Interview with Iliyana Asparuhova, director of short film The Fisher Woman

„Father and son are camping in an old forest. The night comes. The boy goes to a big lake for water. There he meets the ruler of the lake – an old, forest demon in the body of a beautiful young fisher woman. He falls in love and gives her his heart, and she literally takes it”

What does the animation mean for you?

Everything! If we are out of the context of animation film, I think the whole cinema and storytelling is a vital part of the existence of the human race and civilized society. Storytelling through art is what gives me reason to live.

How did you start in animation film industry?

For now I am still a student and I don’t work in film industry. This is difficult area to get into. I need many things, including luck. I work a lot to self-improve as an author and professional and hopefully soon I’ll convert this I love most in my profession.

From whom did you learn animation?

My teachers and mentors in animation are Stoyan Dukov and Anri Kulev. They are famous worldwide, great Bulgarian directors, and I am grateful for that I have opportunity to meet them in my life. Although the difference in the ages is big, we all serve of same universal ideals, and I want to continue their work in a way that is suitable for the next generation. Everything in the life is cyclical. Ranging from life itself and come to the eternal moral truths. We tell the same story, though in our own unique way.

How would you describe The Fisher Woman?

Lifelike, very plausible story, while fantastic, with hints of something mysterious and sinister.

What is the message of the film?

In every stage of life there are certain things, which have to happen to us to learn from them. Avoiding and postponing the problems is so wrong as rushing into others that we are not ripe for.

How do you manage to make films in this period of crisis?

As I would do in any other period. The crisis is in the mind and souls in the people, not in their wallets. I make films because it makes me happy and complete. It is worth every sacrifice.

What kind of animated films do you like?

For me, it doesn’t matter the technique, in which the film is made, nor genre. I love movies that are artistic, emotional, unpredictable. Movies that reveal different areas – artistic and philosophical. Movies that can make me think about them long after their end.

What future projects do you have?

At the moment I concentrate all my powers in one very philosophical, yet spectacular story, which is overwhelmed my mind. There is a lot of work and tests that awaits me; also search for funding and support, but as I said: it is worth any sacrifice.

What would you like to do in life that you couldn’t do it because of lack of time, resources, etc..?

There is a great old Bulgarian song, in which is sing: “Only one life is not enough…”. One life is not enough for everything that someone like me would like to do. But I made ​​a choice and he made my life happy and meaningful.

And yet … if I had the time and resources, I would like to be a theatre director and photographer.


Photo: Iliyana Asparuhova