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Posted 07.06.19

FILM – Graduate Tyanita Gancheva reflects on her creative journey

By Phillip Buchan

L to R - Graduates Iga Rita Stepien and Tyanita Gancheva

After graduating from our BA (Hons) Film programme in 2016, Tyanita Gancheva took a gap-year before applying to study MA Filmmaking at the prestigious London Film School.

As she approaches the end of the second year of her MA, we sat down with Tyanita to find out more about her journey as a professional filmmaker, which has included working with another alumni of the college to take an international film festival on tour to Bulgaria, as well as working on the MTV/Channel 5 show 10,000 BC, before deciding to commit to writing and directing her own original stories.

What did you do next, after completing your final film at the college, ‘Perunika’?

After graduating from the college, I took some time out for other projects and ended up working on an MTV/Channel 5 reality tv show filmed on location in the foothills of the Balkan Mountains. Being able to help out on an international tv shoot was an excellent experience, but what it really confirmed for me is my passion for original filmmaking and storytelling.

I also worked with another graduate of the college, Iga Rita Stepien, who had founded and organised a short film festival called Station To Station in Warsaw, Poland, which we decided to take to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. To make this happen I worked with the MB Production company, led by Savina Eliseeva and Marii Dichev, who also produced ‘Perunika’. As well as finding sponsors, organising running times and marketing the event, I had to arrange accommodation for exhibiting filmmakers from all across Europe. We were very pleased with the success of the event, showcasing films that Iga had collected from all over the world, alongside emerging filmmakers from Bulgaria.

How did you make the decision to study next at London Film School?

It was a conversation with Lucy Leake, BA (Hons) Film Programme Leader at Plymouth College of Art, that inspired me to apply for a place. I’m so grateful for the help and support from my lecturers in Plymouth. The college gave me opportunities to create my own stories, leading to shooting my final project in Bulgaria, which has prepared me to work internationally and gave me the grounding to succeed at London Film School.

I started my MA in 2017. The taught element of my MA is coming to an end now, as I begin preparations for my graduate film. Over my time at Plymouth College of Art and London Film School I’ve worked in multiple roles, from sound recordist and camera operator to writer and director. I’ve shot traditionally in colour and black-and-white on 16mm film, and digitally using the Arri Alexa, working with some incredible people who I hope will become lifelong friends and colleagues.

Your films tend to have a very international outlook. Why is that so important?

As part of an incredibly diverse cohort at London Film School I’ve had opportunities to work with filmmakers from countries all around the world, on projects varying from being a sound recordist on a documentary about the lives of North Koreans living in present-day London, directed by Zhizi Hao, to writing and directing a short film about a post WWII orphanage in Warsaw, Poland, shot in one of the studios at London Film School. Throughout my creative journey, I’ve tried to embrace every opportunity to work on exciting projects made by very talented filmmakers.

I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to study at Plymouth College of Art. The city offered such a calming environment, giving me time to reflect on myself, what kind of stories I wanted to tell and what sort of filmmaker I wanted to be.

I’m originally from Bulgaria, but after also living in Plymouth and London, I see now that it isn’t about the place you’re making films in, it’s about the people you work with and the quality of the projects and opportunities you can create. Does it have a spark that inspires you? That’s what I respond to and what I intend to pursue in my career.

Look out for new work by our BA (Hons) Film students at the 2019 Degree Shows.