FNE at Varna Golden Rose FF National Competition: Operation-Shmenti Capelli

By Pavlina Jeleva

    Operation-Shmenti Capelli (www.shmentikapeli.com) is one of the most unique filmmaking stories in Bulgaria during the last twenty years. The long awaited eccentric comedy is a personal dream of popular Bulgarian actor Vladislav Karamfilov-Vargala who, after writing the script, spent six years trying to raise over 500,000 euros in financing.

    {mosimage}His first step was betting of all his property in the name of the film, an action judged to be daring and foolish. "May be I was mad but I relied on friends and on the Lord!" Karamfilov said. "I tried to figure out what would I loose if I don't make the film? The answer was: I would loose my desire for creativity and this is more than loosing something material. My dream to make the film was too strong to admit it would not happen."

    The title is based on the idiomatic expression "shmenti capelli" characterizing actions of people who like to shuffle and bamboozle others with superficial commitments. Karamfilov chose it as a metaphor for people with huge economic and political power. The funny comedy incorporates a tragic story in which Karamfilov plays two roles: the Big Guy and the Little Guy. Big is tied to the Mafia and the Secret services. Little is an unemployed teacher, squeezed and crushed by the system, which stops his heating and electricity, has his home emptied by a bailiff, and uses him as a tool in a game.

    True to his style, on 4 October 2011, Karamfilov organized the premiere of the film in the largest sports hall in Sofia and attracted over 6,000 people. During the first three days of the commercial distribution 13,007 people saw Shmenti Capelli earning €50,000 at the box office.

    Ivan Mitov who directed the film is known for his work as an assistant director on more than 30 American feature films shot in Bulgaria. Before Shmenti Capelli he directed Good Neighbour and Cold Fusion.

    Karamfilov's next dream is to make a TV series of the same name, once again giving it his full commitment.

    Production credits:

    Script: Vladislav Karamfilov-Vargala

    Director: Ivan Mitov

    DoP: Kiril Valchanov, Slavyan Stoychev, Kaloyan Nedelchev

    Music: Anton Chalov a.k.a Toni Klechkata,

    Cast: Vladislav Karamfilov-Vargala, Hristo Shopov, Zahari Baharov, Kiril Efremov, Stefan Shterev, Malin Krastev, Avgust Popov, Vladislav Dimitrov, Kitodar Todorov, Johnny Penkov, Jacky Stoev, Konstantin, Plamen Peev


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