There are certain providential encounters that completely change our destiny, no matter how miserable it has been. The short film ‘Dream for Happiness‘ talks about the miracle of such happy accidents that allow us to look beyond the ugliness of everyday banality, giving us the chance to become the heroes of our own unrepeatable stories. Adopting a somewhat romantic narrative structure, similar in subtext to a that of a fairy tale, Irina Velichkova builds a special protagonist rediscovering her beauty after a singular event that makes her believe again in human kindness. Although the basic elements used by the director are recognizable to the general public, these being taken from either classical fairy tales or the narrative patterns of some classic romantic films, the way that all of this intertextual matter is filtered into the seemingly rigid structures of a miserable realism fascinated us through the emotional intensity of the protagonists’ chemistry. Thus, the main character is a woman who is experiencing a kind of `the-ugly-duckling` syndrome, being tortured by the human misery, that is saved from the claws of this daily dragon by an invalid prince who helps her to rediscover her true identity through her own talent artistic.


Anita has a miserable life: to subsist, she has to wash pots, while her younger lover takes advantage of her generosity, being a kind of parasite that doesn’t give her any inner comfort. Overwhelmed by the lack of money, Anita accepts a temporary job as a model for a painter with serious health problems whose life seems to be as unfortunate as the protagonist’s. Will this encounter succeed to save these two victims of their destiny from a tragedy?


Exceeding the boundaries of a viscerally realistic film, this project has a special atmosphere that gives it a certain tenderness, a refreshing optimism that pushes the main characters to the pattern of a modern fairy tale hero. Without claiming to create a strong psychological context, director Irina Velichkova creates here a real praise for art as the only weapon to combat social evil. The characters of this short film are like some unpolished diamonds whose brightness beats human misery, telling us a universal story about saving through the ephemeral beauty of the art of dedicating our whole life to good. Thus, the nostalgic-faded image, accompanied by a suggestive soundtrack of a magnetic fragility, compose a touching periplus through the everyday existential maze at the end of which any spectator can regain confidence in their own power to change their destiny. ‘Dream for Happiness’ is a subtle short film, a modern fairy tale and a metaphor about the purifying power of art, which, surpassing the general cinematographic attempt to disenchant the world we live in, fascinated us with the purity of all the forms of love it rendered.


For the seemingly ingenuous complexity of the story, for its charming melancholic atmosphere, for the beauty of the characters whose strength exceeds human misery, and also for the almost contagious sensitivity of its cinematographic construction, ‘Dream for Happiness’ was awarded with the Film of the Month distinction in the December 2018 edition of TMFF.