Strasburg Film Festival documentary A Monologue in the Intermission paints a detailed and delicate portrait of prima ballerina Vesa Tonova. Filmed over the course of six, A Monologue in the Intermission covers the entirety of the play Swan Lake as performed by Sofia Opera and Ballet in 2014.

During this short time, filled with adrenaline and stress, Tonova finds solace by sharing her life story. Her whole confession is filmed in her dressing room, during the intermission and between the scenes she doesn’t play in. There, in her lonely and cozy dressing room, immersed in memories and thoughts, Vesa talks about herself, about what she has created and sacrificed. The poignancy is not lost on Tonova, as she and her family fear that the end of her career is close.

In her own words – “I cannot play this ballet forever”. In these very intimate moments in between scenes, when she shares her life with us, it seems like time stands still. The stress of performing Swan Lake is forgotten and Tonova is able to be herself, not the eponymous “swan”.

On the contrary, Vesa shared that she has never felt so calm during a spectacle, as if the camera was helping her overcome the stress of the play. During the play, Vesa is usually really tense and does not talk to anyone. Ballet is the art of youth. How to preserve your youth, to remain forever young and never stop dancing – this is Vesa’s greatest challenge.

A Monologue in the Intermission will be shown on Saturday, November the 10th, 3:25 PM at Strasburg Town Hall.  Tickets can be found on the film’s event page.


Director Biography – Peter Vulchev

Peter Vulchev is a photographer, filmmaker and screenwriter based in Sofia, Bulgaria. His journey with visual arts started ever since he could hold a camera. His natural curiosity to study and observe humans and their emotional world led to the discover of his biggest passion – capturing the intimate moments of people locked in their hidden emotional nets. Growing up in small Bulgarian town with local people who worship orthodox traditions and mythology shaped Vulchev’s artistic perspective of the world, as magical realism became the foundation of his  work. To me art is like a sincere mirror to reflect oneself.
His first short movie Shhh… Sing to me! (2013), a comedy musical inspired by Balkan turbo folk culture, has been screened at various film festivals around the globe. In addition, this was the first short movie with regular screenings in cinema houses in Bulgaria.

Vulchev’s work as a photographer has been featured by World Fashion Collection “FASHION” Vol. 2 Germany/Australia, GROOVE MAGAZINE Germany, DJ MAGAZINE Spain, TRAX Magazine France and more.

His music video productions include L Square, Follow the Step, and Sparks by Rachel Row, Tvoya by Poli Genova and various collaborations with DJ artists like KINK and Stefan Goldmann.

As a director and screenwriter of the documentary TV show ATELIER by Bulgarian National Television Vulchev has been exploring the lifestyle of national and international artists. His team has recorded more than 50 episodes over the past 4 years.

Vulchev’s corporate client work includes Nestle, Pernod Ricard, Teach for Bulgaria, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, National Network for Children, Parents Association, Astellas Pharma, and National Palace of Culture, Sofia.

In 2015 the IAB Mixx Awards Bulgaria awarded Vulchev with their Best Interactive Video award for his work on Ballantine’s Stay True People campaign. In 2017 PHOTO VISA included his photography project BABA GORE BABA DOLU in their Film and Multimedia program.



Director Statement 

The thoughts of old age and getting older are valid for each one of us. Obsessive thoughts about how long do we have left to live, what we have created, what we will leave behind, are constantly striking our mind. Why is it so important to leave something behind? To become immortal? So you can live forever? Is the immortality the foundations of a constant striving for creation? But what do you sacrifice for this immortality? These are the main questions that the movie “A Monologue in the Intermission” tries to answer. Questions, which the prima ballerina Vesa Tonova asks herself when she looks at her own image in the mirror of her dressing room. Questions, answers to which she is searching and finds during her last play “Swan lake”, shortly before her retiring after 25 years on stage.