Archive of films The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories / Problemat s komarite i drugi istorii

2007, 100 min

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Year: 2007

A comic portrait of the unusual inhabitants of the Bulgarian town of Belene, who are tormented by a cloud of giant mosquitoes with painful bites, and also by the fact that the completion date for a nuclear power station which promises work for thousands of people is still light years away.


The word “zanzar” in Bulgarian means a type of giant mosquito which has a very painful bite and makes life hell for the small town of Belene. Yet, apart from the mosquitoes, it would seem that nothing is seriously troubling the inhabitants of this little place situated in northern Bulgaria close to the Danube. Perhaps only the half-built nuclear power station, whose logo may look good on the tableware of the local restaurant, but its completion date is still light years away. In this witty documentary by Andrey Paounov, who won the Silver Wolf award at the IDFA festival in Amsterdam for his previous film Georgi and the Butterflies, we come across a highly colourful mix of local inhabitants: the pianist who prides himself on a piano which remembers Lenin, a fired-up geologist, the resident Cuban who collects bits of wood in pleasing shapes, and a former warden who used to supervise the local Communist work camp. These vibrant images of everyday life for the people of Belene are cleverly interspersed with scenes of a wild boar hunt and the gamekeepers’ ensuing booze-up, and examples of the various ways in which the natives battle it out with the all-pervading mosquitoes.

About the director

Andrey Paounov studied at the National Film and Theatre Academy in Sofia, graduating in 2000. He has been a bartender in Prague, a cook in Washington DC, a gardener in Toronto or an accounting clerk in San Francisco. He has made a number of short films, including A Short Film about Yuri Gagarin (Kratki film za Yuri Gagarin, 1995), for which he received the Main Prize at the festival in Varna. He was hailed for his super-short film Lucy Tsak Tsak (2000) where, in 67 slates, he incorporated the 30-year endeavours of the film’s clapperboard heroine. His film Georgi and the Butterflies (Georgi i peperudite), screened at the Karlovy Vary IFF in 2005 in the Documentary Film Competition, came top at the IDFA festival in 2004 in the short documentary category.


Agitprop Ltd.
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Tel: +359 2 983 1411
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About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Director: Andrey Paounov
Screenplay: Lilia Topouzova, Andrey Paounov
Dir. of Photography: Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
Editor: Andrey Paounov, Orlin Rouevski
Producer: Martichka Bozhilova
Production: Agitprop Ltd.
Contact: Agitprop Ltd.


Andrey Paounov

Film Director

Martichka Bozhilova



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