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EDN expresses support to Bulgarian documentary makers being threatened and harassed


EDN is expressing our full support to Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova, the team behind the documentary Uncle Tony, Three Fools, and the Secret Service. EDN also urges Bulgarian authorities to stop the threatening and harassing campaign against them and their film.

Uncle Tony, Three Fools, and the Secret Service is a documentary about one of Bulgaria's most treasured animation directors and his relationship with the former Bulgarian secret service. The documentary has been a major audience success. In November 2013 it was released theatrically in Sofia and at present date the film still runs in the cinemas.

Despite the success in cinemas, the two directors of the film, Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova, have been subject to harsh criticism, and in some cases harassment, both from institutions and colleagues, who should serve to protect and encourage filmmakers. Despite their recent nominations by the Film Academy for the national Bulgarian film awards, they were cut out of the race without any legimate explanation. Along the same lines the Bulgarian national TV, which co-produced the film, has also withdrawn support from the film. 

 In letters addressed to several leading media institutions in Bulgaria EDN Director Paul Pauwels states:
“I understand that in spite of the obvious qualities of the production Uncle Tony and the success of the film during several public screenings, the team has now become the victim of harsh and defamatory criticism, physical attacks and mental abuse by several Bulgarian institutions and individuals. This is clearly an organised action. It is obvious that several parties are trying to physically and emotionally harm the producers/directors, purely for personal and/or political reasons. To achieve that goal, illegal actions are being conducted that in any state that calls itself democratic would cause on outcry and that place a mark of infamy on the face of Bulgarian society.

I am horrified to notice how Mrs. Mileva and Mrs. Kazakova are being mistreated and abandoned by persons and institutions that should be honoured to support them in their fight for democracy and free speech but at the contrary allow themselves to be used as pawns in a disgraceful game of destruction. The current situation is seriously threatening the physical health of both Mrs. Kazakova and Mileva. 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.

I strongly appeal to you to use your influence to call a halt to these practices that remind us about a political system that in theory might have disappeared, but whose disgraceful practices still seem to be very much alive in Bulgaria.”


EDN urges all Bulgarian authorities to stop the threatening and harassing campaign against Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova and their film. EDN is also encouraging all members, collaborators and colleagues to show support for Uncle Tony, Three Fools, and the Secret Service and the team behind the film.

Further details about the situation with the film is available here.

Here you can follow Uncle Tony, Three Fools, and the Secret Service at Facebook.

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