Chaconna Films is a young production company founded by Ilian Metev and Betina Ip in 2010. Our aim is to playfully push the boundaries of cinema. The name of the company 'Chaconna' is derived from 'chaconne', a musical composition in which the variation of a theme offers a structure for invention. Our work has been shown at numerous festivals worldwide and has been awarded prizes at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, DOK Leipzig and Cannes Film Festival amongst others. We are based between Oxford, UK and Sofia, Bulgaria.




In a city where 13 ambulances struggle to serve almost 2 million, Krassi, Mila and Plamen are our unlikely heroes: chain-smoking, filled with humour, relentlessly saving lives against all odds. Yet, the strain of a broken system is taking a human toll: how long can they keep fixing society's injured until they loose their empathy?

The film uses an unorthodox creative form which dodges sensationalism. We are captivated by the faces of our protagonists and the sounds surrounding one of Sofia's Last Ambulances.

Selected Awards:

* France 4 Visionary Award (International Critics’ Week), Cannes Film Festival 2012

  1. *Grand Prix Documentary, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2012

  2. *Best Balkan Documentary, Dokufest Prizren 2012

  3. *Special Mention, Zurich Film Festival 2012

  4. *Grand Prix, Mediterranean Film Festival 2012

  5. *Silver Dove, DOK Leipzig 2012

Press Quotes

* “rigidly constructed and deeply human” Variety

  1. *“as pure and as uncompromising as a documentary film gets” Cineuropa

  2. *“an admirably solid slice of old school cinema verité“ Hollywood Reporter

  3. *“You feel this film in your gut, like a brick through a windshield” Indiewire

  4. *“Ne tirez pas sur l’ambulance (Inteview with Ilian) Le Monde

About the production:

A co-production with SIA, Bulgaria; Sutor Kolonko, Germany; Nukleus Film, Croatia; Impact Partners, USA. In association with: WDR, ARTE, Bulgarian National Film Centre Film und Medienstiftung NRW, Croatian Audiovisual Centre. The world sales is Films Boutique.

GOLESHOVO / 34’ / 2008


This is a tale about the death of Goleshovo, a forgotten town in the mountains of Bulgaria. Here, a handful of old people struggle for survival: A couple fights with their donkey. A forgetful priest leads his congregation into confusion. A woman cheers up her friends with songs. Will their children ever return? Composed with rigorous attention to form, this observational documentary is an austere yet ultimately rewarding portrait of hope.

Selected Awards:

  1. *Talent Dove, DOK Leipzig 2008

  2. *Development Award, BBC Documentaries 2008

  3. *Best Student Film, Molodist Film Festival 2008

  4. *Best Documentary, Potsdam Film Festival 2009

  5. *Best Short Film, Valdivia Film Festival 2009

  6. *Don Quixote Award, Krakow Film Festival 2009

About the production:

A co-production with the National Film and Television School, UK. The film has played in over 60 film festivals and received 17 awards.


Ilian was born in Bulgaria in 1981. As a teenager in Germany, he pursued a career as a violinist and has performed on German classical radio. After studying Fine Art at Central Saint Martins,  London, where he experimented with 16mm film, he completed his training at the UK National Film and Television School in 2008. Since then, he is obsessed with finding new challenges using the medium of film and pushing film language. Ilian has directed, photographed and co-produced Goleshovo and Sofia’s Last Ambulance.

Betina started out life as an artist, yet in the course of her studio work, became irrevocably fascinated by how the human brain interprets vision. She then pursued a training in science and recently earned a doctorate in Neuroscience from St John's College, University of Oxford. She has continued to build on her creative background; she is the co-writer of Goleshovo and editor of Sofia’s Last Ambulance. She believes that science and art are like waking and dreaming - one complements the other and each has it's own distinct beauty.


If you are interested to learn more about our work or collaborating with us, please write to us.

ilianmetev {at} gmail {dot} com

ifanbetinaip {at} gmail {dot} com

© Chaconna Films Ltd. 2012