Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service

… is the title of a film made by Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova. It was on its way for several years and is now out and has raised strong controversy in the country of origin, Bulgaria. But I have seen nobody write about the film! I saw a rough close to final cut last year and wrote to Mina and Vesela, whom I have known for many years:

“Thanks for inviting me to watch. And, ahhh, got tears in my eyes, when I saw your text – that Uncle Toni died this year. What a wonderful man and fine artist, you have made him to be in a film that is very creative, I liked it a lot.

The scene where he is drawing on the blackboard and making movements manipulated in pace by you, the clips from his films of course, you and him when he is taking  down the boxes, (some of) the conversations with colleagues, your dispute with the school principal is hilarious, and veeery good that you kept the two children for the ending and make them perform in each their way…”

Back to the trouble, this is a quote from Film New Europe yesterday:

Producers/directors Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova from Activist 38 have accused the Union of the Bulgarian Film Makers – Film Academy (consisting

of over 900 members) and the Bulgarian Society for collective management of authors` and producers` rights in audiovisual works Filmautor of organizing deliberate actions against their controversial documentary “Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service”.

Dedicated to the talented animator Antony Trayanov (the Uncle Tony of the title), the famous animated films director Donio Donev’s “right hand”, the film premiered at the Sofia autumn world film panorama Cinemania on 26 November, 2013. The screening brought strongly negative reaction from Donev’s heirs who said “the film does not respect the legitimate interests and dignity of one of the most talented Bulgarian film directors.”

“Donio Donev is perhaps the best known name of Bulgarian cinema, but he was also an informer for the Secret Service,” Mileva and Kazakova said.

On behalf of EDN (European Documentary Network) Paul Pauwels supports the filmmakers and “…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.”




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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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