Eliza Petkova © Kristina Popov

Eliza Petkova (GER/BG)

is a film writer and director. She was born in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. After receiving her master’s degree in Philosophy and Modern Japan from Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, she started working as a freelance filmmaker in Berlin. In 2011-2020, she studied directing at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin.

In 2015, her short film ABWESEND (Absent) was nominated for the Selection Cinéfondation at the 68th Festival der Cannes. In 2016, Eliza completed her first feature film ZHALEIKA, followed by international festival participations, prizes and awards. In 2018, she was part of the Berlinale Talents and again in 2020, when her feature EIN FISCH, DER AUF DEM RÜCKEN SCHWIMMT (A Fisch Swimming Upside Down) was part of the 70th Berlinale.

www.cinemanda.com

Works (selection)

SILENT OBSERVERS

in postproduction

D/BG, Documentary, 97 min

Festivals/prizes:

2022 – BLACK CAT AWARD International Film Festival Bolivia: Best Documentary
2022 – 16th Five Lakes Film festival
2022 – 18th achtung berlin Film Festival: Special mention as Best Documentary
2022 – 10th Liberation DocFest Bangladesh
2022 – 43th Film festival Max Ophüls, Film Critics prize: Best Documentary

Eliza Petkova portrays without a raised finger the travails and joys of people whose lives are deeply etched on their sometimes weary yet radiating joie de vivre in this finely framed direct-cinema homage to a dying village. – Max Ophüls Jury’s statement

MAYOR, SHEPHERD, WIDOW, DRAGON

2021

World premiere: Shanghai International Film Festival

D/BG, Documentary, 97 min

Festivals/prizes:

2022 – BLACK CAT AWARD International Film Festival Bolivia: Best Documentary
2022 – 16th Five Lakes Film festival
2022 – 18th achtung berlin Film Festival: Special mention as Best Documentary
2022 – 10th Liberation DocFest Bangladesh
2022 – 43th Film festival Max Ophüls, Film Critics prize: Best Documentary

Eliza Petkova portrays without a raised finger the travails and joys of people whose lives are deeply etched on their sometimes weary yet radiating joie de vivre in this finely framed direct-cinema homage to a dying village. – Max Ophüls Jury’s statement

A FISH SWIMMING UPSIDE DOWN

2020

Premiere: 70 Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin

D/CHN, Spielfilm, 103 min

Festivals/prizes:

2021 – Tirana International Film Festival: Best director
2020 – 24th Sofia International Film Festival
2020 – 70th Berlinale

ZHALEIKA

2016

Premiere: 66 Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin

D/BG, feature, 92 min

Festivals/prizes:

2016 – 66th Berlinale: nominated for „Best newcomer“

ABSENT

2014

Premiere: 68th Festival de Cannes

D, short, 13 min