The Vratsa Balkan has become the background of hundreds of photos. Thousands of tourists passing through the city have left their sighs under the unique cliffs, a dream destination for every climber. Visitors say that there is something magical in these natural phenomena. The people of Vratsa are waiting for the snow to melt so Skaklya, the tallest non-permanent waterfall in Bulgaria can wake-up. Today, when we take a selfie on the Bike Alley or in front of the Vratsata rocks, we understand why the Vratsa Balkan was a setting chosen by many film directors. We can proudly state that some of the most successful films in the history of the seventh art in Bulgaria have been shot here. Some of them are included in Pencho Kovachev‘s book “50 Golden Bulgarian Films”.
See them below
Bezbog (Godless), 2016
The last movie that took away all the awards in Locarno and Sarajevo in the summer of 2016 was “Bezbog”, shot entirely in Vratsa. “Bezbog” is the full-length debut of the Bulgarian director Ralitsa Petrova, a co-production between Bulgaria, Denmark, and France. The film was shot at the foot of the Vratsa Balkans and tells the story of a nurse who sells the ID cards of her dementia patients on the black market. The filming sites were in the center of the village of Zgorigrad, the road to Ledenika, as well as apartments in the areas around the Old Market and District 72.
Favorite 2 – 2006
Ten years earlier, people from Vratsa lined up for extras for the American film “Favorite 2” directed by Isaac Florentin. Most of the film was shot in Vratsa, using the yard and cells of the local prison as decoration.
In the rear of the enemy: The axis of evil (2006)
The film was partially shot in the Vratsa Balkan. It tells the story of a team of American seals sent with the task of destroying a North Korean missile facility and preventing a possible nuclear strike. The failure is unacceptable. But the mission gets abruptly terminated and four soldiers remained in enemy territory. Now, in order to survive, they must defend themselves from the rebel forces that threaten their lives, their allies, and the entire free world.
A Royal Play (1982)
“A Royal Play” is a 1982 Bulgarian movie. It is directed by Ivan Nichev, written by Vlado Daverov, and with Tsvetan Chobanski. The music in the film is composed by Bozhidar Petkov. The film was shot in Vratsa, in the building of Chitalishte “Razvitie”. The plot takes place in the 1980s. Peter is the son-in-law of the director of a country theater. The roles he gets in local plays are insignificant. His main occupation is making sandwiches at the theater buffet. The upcoming production has special guests from Sofia. It coincides with another infidelity of his wife, who is an actress, too. Insulted, Peter completely changes the script, so he can tell his wife and her father everything that bothers him. The cast includes Todor Kolev, Kosta Tsonev, Dorothea Toncheva, Evstati Stratev, Trifon Dzhonev, and others.
Don’t Leave (1976)
“Don’t Leave” is the sequel of “The Boy Is Leaving” and was also shot in Vratsa. The teenager from the movie “The Boy Goes Away” – Ran, is now a mature man, a school principal in his hometown. He is married to his classmate Mariana. Something is missing in Ran’s life. He cannot adapt to routine, hypocrisy, selfishness. The intrigues and betrayals of some of his colleagues forced him to resign. Mariana cannot (or doesn’t want) to understand him, so she leaves him. Ran travels to a small village. He goes to school, where children’s voices sing along to the notes.
The Peasant with the Bike (1974)
Yordan is a peasant, who already lives and works in the city. On his weekends he returns to his native village. And so, riding his bicycle, he finds himself between the town and the village. A young pharmacist Maglena is assigned to the village. She lives for rent in his house. He falls in love with her. In order to be with her, Yordan arranges for a workshop to be moved from the factory to the village, but no one wants to follow him. Gradually, he realizes that time has passed irrevocably, and he floats a foot above the ground – on the pedals of a wheel.
The Boy is Leaving (1972)
“The Boy is Leaving” is a 1972 Bulgarian movie directed by Lyudmil Kirkov, written by Georgi Mishev. The operator is Georgi Rusinov. The music in the film is composed by Boris Karadimchev.
Ran’s line “One boza of 6 stotinki” is considered the cult classic of the film by many of its fans. The main role is played by Filip Trifonov. This is one of the earlies roles in cinema and remains one of his most famous. The film was shot entirely in Vratsa. The song “People and Streets” from the film, performed by Mimi Ivanova and Boris Godzhunov, remains one of the most popular songs on the Bulgarian stage.
A Moment of Freedom (1970)
“A Moment of Freedom” is a 1970 Bulgarian film by directors Ivanka Grubcheva and Petar Kaishev, written by Ivaylo Petrov and Radi Radev. The film was shot in Vratsa, behind the walls of the Vratsa prison. The film consists of two short stories “The Old Man” and “I Want to Live”.
The Captain (1963)
“The Captain” is a film shot in Vratsa. It tells the story of children obsessed with building a ship that will take them on a journey down the river. While working on the ship, however, the group splits into two camps, that fall into a senseless struggle for power and supremacy. Today, the footage from the film can be used for a tour in the center of old Vratsa