Scene from the film Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service
Scene from the film Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service
Scene from the film Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service
Scene from the film Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service
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Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service

  • Bulgaria
Audio Tracks 

Uncle Tony (Antony Trayanov) created pivotal films in a tandem with the talented caricaturist Donio Donev, one of Bulgaria’s most prominent animation directors. Tony, unlike Donev, remained unknown to the public. Donev made a spectacular career and travelled worldwide while Tony wasn’t allowed to leave the country.

The industrious and ambitious Tony made all effort to break into directing films, essentially to make his own film. However, he was being continuously dismissed as an enemy of the state due to his bourgeois background. Forcefully turned working class, Tony embraced these values, making a fine job of everything his hands touched. He even braved working as a builder in a dangerous building site after being expelled from the State Cinema Studio for refusing to obey orders. Uncle Tony did not live to enjoy the limelight but his students working all over the world adore him for his help and support and also his bohemian bon vivant nature.

Surprisingly, or not, the film caused a huge controversy. It became a mirror for a post-Communist society that hasn’t fully acknowledged the role of the totalitarian Secret Service in recent history. This role that still puts pressure on modern daily life and so creates a complex political problem. Donio Donev, whom Uncle Tony worked alongside with, was an informer for the Secret Service and his dossier was uncovered back in 2003. The history works to unravel the threads of their careers while setting them in the context of historic state surveillance and control.


  • Original Title
    Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova
  • Cinematography
    Plamen Gelinov, Vasilena Goranova
  • Editing
    Donka Ivanova
  • Music
    Emilian Gatsov
  • Sound
    Alexander Simeonov
  • Runtime
    86 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Bulgaria
  • Format
    • Colour
  • Production
  • Festivals
    • Sarajevo Film Festival
    • Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries
    • Astra Film Festival
    • Festival du Nouveau Cinéma
    • Warsaw Film Festival
    • Cairo International Film Festival
    • European Union Film Showcase - American Film Institute
    • Trieste Film Festival
    • Berlin Independent Film Festival
    • ZagrebDox International Documentary Film Festival
    • Millenium International Documentary Film Festival
    • Flatpack Film Festival
    • Vilnius International Film Festival
    • Canada International Film Festival
    • Mexico International Film Festival
    • Florida Movie Festival
    • Beldocs International Documentary Film Festival
    • International Heritage Film Festival “Idols”
    • The Accolade Global Film Competition
    • Hoosierdance International Film Festival
    • Madrid International Film Festival
    • Salt Lake International Film Festival
    • Cebu International Documentary Film Festival
    • TrindieFest Film Festival
    • AegeanDocs International Documentary Film Festival
    • Bushwick Film Festival
    • BULDOC 2015 - Days of Bulgarian Documentary Cinema
    • 3rd Phnom Penh International Film Festival
    • 29th Leeds International Film Festival
    • 26th Carthage Film Festival
    • Cutting Edge Film Festival
    • Lisbon International Film Festival
    • SEE Film Festival,
    • 1st Lisbon International Film Festival
    • 6th SEE Film Festival
    • 2nd Phoenix Film Festival Melbourne
    • 1st International Open Film Festival
    • TrueDoc Documentary Festival
    • Southway Film Fest
    • 3rd Toronto World International Film Festival
    • 2nd Hong Kong World International Film Festival
    • Singapore World International Film Festival
  • Awards
    • Best Director at Berlin International Film Festival
    • Royal Reel Award at Canada International Film Festival
    • Bronze Palm at Mexico International Film Festival
    • Women D/P Finalist Documentary at Florida Movie Festival
    • Award of Merit: Documentary Feature at the Accolade Global Film Competition and first place in "Art" category at the International Heritage Film Festival "Idols"
    • Honorable Mention at TrindieFest Film Festival
    • Best Feature Documentary at Bushwick Film Festival
    • Best Documentary at Phoenix Film Festival, Melbourne
    • Country Best Award at International Open Film Festival
    • Best Feature Film at Arquivo em Cartaz - Festival Internacional de Cinema de Arquivo is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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