Interview with Maya Vaptzarova

Interview with Maya Vaptzarova

Question: You have made dozens of documentaries and television films, but could you tell us about your feature films?

Maya Vaptzarova : Unreliable Stories includes two novellas which were combined into a movie.

The title of the first novella is 5+1 and of the second one it is Duel '77 – Georgi Mishev wrote the screenplays of both of them. The film won first prize "Golden Ducat" and the First Prize of the Catholic jury in Mannheim in 1976... In 1983 I made Detention. And then followed the film Do you remember ... from 2009 about Vaptzarov, which was made in the “Cinema-verite” style and was shot with actors. It is a full-length film. Do you remember ... was shown a lot, and Detention was also shown... Unfortunately I have no archive of my films.

Detention was one of the veiled films; it was not shown too much because some people said there should be no underground life in Bulgaria ... There was an article against it by film critic Luba Kulezich. Stefan Trifonov was the cameraman. Then I made 111 documentaries. The series "Creation of the World" is currently being shown on the Bulgarian National Television - Channel 2 - the first film was shown recently. It is about the Thracians. The series will be shown every Sunday at 8:30 p.m. I am working now on a film for "National Geographic".

Q: Do you have any new projects?

M. V .: I also wrote a screenplay about the murder of the late ex-prime minister of Bulgaria Andrei Lukanov. There is no political aspect of the story in the film, I have shunned it. In the military archives in January I flipped through the files of those who had been prepared for the “wet work”. All of them had been chosen by the “seals” . Finally only one of them produced a shot, but you don’t know who - they were 8 people...

Q: It's very scary...

M. V.: The child of one of them was suffering from leukemia and he was told that, if grafted bone marrow, the child's life would be saved. He participated in the preparation of the murder in return for 80 000 dollars. And the preparation of the wet jobs began. Naturally - both father and child died. It is a fact that another person is also writing a book on the case, but I made the screenplay ... I will soon apply for a grant to make a feature film.

Q: Being a woman film director, have you had any problems in shooting your feature films?

M. V .: I do not think I’ve had any problems in this connection. I have been attacked for many reasons ... After the establishment of democracy - the name Vaptzarova totally ruined me. But my feature films were made before that.

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