"The artist exists because the world is not perfect. Art would be useless if the world were perfect, as man wouldn't look for harmony but would simply live in it." Andrei Tarkovsky



Zornitsa (originally from Bulgaria) developed her love for filmmaking during her media studies in Germany. After a couple of years learning by doing and studying advertising directing at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg, Zornitsa is now based in Berlin and works internationally. She loves beautifully shot storytelling with strong points. Her directing style is a balance between precision and improvisation. Zornitsa loves telling stories about strong characters – especially women, which sometimes includes showing a metaphorical middle finger to the patriarchy.


Zornitsa, you crafted a film that made the audience feel hurt and betrayed as the protagonist, Vicky, feels. The script you wrote is based on real interviews you had with victims of human trafficking, is that right? Would you like to tell us something about this experience?

Yes, the film is based on conversations with actual victims, which I had years ago. However, the story itself is a mixture of personal stories plus fiction for dramatic purposes. The common denominator is how each one of those women felt betrayed and this is also the feeling the film is conveying. If it hurts while you’re watching it, imagine how it must feel, if it’s actually happening to you. 

 Zornitsa, to what extent do you believe films may educate people on the importance of preventing and stopping human trafficking?

Generally I think telling stories can educate, raises awareness and change or open minds. The real trick is for it to feel like entertainment, not like a lecture. That’s what I call good storytelling. As of human trafficking in particular, unfortunately this is still an ongoing problem, so I really do hope the film has had some positive impact on awareness. 

Do you believe there could have been a B end to this story? Have you thought about it or the twist such as it appears was always meant to be?

The whole writing process actually started with the ending, which had to be as it is, in order to make a point. I have been asked often about how the story continues and if there could be a second part. The second part could be how Vicky breaks free. I have thought a lot about this. 

As of an alternative ending for this film: it would have been a happy one, which in my opinion wouldn’t have been to easy. 

Last but not least, which directors do you look up to?

Right now, my favourite film is ALL OF US STRANGERS. This film represents everything I look up to as a filmmaker. It has a very gentle undertone, but hurts profoundly. But if you’d ask me in 6 months again, I’m sure I will give you another answer, hehe.