The Filmmakers

DIRECTOR’S BIO           MELODY GILBERT                                  

One of the most fearless filmmakers in contemporary documentary cinema is Melody Gilbert”  ~The Documentary Channel

mel on red couch screen grab

Melody Gilbert is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker and film professor who has directed, produced, shot and edited character-driven stories for film and television for more than 25 years. Her work is noteworthy for featuring a rare intimacy with her subjects as she unearths previously hidden worlds. She works mostly solo, querying her subjects from behind the camera, giving voice to ordinary people with extraordinary stories. She has the uncanny ability to get people to open up and reveal their innermost thoughts, whether it’s the family of a child who can’t feel pain, (A Life Without Paina couple who gets married at the world’s largest shopping mall,  a former vice president of the United States (Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story) or a physically healthy person who desperately wants to become an amputee (WHOLE). She has directed, shot, produced, (and sometimes edited) six independent feature-length documentaries since 2002: Married at the Mall (2002), Whole (2003), A Life Without Pain (2005), Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness (2007) and Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story. (2008). She is the executive producer of Disconnected (2008), NUMB (2011), American Heart (2014), and she is the producer of the award-winning film The Starfish Throwers (2014), which is currently on the international film festival circuit. Most recently Melody was the co-director of the first 3D documentary made in Bulgaria Steps in the Fire. Currently Melody is in post-production as producer/writer on Women Outward Bound (2015 expected release) and as director/producer  of the “The Summer Help.”

All of Melody’s films have screened at prestigious film festivals around the world and have been broadcast in dozens of countries, including France, Germany, Finland, Australia and more. Her documentaries have also been broadcast in the U.S. on PBS and the Sundance channel and featured on Oprah, CNN, BBC, 20/20, Entertainment Tonight and Good Morning America. Articles about her films have appeared in many publications, from the New York Times to Newsweek, the Hollywood Reporter and Variety. Melody has received numerous grants and fellowships including support from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board as well as being selected as the first McKnight Foundation Artist Fellow in Filmmaking. In the past few years, there have been retrospectives of her work in Minneapolis, San Francisco and Sofia, Bulgaria.  When she’s not making documentaries, she helps students on their journey to become documentary filmmakers. She has taught courses at the University of Minnesota, College of Visual Art, Carleton College, Columbia College (Chicago), for IFP-MN and in Khyrgzstan and Romania. Melody is currently teaching documentary filmmaking and multimedia journalism at the American University in Bulgaria (see some of the films her students have made here:

Recent articles about Melody:  Profile on Inverse

Article in Bulgarian about The Summer Help on Club Z

Article on AUBG website here 

(To contact Melody, write to:

PRODUCER:  Melody Gilbert

CO-PRODUCER Martichka Bozhilova /Agitprop

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 5.21.00 PM

Producer of AGITPROP since 1999. Jurist, theologian, art manager, curator, former bar owner.  Producer of all of AGITPROP’s films including the multi-awarded Georgi and the Butterflies (Silver Wolf Award, IDFA 2004), The Mosquito Problem and other stories (World Premiere: Cannes 2007; Grierson Award, London Film Festival 2007; Grand Prize, Sunny Side of the Doc 2008), Corridor #8 (World Premiere: Berlinale 2008 – FORUM, Ecumenical Jury Award; HOTDOCS 2008 – HBO Documentary Film Emerging Artist Award), as well as See You at the Eiffel Tower which premiered at IDFA 2008 – Reflecting Images Panorama. She is one of the producers of the first BG omnibus film 15. The short fiction film Omelette produced within 15 won Honorable Mention at Sundance 2009. She is also producer of the first original Bulgarian productions for HBO, Concrete Pharaohs and Paradise Hotel. Her latest films are Rules of Single Life (Audience Award for Best Documentary at Sofia FF 2011), Dad Made Dirty Movies (World premiere: Visions du Reel 2011) and The Boy Who Was a King (World premiere: Toronto IFF 2011, The Times BFI London FF 2011, IDFA 2011). AGITPROP’s films are broadcast and have cinema release worldwide. In 2006 Martichka Bozhilova received the International Trailblazer Award, launched by Robert Redford and Sundance Channel at MIPDOC in Cannes for creativity, innovation, originality and breakthrough in the field of documentary cinema. Lecturer at various European workshops and events in the field of documentary cinema. Director of the Balkan Documentary Center (BDC) for supporting documentary filmmakers from the Balkans Ambassador of the European Documentary Network (EDN) to Bulgaria. winner of the International Trailblazer Award at MIPDOC 2006, Cannes. Martichka is co-founder and director of Balkan Documentary Center, an initiative of the team behind AGITPROP, with a focus on catalyzing the creation and distribution of critical minded documentaries and social campaigns in the Balkans.


EDITOR  Nina Altaparmakova

Nina Altaparmakova has been an editor of documentaries and fiction films since 1994. She has edited literally dozens of films, most recently the festival hit documentary “Tsvetakana” (2012), Paradise Hotel (HBO) and “Concrete Pharaohs (HBO). Nina is also a professor of editing NATFIZ (National Academy of Film and Television) in Sofia, Bulgaria.

ASSISTANT  EDITOR Hristiana Kirova

Hristiana is a freelance editor based in Sofia and recent graduate in journalism from the American University in Bulgaria.

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Dumitrita Pacicovschi
Dumitrita is the producer/programmer/curator of the AUBG International Student Short Film Festival, the associate producer of “The Summer Help” (, and the production assistant for Women Outward Bound ( ). She is also the producer of “Minka,” a documentary directed by Igor Myakotin. Dumitrita worked as a programming assistant for the 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival (2014) and as an assistant for the Balkan Survey section of the 54th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (2013) .She graduated with honors with a B.A in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Bulgaria.


Igor has directed, produced, shot and edited several short documentaries that have screened at film festivals in Europe and the U.S, including “Life Through the Lens.”  Currently he is a production assistant of “The Summer Help” ( and he is also doing some cinematography for that film. Igor worked at Bolster, a production company based in Minneapolis, shooting and editing videos for clients.  He also worked as an outreach assistant on “The Starfish Throwers” a multi-award winning documentary by Jesse Roesler, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. He graduated from American University in Bulgaria in 2015 with a B.A in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is currently attending The New School in New York City where he will graduate with a a degree in documentary studies in 2016.


Igor Myakotin

Hrisitana Kirova

Dima Vitanova


Ani Devdariani


Alexander Khambir

Sergey Zhelesko


Nikoleta Gancheva

Elena Ivanova

Geri Vishanina



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s