My Mate Manchester United / Манчестър Юнайтед от Свищов (Bulgaria, 2011)

directed by Stefan Valdobrev, documentary, 57 min, eng subtitles
written by Stefan Valdobrev

A single 48-year old man from a small town on the bank of the river Danube lives alone with his mother and his cat Beckam. The only meaningful thing in his life is his love for a football club. No doubt he is one of the thousands of fans who idolise their favourite team and feed on their moments of glory. But there's something special about him: his name. In 1999, in a dramatic game in which Manchester United were about to lose, Marin Zdravkov Levidzhov swore to change his name to Manchester United if his team somehow managed to overturn the result. And by a miracle they won! Thus starts Marin's 10-year mission impossible and battle with legal, religious and administrative institutions for the right to be named Manchester United Zdravkov Levidzhov.

In his first documentary director Stefan Valdobrev follows the journey of this strange man from his hometown, all the way to the Old Trafford Stadium and back home again. A nutcase, one might say, a lunatic but also an honest man with a purpose to fight for.

Almaty IFF 2012 (Special Prize)