By Antoniy DONCHEV


Historical - Development 2021

During the WWII, a beautiful girl is implicated in a lethal love triangle. One of her lovers is responsible for the deportation of the Jews to the death camps. The other is a Jew, anarchist, sentenced to death.This is the true story of Lilyana Panitza, “The forgotten savior of the Bulgarian Jews”.

    • Year of production
    • 2021
    • Genres
    • Historical, Drama, Jewish
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Antoniy DONCHEV
    • Writer(s)
    • Dimitar PETKOV
    • Producer(s)
    • Ivan TONEV (ARS Digital Studio)
    • Synopsis
    • March 1943. At 24, in the prime of her youth and beauty, Lily Paneva is implicated in a lethal triangle. She is divided between two strong men. One is her boss, the Commissioner for Jewish Affairs, Alexander Belev: clever, educated, vested with power, a raging anti-Semite. Her affair with him starts quite predictably: she is his secretary.
      The other one is handsome and wild, living underground. His relationship with Lily begins out of the blue. After shooting a police officer in the street, Zacchary Canetti (Zacky) stumbles upon Lily coming home from work. He threatens her with a gun and they hide at her place. When the danger is past, Zacky notices Lily’s beauty and makes an advance on her. What follows is not really a rape. She somehow likes him. When they meet again, Lily realises that he is a Jew. An outlaw, sentenced to death. She falls in love with him and confesses about her affair with her boss. If Belev finds out that she has another lover, a Jew at that, she’d be dead.
      When she meets Belev, Lily believes she has found the paradise. She then meets Zachy and everything turns upside down. When she realises she’s pregnant, she’s not sure who the father is…
      The Third Reich is executing its plan for the “Final Solution of the Jewish Problem”. 48,000 Jews from Bulgaria must be deported. The Commissariat on Jewish Affairs is assigned this task. At work, Lily types an important Agreement between the Reich and the Bulgarian government on the deportation. She makes a carbon copy and Zacky alerts the Jewish community. Mass campaigns in support of the Jews follow. The operation fails. But Gestapo finds out the source of the leak. Meanwhile, Zacky decides to kill Belev. Not with patriotic motives but out of jealousy. In the assault, his gun jams and he is caught.
      When the deportation fails, Belev is summoned to Berlin. At the insistence of Gestapo, he is accompanied by his secretary whom they want to “ask a few questions”. The trains of Jews have not left Bulgaria. But Lily is on her way to Berlin…
    • Partners & financing
    • Script Development Support from The Bulgarian National Film Center

      We are looking for co-producers from Italy, France and Germany and presales. The film has a strong international potential.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Oct 01, 2020