Breaking Into Breaking News

What do Bigfoot, whiskey and the 2020 presidential election have in common? You’ll have to ask Peter Boiadzhieff, the creator of the short Braaking Newz. Boiadzhieff, originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, but now living in Atlanta Georgia, is a prolific director and writer, having written and directed dozens of short films.

Breaking Newz parodies a news program and focuses on the two anchors, Lorra and Anna, who are broadcasting from New York, or maybe somewhere in Georgia; they never seem quite clear on the matter. While Lorra seems to have it together for the most part, Anna is perpetually nursing a mug of Gentleman Jack whiskey. The ‘show,’ which is a Christmas special complete with a rousing version of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is full of hilarious amateur production glitches; cameras lingering too long on the wrong place, close ups of a mug for no reason, and occasional rounds of singing for no reason at all. We’re treated to multiple rounds of whiskey commercials. The banter between the two is always amusing. Especially when we get hints that Lorra occasionally locks Anna in the basement for misbehavior. More alarmingly, the program is also interrupted by Bigfoot, who wanders onto the set to terrify Lorra (Anna is too soused to really notice).

On the whole, this is a rollicking good time. Although the show initially focuses on our anchors, Anna and Lorra and their inconclusive search for Bigfoot, the spotlight is taken over before too long by the mysterious Peter. We see him in numerous whiskey commercials before he takes the stage as a stand-up comedian at the Punchline club, making fun of his status as an immigrant coming to America and his struggles with the English language. We then meet Kriss, a new candidate for president in 2020. But Kriss has an uncanny resemblance to Peter (since they are, in fact, played by the same person). The candidate has a simple strategy: giving voters cash. This is all part of what he calls his, “propaganda,” before correcting himself, and saying this is his “platform for success.” What do Americans want, other than cash, according to this new candidate? Apparently every American would like to own their own bridge, and “Kriss” makes owning a bridge a keystone promise of his campaign.

Peter’s style of comedy is sardonic and insightful, and a unique blend of dry humor and wackiness. The most obvious comparison here is Borat. He delves into themes like a inanity of the US correctional system, the ubiquity of credit cards, even among those who in no way should have one, and the desire of so many to get on television one way or another and their sometimes bizarre obsession with Bigfoot. His directing style seems designed to keep the audience off kilter, with long pauses where we wouldn’t expect them, and unusual cuts between scenes.

Braaking Newz, with its focus on whiskey, Bigfoot, Christmas and the presidential election, seems to be a parody of American culture from the point of view of a newcomer to the country. The election of president is taken about as seriously as the search for Bigfoot. The news program itself is fundamentally unserious and more a matter of entertainment than delivering important information to viewers. Whether this is meant simply in fun or if Peter is making a comment about pop culture and the media, it certainly made me reflect on these issues.

Shaina McLawrence and Moli Hall, who play Lorra and Anna respectively, do a great job as anchors. A lot of their banter seems completely natural and, one suspects, may even have been partly improvised. The film has been making the rounds of film festivals all over the world, and has been gaining recognition, including being awarded finalist for Best Comedy Short Film at the Mile High International Film Festival, as well as Best Comedy Short and Best Parody Short at the Independent Shorts Awards.

There is certainly potential here to make Braaking Newz into an ongoing series and I can see it being a great vehicle for up and coming comedians in Georgia. Braaking Newz was made under the umbrella of Peter’s production company, KN Video Studio, the motto of which, appropriately enough, is “One Leader, People, Incredible Adventure.”

Written By: Darida Rose

Breaking Into Braaking Newz

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