As much as we love creating and producing various types of audio-visual content, social campaigns warm our hearts (and hands) in a special way. We enjoy their challenging nature: different storytelling approaches, diverse messages, and work with versatile artists. And most importantly, social campaigns remind us that actions speak louder than words.
Louder Than Words is also the name of the adventure we embarked on with Fine Acts this summer. Together, we created a video omnibus, dedicated to overcoming stereotypes about various vulnerable social groups in our country. We worked with five Bulgarian directors on five hate speech short stories united not only thematically, but also stylistically — they are told without any words.
The shortfilms in the omnibus include Home (by Kevork Aslanyan), Legacy (by Rozaliya Dimitrova), Delicious (by Joro Peev-Jawpains), Journey (by Tsvetoslav Tsonev),and Love (by Slava Doytcheva). Each film focuses on one of the three groups in Bulgaria that are most often the target of hate speech — Roma, LGBTI, andasylum seekers/refugees. The omnibus is part of Fine Acts’Creative Communication for Human Rights project which aims to strengthen support for human rights in Bulgaria.
For Handplayed, it all started with applying to Fine Acts’ open call for a production company. We had to present our creative concept based on the topic,as well as our choice of five directors. For this purpose, we briefed some of our favorite filmmakers and then had the difficult task to choose among more than dozen original scripts and ideas.
After winning the open call with our chosen five concepts, we started the script development process — the directors working on their own scripts and Fine Acts serving as script consultants. The limitation to make a story with no words inspired our creatives to think more and more outside the box and dive fully into the worlds of their characters.
What followed then was a dynamic summer of casting, location scouting, crew gathering, and pre-production planning for our five short films. Each one had different visual styles, story dynamics, locations, approaches, etc., based on the totally different visions of our directors.
We had the warm natural lighting and handheld camera movement of Home and Journey, the Scandinavian cinema stylistic of Love, the glamorous setting of Delicious, and the compelling cinematic shots of Legacy all working together in an eclectic, yet unified direction. And during this whole process, we were lucky enough to work with diverse and skilled directors, involve many friends in the different crews, get to know new talents, and experience the shared excitement over such a meaningful project.
The result of this excitement is finally here. And we really do believe that Louder Than Words speaks louder than words. This project, created with a genuine love for humanity, has been a delicious production journey for our team, and we hope its legacy will find a home in its viewers’ hearts.