A Film by Daniel Levin




Explore Bagatelle


  1. a trifle
  2. a short literary or musical piece in light style
Let the majority have their sex and violence in the movies as long as the few have their art films.

— Federico Fellini

Packing in 14 minutes such mastery of filmmaking in every corner of the game is impressive.

— Chris Marker on Daniel Levin’s previous film    
    Moment Théâtral

About The Film


Bagatelle is a joint effort by many organizations around the country who believe in film as an art form. We are thankful for their support.


It’s an interesting story, and I like the combination of various international elements – Russian characters, classical music, Texan farmers, agriculture, etc.; it would make for a lush film. The characters are well drawn (the protagonist gave me a Blanche DuBois vibe) and with the right combination of talent could make for a strong arthouse piece. Given the script doesn’t rely on particularly conventional means of engaging the audience, the music and visual elements along with the erformances would have to be very strong.

— A Hollywood Development Executive

My first opinion, it is a well crafted US script. I like the dialogues. We liked it very much, very entertaining with lots of humor, black humor, despite of the desolate and desperate situation of the protagonists. The first scene with the cruiser is great and promises more. Story is fast driven with lots of slapstick situations. Many scenes remind us of “Grand Budapest Hotel”. Very important from our POV is the cast you need an excellent ensemble with the right chemistry to create this unique atmosphere and a good timing of acting.

— Mannheim Meeting Place CoProduction Market


Bagatelle is a Chekhovian art-house comedy about Natalie, a Russian cellist who comes to Texas in search of a better life.

Like many of us, Natalie is modestly talented and not very dedicated. The one thing she feels strongly about is comfort. In pursuit of comfort, she commits a series of petty betrayals, starting with her fellow musicians, then her husband, and finally her instrument and her calling as a musician.


Our deep thanks goes to all of our supporters who believe that art-house filmmaking is important.

Strategic Partners Houston Arts Alliance Houston Film Commission Guanajuato IFF Mannheim IFF TFC Cinelicious FotoKem


Bagatelle is a social satire in the vein of the surrealist masterworks of Otar Iosseliani, Luis Buñuel, and Pierre Étaix, who are major influences. It explores betrayal as a quintessential human foible and attempts to show us who we are without passing judgment.

Produced in rural Texas and photographed on S16mm film, Bagatelle shuns dialogue and tells the story visually. Taking on surrealism, it makes chamber music, the Texas countryside, humanity, and pettiness collide in a grotesque encounter.

Support Bagatellethrough our film’s fiscal sponsor,
the Austin Film Society


All donations are tax-deductible.

You are an avid mainstream and independent moviegoer. Your thirst for intelligent entertainment is simply not being quenched by the studios’ yearly slate of remakes, sequels, fluffy romantic comedies, and straight-to-DVD indie genre flicks. You are hungry for intelligent films that the studios do not provide. Please support us in making a movie that YOU would want to watch.

Bagatelle News


Support Bagatelle and write it off your taxes!

By Daniel Levin, Mar 07, 2017

Thanks to Austin Film Society, all donations to Bagatelle our now tax deductible. Please support our film here and get your donation deducted from your 2017 taxes.

Bagatelle in the news!

By Daniel Levin, Oct 18, 2016

Here's some advance press on 'Bagatelle' courtesy of Kodak.

We have a DP!

By Daniel Levin, Jul 25, 2016

Ziv Berkovich (Another WorldSelf Made) is a leading Israeli cinematographer whose films screened at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Cinéfondation and Semaine de la Critique, and at the Rotterdam, Locarno, and Jerusalem international film festivals. Ziv studied under the legendary Russian director of photography Vadim Yusov (Andrey Tarkovsky's SolarisAndrey RublevIvan's Childhood).

Bagatelle hits the radio waves

By Tchavdar Georgiev, May 23, 2016

Listen to the interview Daniel gave to KUHF, a Houston NPR affiliate station. 

Bagatelle wins camera grant

By Daniel Levin, May 19, 2016

Oppenheimer Cine Rentals Inc., a motion picture camera rental company based in Seattle, WA, awarded Bagatelle with a grant of Aaton XTR Prod Super 16mm camera package. 

Bagatelle partners up with Kodak and Kickstarter

By Tchavdar Georgiev, Apr 11, 2016

Our friends at Kodak and Kickstarter chose Bagatelle as the flagship project for their new joint initiative to support indies shot on real film. Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth.


Daniel Levin

— Writer, director, editor

Born in Russia and raised in Texas, Daniel graduated from USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles with a Master of Fine Arts in film directing. His graduate thesis film Moment Théâtral (2007) received the prestigious Jack Nicholson Directing Award. Most recently Daniel produced the animated feature film Purim: The Lot (2013), which is now out in wide release on home video and VOD. He directed the documentaries Kaltag, Alaska and Kamchatka: The Salmon Country in association with the WWF. Daniel lectures on filmmaking at universities and colleges around Houston, Texas.

Tchavdar Georgiev

— Producer

Tchavdar is an Emmy-nominated producer, director, and editor who has crafted award-winning films, commercials and television both in the US and abroad. He produced the feature thriller “Nevsky Prospect” for Amazon Studios and field produced USA Network’s “Covert Affairs” “Horse to Water” episode. His field producing credits also include projects for History Channel, PBS, SF1 (Switzerland), Channel 1 and MTV (Russia). He has produced commercials for Adobe, Cisco, NASA, TELE2, and MTV Russia. He directed together with Dana Berry for National Geographic “Finding the Next Earth” and edited “Alien Earths”, nominated for a Prime Time Emmy. He was one of the editors on the documentaries “We Live in Public” (Grand Jury Prize at Sundance) and “One Lucky Elephant” (Best Doc Editing Award at Woodstock Film Festival) as well as the narrative feature “Svolochi” (MTV Russia Best Film Award). His documentary “The Desert of Forbidden Art” was nominated for multiple Emmy awards. He also directed and produced a permanent multi-media installation on Perestroika for the Jewish Museum of Tolerance in Moscow. Tchavdar was awarded an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. Tchavdar lives in Los Angeles, USA.

Ziv Berkovich

— Cinematographer

Ziv Berkovich (Another World, Self Made) is a leading Israeli cinematographer whose films screened at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Cinéfondation and Semaine de la Critique, and at the Rotterdam, Locarno, and Jerusalem international film festivals. Ziv studied under the legendary Russian director of photography Vadim Yusov (Andrey Tarkovsky's Solaris, Andrey Rublev, Ivan's Childhood).

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