FNE at Varna Golden Rose FF National Competition: Baklava

By Pavlina Jeleva

    Baklava directed by Alexo Petrov, is an independent low budget film shot during the summer of 2006 with a restricted crew at nearly 70 locations in and around the Black Sea town Bourgas. Cryptically described by the director as a "fairytale about two brothers in search of a buried treasure in post-communist Bulgaria," the film caused a scandal that delayed its release by several years.

    {mosimage}The edgy film is a co-production between the Canadian Lost Vulgaros (www.lostvulgaros.com) and the Bulgarian Two and a Half (www.penko.ru). The Bulgarian Red Cross (www.redcross.bg) supported the director in the casting of children from orphanages.

    In May 2007 Petrov, who had been living in Canada since 2004, made public the first trailers of the film which revealed shocking scenes of documentary character. In January 2008 a local edition published a highly critical article accusing the film of "frankly pornographic and violent scenes involving minor orphans." The huge scandal forced Petrov to write an open letter to media and official institutions, stating: "Although most of us cannot or just do not want to see the terrifying reality, the real life nightmare there is not a fiction." The director was faced with the possibility of prosecution on charges of "production and distribution of pornography, promotion of drug use, violence and homosexuality." In May 2009 the District Court of the town of Bourgas delivered its verdict on a charge of hiring minors to work. At the same time an international search warrant for Petrov's arrest was issued.

    {mosimage}For three years "Baklava" was essentially banned in Bulgaria. In July 2010 the case against Alex Petrov was suspended and the sentence was lifted. In the beginning of 2011 the international warrant for search and arrest was repealed.

    The scandal turned the attention of the public to the living conditions in the so called "homes for orphans." Numerous humanitarian campaigns in favor of Bulgaria's "forgotten children" were organized. The participation of the film in the Golden Rose competition is viewed as a measure of official approval of the film.

    {moisimage}Production contact:

    Two and half


    Lost Vulgaros productions


    Alexo Petrov

    Phone: +1 647 835 0635

    +359 879 813 934

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



    Director/Script/Camera: Alexo Petrov

    Music: Bulgara, Peyu Solakov

    Cast: Nikolay Yanchev, Hristo Herun, Tsanko Petrov, Yuri Angelov, Krasimir Katsarov, Ivo Naydenov, George Kostadinov, Maria Kafelova, Mityo The Pistol