A film by Andrey Paounov, 2021

Genre: Drama

Languages: Bulgarian

Subtitles: English, Portuguese

Format: HD

Sound: 5.1

Duration: 110 min

Countries: Bulgaria, Portugal, Luxembourg

Year: 2021



In the midst of nowhere, five men are stuck in a snowstorm. One has to cross the Woods to reach town, but that’s insane in the midst of winter: the road is snowed over, you can get lost and freeze, the wolves are hungry and can be heard howling all night long, and who knows what other creatures roam these woods…?
Still, early that morning, Petar Motorov must have harnessed his sleigh and headed to town. Nobody saw him leave, but the falling snow still hasn’t fully erased his tracks. But when the sleigh returns, Petar Motorov isn’t on it. Inside the men find only Motorov’s fur coat, his shotgun, and the frozen carcass of a wolf. Where is Petar Motorov, and what has happened to him? There’s only one way to find out…

Five men caught in a limbo between life and death, past and present, communism and capitalism, known and unknown, here and there, try to resolve a mystery, which slowly devours them. Inspired by the eponymous play by Nobel Prize Nominee Yordan Radichkov and reinterpreted for world audiences by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Andrey Paounov, it is a bold fiction debut of a director who has made a name by exploring, with a sense of humour, the existential absurdities of the post-socialist state in the language of cinema.



Director: Andrey M Paounov
Screenplay: Alex Barrett and Andrey M Paounov
Image: Vasco Vania

Sound: Harry Boyadzhiyski

Decors: Maria Paounova

Make-up & hair: Rositza Gerassimova
Editing: Victoria Radoslavova, Anastas Petkov and Francisco Moreira

Music: Ivo Paunov



Samuel FINCI, Iossif SARCHADHIEV, Zachary BAHAROV, Svetoslav STOYANOV, Leonid YOVCHEV, Borislav CHOUCHKOV, Malin KRASTEV, Stanimir LAZAROV, Lachezar LAZAROV


Produced by Vanya RAINOVA and Svetoslav STOYANOV / Portokal (Bulgaria).

Co-produced par Terratreme Filmes (Portugal), Tarantula Luxembourg et Orlin Ruevski (Bulgaria).


Special Jury Prize at the Golden Rose Film Festival

Best Director Award in International Competition at Sofia International Film Festival 2022

Best Director Award in International Competition at Golden Linden Film Festival 2022



Andrey Paounov graduated from the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2000, and started working on what would become an award-winning creative nonfiction trilogy on the absurdities of the post-totalitarian transition. His first documentary feature, Georgi and the Butterflies, won the Silver Wolf at IDFA in 2004. The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories – his second documentary feature was included in the 46th International Critics’ Week of the Cannes Film Festival 2007. The Boy Who Was a King (2011), Andrey’s third full-length documentary, premiered at Toronto International Film Festival.

Andrey’s live action/animation film Thee Sisters and Andrey won the Best German Short of the Month Award and the Bulgarian Film Academy Award for Best Animation. He’s also a co-writer on the postmodern homage to cinema Twice Upon a Time in the West (2015), starring Claudia Cardinale as herself. Andrey’s latest film, Walking on Water (2018) had its world premiere at Locarno Film Festival in August 2018 and is still touring festivals.

January is Andrey’s fiction feature directorial debut.



“Beyond its connection to recent Bulgarian history, Paounov’s January, with its absorbing cinematography, creepy soundtrack, magnificent cast and ever-escalating suspense, is a first-class mystery-thriller which does not necessarily need to be situated in any specific context in order to be enjoyed.” – Cineuropa