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PEOPLE Bulgaria

Cineuropa joins EAVE and EDN to support Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service


- Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova, the team behind the successful Bulgarian film, are now facing threats from the country's authorities

Cineuropa joins EAVE and EDN to support Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service
Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova

Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service, the documentary by Mina Mileva, produced by EAVE 2013 graduate Vesela Kazakova, has made unprecedented box-office takings in Bulgaria and brought a huge wave of controversy with it. The team behind the film is now facing threats from the Bulgarian authorities…

Cineuropa fully supports EAVE's statement below:

"EAVE joins EDN to fully support Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova, the team behind the documentary Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service, and urges Bulgarian authorities to stop the threatening and harassing campaign against them and their film.

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In Bulgaria, the film Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service, about one of Bulgaria's most treasured animation directors and his relationship with the former Bulgarian Secret Service, has been a major audience success. The film has managed to draw large numbers of Bulgarians to their local cinemas for screenings. But despite this, the filmmakers have received harsh criticism, and in some cases harassment both from institutions and colleagues, who should serve to protect and encourage filmmakers such as the team behind Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service. Despite their recent nominations by the Film Academy for the awards for best director and best film, they were cut out of the race without any legitimate explanation. Along the same lines, their co-producer, the national TV, has also withdrawn support from the film.

Uncle Tony, or Anthony Trayanov, worked as an animator in collaboration with cartoonist and Secret Service informer Donio Donev. The director/producer team states: "Donio Donev is perhaps the best-known name in Bulgarian cinema, but he was also an informer for the Secret Service whose dossier was made public when he applied to become an MP in 2003. While this isn't a secret to anybody, his relatives are still powerful enough to be able to influence institutions and demand this film to be banned."

EDN director Paul Pauwels states: "I am horrified to see how Mrs Mileva and Mrs Kazakova are being mistreated and abandoned by people and institutions that should be honoured to support them in their fight for democracy and free speech, but instead allow themselves to be used as pawns in a disgraceful game of destruction. The current situation is seriously threatening the psychological health of both Mrs Mileva and Mrs Kazakova. EDN will use all the means at its disposal to bring the news about this shameful situation to the social, political and cultural circles in Europe, asking them to take action."

EAVE supports the protests against the harassment of its graduates Mina Mileva and Vezela Kazakova (activist38), the directors and producers of the film Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service, and encourages members, fellow filmmakers and colleagues to show their support for freedom of expression so that the threats against our friends will finally be stopped."

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