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Please join the East Central European Center and the Harriman Institute for a screening of No Place for You in Our Town, followed by a live Q&A (via Zoom) with director Nikolay Stefanov and producer Ralitsa Golemanova. This is part of the HARD QUESTIONS, HARD ANSWERS series of contemporary documentary films from Eastern Europe on social and political topics.
No Place for You in Our Town pulls you into the heads of the football hooligans from the roughest city in Bulgaria — Pernik. A once flourishing industrial center, today all that’s left is the urban legend about its citizens’ toughness — an echo of the miners’ brave and glorious past underground. Having exclusive access, Nikolay Stefanov’s camera silently follows Tsetso, a skinhead and single father; the gang leader Dado; and Mimeto, the only woman in the group. They are all devoted to helping their team rise from the last league, reliving the strength and unity of their ancestors, the miners. Their usual lifestyle, however, gets seriously challenged when Tsetso falls ill and stays in the hospitals for months, while the decaying city faces a grave water crisis caused by corruption and crime. Amidst the serious personal and communal crises, Nikolay Stefanov’s camera peeks underneath the hooligans’ tough and rough appearance and explores their lives – and the lives of millions like them across the globe – with openness and genuine human curiosity.
Having graduated with an MA in Cinematography in 2003, Nikolay Stefanov has experimented with different visual styles and forms in his cinematography work for films, series, and TV. He made his directing debut with two mid-length documentaries in 2016 and 2018. Tackling important and sensitive social topics, his first feature-length documentary No Place for You in Our Town (2022, Bulgaria, coproduction with HBO MAX) had its world premiere in the Next:Wave competition at CPH:DOX 2022, with following selections at a long list of renowned festivals. Nikolay Stefanov’s next documentary, Making Friends with the Idea of a Father (2023), is in production.