Irina is a part-time waitress in a small Bulgarian town. On the very same day when she is fired, her husband gets into a serious accident. Irina’s family is trapped in poverty.

To make ends meet, she becomes a surrogate mother.

Fights, despair and the seed of life growing in her belly bring on another wave to this rough and wrecked life.

Slowly, Irina discovers what it means to love and to forgive.

Director's Statement

Carrying a child and giving birth changes the life of every woman. Mine too. IRINA is a very personal and very feminine (but not feminist) story about re-discovering the world bringing new life into it.
A young woman, Irina, agrees to carry another couple’s child for money. She needs the money to support her own family. Irina hates the world she lives in. It is a poor, gloomy, stinking, animalistic, scowling, hopeless world. Ironically, at the end of the film when she does have the financial possibility to make a choice, Irina decides to go back home – where her heart is.
IRINA is a film about forgiveness. A story that raises moral and ethical questions, but also leads us to a place where their answers become irrelevant. To a place where forgiving is the only way to overcome the despair, pain and anger. The only way to survive.
IRINA catches a glimpse of the poetic in a world that at first glance appears anything but poetic. The film tells the story using simple means of expression. It does not rely on stylised, intrusive and non-standard visual approaches. It is maximally authentic and instils in the viewer a sense of sincerity. It peers so closely at the real and the concrete that in drawing closer, under the guise of everyday life, another image, another presence starts to peek through.
Being raised without a father this film is my deep bow to every mother.

Director's Biography

Born in 1974 in Sofia, Bulgaria, Nadejda Koseva graduated from the Bulgarian National Film and Television Academy. She directed the short THE RITUAL, part of the onmibus film LOST AND FOUND which premiered at the Forum section of the Berlinale 2005. Nadejda Koseva’s next short fiction film OMELETTE won a Special Mention at Sundance 2009, among other awards world-wide. Her latest short film TAKE TWO travelled around the world after winning a Special Mention at its premiere in Sarajevo 2011.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Nadejda Koseva

Written by: Bojan Vuletic, Nadejda Koseva, Svetoslav Ovcharov

Produced by: Stefan Kitanov

Cinematography: Kiril Prodanov

Editing: Nina Altaparmakova

Production Design: Ivelina Mineva

Costume Design: Viktor Andreev

Make-Up & Hair: Petya Simeonova

Original Score: Petar Dundakov

Sound: Momchil Bozhkov

Cast: Martina Apostolova (Irina), Hristo Ushev (Sasho), Kasiel Noah Asher (Lyudmila), Irini Jambonas (Eva), Alexander Kossev (Bozhidar), Krassimir Dokov (Varlaam)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Discovery - Prix Fipresci 2019