Tree Without a Root
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    Tree Without a Root

    Directed by

    Bulgaria, Germany, United Kingdom


    15 min

    • Bulgarian

    Drama, Short

    Adapted from the short story by the famous Bulgarian writer Nikolai Haitov, TREE WITHOUT A ROOT is a modern film, which deals with two of the most current topics of our time – migration and aging. The story follows Gatio Ignatov, a retired man from Bulgaria, who struggles to cope with his escalating feelings of loneliness, rejection and uselessness after being taken to Germany by his son. Until he has an epiphany when he receives a letter from home.



    Vasil Mihailov
    Stephan A. Shtereff
    Lyubov Lyubcheva
    Victor Kalev
    Rouzie Hassanova
    Nikolai Haitov
    Kate Reid
    Miikka Leskinen
    Mario Grigorov

    Director's Statement

    Tree without a Root is a short story by the most loved Bulgarian writer Nikolai Haitov. Famous for his honesty and humour, Haitov’s collection Wild Stories reveal our country and its people with love, care and intimacy, while maintaining a true description of our culture; and thus he has become an icon of Bulgaria who has inspired many artists, writers and filmmakers.
    When I first read Tree without a Root, I was deeply moved by the powerful feeling of loneliness it paints, which reminded me of my own grandfather. The story triggers strong empathy for the elderly, which I hope I have translated onto screen, but also raises the question of what/where do we call HOME and where are our Roots. The subject of belonging is something I can personally relate to; as someone who moved to London at the age of eighteen, I find myself constantly trying to stay connected with who I truly am, my birthplace, my roots. At some point of our lives we all relocate to different places or foreign countries, perhaps even settle down, but part of us always remains where we were born and truly belong. This is why I hope that everyone will find a small trace in TREE WITHOUT A ROOT that relates to them.
    For me TREE WITHOUT A ROOT is a realistic short film about a lonely elderly man struggling to adapt to the city and being in a foreign country. My aim was to approach this subject with grace and reveal the character’s problem organically. It was not my intention to take sides or to alienate the audience by favouring our protagonist Gatio or his son and his family. Instead, I am making an observation of a man, who doesn’t belong in Germany and wants to go home where his roots are; opposite his son and his family, who have found home here and don’t know how to listen / understand our character or are simply carrying on with their own life.
    The film reveals how people of certain age feel, questions our sense of belonging, and brings out the clash of ideologies between generations; all very relevant and current topics.
    A film about Heimat, Home and Roots.

    Rouzie Hassanova

    Rouzie Hassanova


    Born 1980 in Kazanlak, Bulgaria. Rouzie started writing and directing sketches for the annual graduation shows in High school. In 1998 she moved to London to follow a career in film. There she entered the Media Foundation Course in LCC, where her graduation project Glashedy was awarded with Distinction. Rouzie has been working in the film industry for almost a decade: production freelance; post production manager; film sales at Hanway Films where she worked for over six years. Her most recent experience is on the production of Welcome to The Punch, assisting the director Eran Creevy. Rouzie has directed a number of shorts. Her short film, THE PORTRAIT, was officially selected at seven international film festivals, won an Accolade Award for Excellence in Film and was nominated in the Best Visual category at the Lime Light awards and Best Short at the Galway Film Festival.

    Selected Filmography