LISTEN – Radio Free Europe and the bulgarian story

I worked on the documentary LISTEN for almost four (4) years. It was my very deep and personal encounter with the story of Radio Free Europe – the long period  before I entered the radio myself as a journalist in 1995 (I worked there till 2003).


The film tells the forgotten story of one of the most dangerous enemies of communist Bulgaria – the US funded Radio Free Europe.
The first 20 years of Radio Free Europe are funded by CIA and this story, although it ended 1971, overshadows the radio for years after that.

For the Bulgarian State Security the radio remains the biggest enemy of comunist Bulgaria till 1989.

Why was Radio Free Europe so dangerous and why did it become a legend for several generations?

LISTEN presents different stories – personal recollections of RFE journalists and listeners, Bulgarian State Security Operatives, Agents and US Security Directors. The film also features for the first time Bulgarian State Security Film Archives, as well as archives of the official Bulgarian and US propaganda . The result is a new and unexpected picture of a volatile Bulgaria before the fall of Communism in 1989.

I worked on that project with a wonderful team: the camerawoman and editor Svetla Neykova, composer Peter Dundakov, sound master Ivan Andreev, producer Albena Kovatcheva.

Special thanks to the people who shared their stories in the film: Lidia Stefanova, Vania Zhekova, Neri Terzieva, Richard Cummings, Vladimir Kostov, Atanas Kremenliev, Boncho Assenov.

The film was awarded with the Director Award for Debut at the Golden Rython Documentary Film Festival in Plovdiv in December 2014.

The film was shown on many international festivals, among them  DOKUFEST Prisren 2015, CinEast Luxembourg 2015, SOINDEPENDENT Film Festival New York 2015, BULDOC BERLIN 2015, Behind the Curtain Film Festival Birmingham 2016.

In Germany the film had special screenings at the Filmmuseum Potsdam and Brotfabrik Berlin as part of the Bulgarian Film days 2005, Amerika Haus and Werkstattkino  in Munich, Filmclub 813 in Cologne, Giessen University ect, Bulgarian Filmdays Münster 2017 act.

2016 LISTEN gave the inspiration for a special film program VOICES UNLOCKED  for students in Bulgaria, organized by Goethe Institute, Sofia and was screened to young people in Montana, Vidin, Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv, Sofia.

More actual news around the film at the LISTEN website.

Watch trailer on Vimeo.

Watch the full movie on Vimeo.