Heretic has acquired world sales rights to Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev’s suspense drama Blaga’s Lessons which world premieres next month at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Komandarev’s 2017 feature Directions premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes. His film The Judgement was Bulgaria’s official entry for the 2016 Oscars, while The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner was shortlisted for the Oscar’s best foreign language film category in 2010.

Blaga’s Lessons is the story of a retired, recently widowed teacher, played by Elie Skorcheva, who falls victim to a phone scam that robs her of her life savings. Her life turns upside down when she realises that there’s no way of gaining her money back until she receives an alluring, yet suspicious offer for work. The tables then turn as cash begins rolling in as she transforms into a scammer herself.

Blaga’s Lessons is produced by Komandarev and Katya Trichkova of Bulgaria’s Argo Film and co-produced by Eike Goreczka and Christoph Kukula of Germany’s 42film.

Heretic’s head of sales and acquisitions Ioanna Stais said: “Stephan holds a unique ability to communicate social issues through a film language that is both captivating and suspenseful yet rouses us to reality. With a stunning lead performance, his subversive tale unriddles current times while keeping you at the edge of your seat.

Argo Film producer Katya Trichkova commented: “The remarkable performance of the main actress Elie Skorcheva, the authentic and truthful visual world created by the cinematographer Vesselin Hristov and production designer Ivelina Mineva and the skillful editing by the editor Nina Altaparmakova, turns the story written by Stephan and his regular collaborator, screenwriter Simeon Ventsislavov, into a suspense drama with elements of thriller, which will not leave the viewers indifferent.”

Komandarev said: “The faithful representation and understanding of reality is the first requirement for its change, the only condition for fruitful action. After five years of work on this film, done with a great cast and crew, I am thrilled to be partnering with a passionate team on this exciting journey in bringing the film to audiences around the world.”

Among Heretic’s current lineup is Ena Sendijarević’s colonial era satire Sweet Dreams and Cannes Critics’ Week French Touch Prix du Jury award winner It’s Raining in the House by Paloma Sermon-Daï.