The beginning: I couldn’t find a better name than Tree Bench Films.
I recently read a quote by Stephen R. Covey “sow a thought and reap a deed, sow a deed and reap a habit, sow a habit and reap a character, sow a character and reap a destiny” and I felt it is time to challenge myself as a filmmaker this year.
The idea around Tree Bench Films came into being last year when I started working as a freelancer. I always wanted to develop my own brand which stood for my personal goals and beliefs and I chose the name because it is related to my beginning as a filmmaker.
Ever since I can remember I’ve had the urge to tell stories and I ended up actually writing my first one when I was 8. It was about Carlos the half-human, half-robot who was physically very weak but yet was brave enough to sacrifice himself so he could save his world. I kept my creativity alive during my school and university years by taking acting classes and participating in literature writing competitions even though I ended up studying Statistics and working as Data Analyst for several years after my graduation.
I thought my life would go the way of so many other people at the age of 23… yet I found a place and something happened… this was the reason why I later on sold all my writings in a charity exhibition and filmed my graduation film there.
In 2012, my flatmate invited me to go on a trip to Gudevitsa to visit our common friends. They ran an organization there and wanted to reconstruct an old building in this small village and turn it into a green school for children. I went along without any expectations - I just enjoyed the moment of being around people with a free will and a strong mindset who were willing to dedicate their time for a meaningful cause.
The second day of our stay we went on a hike up the mountain near the village and we managed to reach peak Kom. On the top of the hill, to my biggest surprise, I saw a small wooden construction built as a small bench on the top of pine tree!
Whether you believe in God, The Universe, in powerful spiritual energy… I can only say that I felt something mystical there. I sat on the bench and watched the beauty around me. It was like an ocean of warm light and green trees, the wind gently touching and moving their branches like a big wave coming towards me. I started crying… I don’t know why… I just cried. I don’t know whether this was a sign or not, but on that bench I decided to help my friends’ organization somehow to achieve their goal. This is how I ended up organising the “…from a diary” charity exhibition in which I sold 66 pieces of my own personal work, hand-written on recycled paper.
So how is all of this related to films? Well, during the exhibition I met many people who kept telling me that I should study art and keep my creativity alive, even to have a go at doing this professionally! This was when I met Hristo, my now long-term collaborator, who made a short video for my exhibition and later on invited me to write a script for his film. The same film won an award the following year for Refinement in Visual Concept. Through the working process Hristo and I developed a partnership for more than 6 years, working on various projects. In 2014, I moved to Edinburgh to study Film Directing at The University of Edinburgh. This is how I started a new project “A Common Connection” that brought me back to Gudevitsa and that special place which inspired me to follow my passion.
In the end, I couldn’t find a more suitable name to represent my journey, goals and ambitions than Tree Bench Films! Tree Bench Films stands for a personal, inspiring and emotional experience presented through film and video. The idea of sitting on a bench on the top of a tree is somehow unusual and intimate, and what you see on the screen in front of you is based on your free interpretation and desire.
Taking into account my background and the history of the place where I started my journey, Tree Bench Films would like to support projects related to free education, equality and the fight against poverty and I will share with you information and stories that will match these beliefs.
Steve Jobs once said “you have to trust that the dots of the past will somehow connect in your future”. I dare to trust this idea and am starting another beginning, less sure about everything but armed with the hope that this new challenge will lead me to another meaningful period of my life.
So if you have a bit of free time please visit this space to support my work and follow, like, or even better, share the content that I am planning to share with you throughout the year. Most importantly don’t forget to follow your passion and stay true to yourself!