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Glance from the Edge

dir Kosta Karakashyan & Stephanie Handjiiska


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Glance from the Edge is a poetic journey of six individuals swept across a tapestry of Bulgarian landscapes, where they explore relationships, place, and belonging through a series of dances in the breathtakingly beautiful Bulgaria.

words from the filmmaker

As Bulgarian artists who predominantly create abroad, Stephanie and I were inspired to direct our attention and the gaze of our audience towards our home country, which dazzles with its cultural and historical landmarks.

We were also interested in interpreting Bulgaria through the fresh eyes of someone who is taking in these locations for the very first time, so we reached out to trusted collaborators from New York, Scotland and Tunisia. The project brought to Bulgaria two American artists - DoP Kevin Chiu and composer Jude Icarus. After creating our short WAITING FOR COLOR about the persecution of LGBTQ+ people in Chechnya, which was selected at over 30 festivals worldwide and won the Grand Prix Lumiere at Cinédanse Festival in Canada, I knew Jude and Kevin would be the perfect collaborators for Glance from the Edge.

In creating it, we wanted to inspire the Bulgarian audience to perceive Bulgaria in a new way and to promote the country as a destination among the international audience. We always went back to one idea while choreographing and being on set: “If people go out after the movie and they want to dance, then we've accomplished our goal".

The lead characters are brought to life by the prominent Bulgarian contemporary dancers Vasil Zelyamov, Gergana Ilieva, Tsveta Doycheva and Petar Grudov (alongside Kosta & Stephanie). The film uses the language of contemporary dance to tell an emotional story about wandering and searching for our place in the world. The locations that the film brings to life through dance are Ovech Fortress, the rock arch near Tyulenovo, Sunny Beach, the Museum of Religions in Stara Zagora, the Submerged Church near Zhrebchevo Dam, the lavender fields near Kazanlak, the Old Town in Plovdiv, the Marble Lake near Pravoslav and the brutalist apartment complexes in capital Sofia.

why we love this film

An anthropological love story with the Balkans. Gorgeous scenery, strong dancers, and inspired cinematography. A joy to watch.




Additional Choreography

Director of Photography

Production Company

Executive Producers

Line Producer


Additional Scoring

Sound Recordist

Sound Design

Sound Mixing


Location manager

Location Consultant

Cast & Crew Driver

Public Relations



Title Design


Special Thanks

With the support of

Kosta Karakashyan and Stephanie Handjiska

Kosta Karakashyan and Stephanie Handjiska 

in collaboration with the performers

Tsveta Doycheva
Peter Grudov
Gergana Ilieva
Vasil Zelyamov
Kevin Chiu
Studio Karakashyan
Kosta Karakashyan & Stephanie Handjiiska
Lora Beltcheva
Jude Icarus
Andro Mathewson
Jude Icarus
Saifeddine Helal
Andro Mathewson
Ivan Tsutsumanov
Stephanie Handjiiska
Dimitar Zhelev
Blagovest Sotirov
Todor Barganov
Kevin Chiu & Kosta Karakashyan
Lyubomir Balabanov
Gjorgji Despodov
Tsveta Doycheva
Peter Grudov
Stephanie Handjiiska
Gergana Ilieva
Kosta Karakashyan
Vasil Zelyamov
Hristo Hristozov
Todor Beltchev
Angel Petkov
Boris Urumov
Katarine Papoyan
Kristin Zlatanova
Plamena Pencheva
Derida Dance Center
Millennium Club
National Culture Fund
Plovdiv 2019 - European Capital of Culture
Single Step
Stara Zagora Municipality

meet the filmmaker

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Glance from the Edge

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