SVA Film & Animation
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Faculty Blog: Christo Bakalov

Cinematography faculty member Christo Bakalov, BAC recently had his new film 5 Weddings released in 54 countries, including the USA, UK, India, Canada and other countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa. It is at AMC Empire 25 theaters in NYC and NJ, AMC Burbank 8 in LA and many other theaters around the country.
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I had a great time working on 5 Weddings and experiencing the challenges of imagining and creating such a real, unique and colorful way of life as well as to explore Indian culture. It was a great pleasure to work with two young rising Bollywood stars – Nargis Fakhri and Rajkummar Rao, as well as with the well known Hollywood stars Cindy Clark and Bo Derek. 

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The biggest challenge of telling the story, including the cinematography, was how to combine the two cultures, American and Indian. We tried to stay as close as possible to the real life, and at the same time build the emotions and send a message to the audience. One of the biggest visual challenges for me as Cinematographer was to make two different looks at the same actress (Bo Derek) with twenty years difference. We achieved these two different looks with lighting and optical treatment.

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This is the second movie I’ve worked on with the director/producer Namrata Sing Gujral, and I admire her endless energy, consistence and obstinacy. It is very important to create and work in an atmosphere of collaborative effort and chemistry of the entire crew and cast on set, and that is exactly what Namrata does

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