Chaconna Logo march2014

About us

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 showcased internationally on small and big screens alike and we are honoured it has received over fourty awards, including the Visionary Award by the Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. We are based between Sofia, Bulgaria and Oxford, UK.

Below you can learn about some of our past work.

Sofia’s Last Ambulance / 78’ / 2012


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 and Distinctions:

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

* Nomination for Camera D’Or, Cannes Film Festival 2012

Grand Prix Documentary, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2012

Silver Dove, DOK Leipzig 2012

* Opening Film, Documentary Fortnight, Museum of Modern Art, New York 2013

* German Documentary Film Award 2013

Press Quotes:

* “rigidly constructed and deeply human” Variety

“as pure and as uncompromising as a documentary film gets” Cineuropa

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

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

*“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. Sofia’s Last Ambulance has been screened at over 80 festivals including at Cannes, Berlin, Montreal, Karlovy Vary, IDFA and SXSW, awarded 20 times, theatrically released in 3 countries and broadcast in 10 countries, including on ARTE.

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.

Poster september 2009

Selected Awards:

Talent Dove, DOK Leipzig 2008

Development Award, BBC Documentaries 2008

Best Student Film, Molodist Film Festival 2008

Best Documentary, Potsdam Film Festival 2009

Best Short Film, Valdivia Film Festival 2009

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.


I Metev photo may2013

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.

Screen shot 2012-03-19 at 00.08.59

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 drop us a line. 

ilianmetev {at} gmail {dot} com

ifanbetinaip {at} gmail {dot} com

© Chaconna Films 2014