tone and aesthetics... VIKTORIA heralds such a fascinating filmic sensibility that one eagerly looks forward to whatever Vitkova does next” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“Irmena Chichikova as Boryana steals the screen. With deep set eyes and razor sharp cheek bones that recall Charlotte Rampling in her heyday, she’s not only striking to look at but
subtly expressive. Though she puts on a stoic front, her final scene hints at the deep and invisible motivations of her character...” –Emma Myers, indiewire

“A bold and ambitious attempt to distill several decades of Bulgarian change and upheaval set against her plot’s often surreal structure...Vitkova certainly makes a great impact with her first film. She is a talent to watch.” – Mark Adams, Screen Daily

Official Selection – World Dramatic Competition – Sundance Film Festival; Official Selection – Rotterdam Intl. Film Festival; Official Selection – Göteborg Intl. Film Festival; Special Jury
Award – Transilvania Intl. Film Festival; Critics’ Award – REC Tarragona Intl. Film Festival; Special Jury Prize – CinEast (Luxembourg); Youth Jury Award – OFF PLUS CAMERA.

Not Rated
Maya Vitkova
Irmena Chichikova, Daria Vitkova, Kalina Vitkova
Nominee, Grand Jury Prize ~ World Cinema Dramatic, Sundance Film Festival
Ella Taylor, NPR

Clocking in at a hefty 155 minutes, a film about Bulgaria's transition from Communism to capitalist democracy might in principle be a tough sell outside the former Soviet Union. But Maya Vitkova's Viktoria, a handsome, formally adventurous family saga, tells that tale through a powerful maternal ...

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