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11th A Grade

aka The 11th Grade (XI A)
Bulgaria 2015. Dir: Michaela Komitova. 84 min. Blu-ray Disc

A strong-willed, competitive dancer tests her mettle as a high-school substitute teacher in Bulgarian director Michaela Komitova’s comedic, crowd-pleasing first feature, set and shot in Bulgaria’s capital city of Sofia. “Lina Nikolova (national TV star Yana Marinova), a former dancer and inexperienced educator, is appointed as a replacement in an elite school. Surrounded by collegial distrust and wayward students, she quickly realizes that standard methods will not be effective. Combining a fighting spirit, honest behaviour, and innovative teaching techniques, Lina manages to overcome the challenges posed by her students, eventually winning them over. But with the city’s prestigious dance hall reopening after lengthy renovations, she must choose between her newfound profession and her lifelong dream of running her own dance studio” (Bulgarian National Film Center). In Bulgarian with English subtitles.