A Bulgarian couple is among the producers of Oscar-nominated short feature movie
Dr Iliyan Ivanov and Dr Dana Prodanova, a family, emigrated to the United States in the late 1990s. Dr Ivanov, who has recently become a professor, is a child psychiatrist at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York while his wife, Dr Prodanova, runs a successful dental practice in midtown Manhattan. The couple is an associate producer of Feeling Through, nominated for an Academy Award in the Short Film category.
A graduate of the English Language School in Burgas, Dr Ivanov has varied interests away from paediatric psychiatry. He is a painter, regularly putting up exhibitions in New York, and he plays the guitar in a band alongside some of his colleagues. The band, predictably, is called The Shrinks. Both Iliyan and his wife Dana, who is from Varna, make donations to the arts.
Iliyan and Dana got involved with Feeling Through a couple of years ago through a friend, Doug Roland, a film director of The Curiosity (2016) and Life Hack (2017) fame. Feeling Through, directed by Roland and starring Steven Prescod and Robert Tarango, is a double entendre, a reference to the Deafblind community which is at the heart of the film because a lot of that community navigates the world through touch. The metaphorical meaning is a reference to the protagonist's personal journey of having to learn how to open his heart and "feel his way through."
Iliyan Ivanov sums up Feeling Through in one sentence: "If you give a little you will receive a lot." This is a particularly poignant bottomline in a world still gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic where any touching of other people is in fact discouraged by the government.