Avram Moisei Pinkas as a vice director on the trail shooting and the actor Dimitar Bochev

I (on the right) as a vice director on the trail shooting and the actor Dimitar Bochev. The picture was taken in Sofia, in 1967.

It happened that Vili Tsankov [famous Bulgarian stage director; at that time director of the Burgas Theater] let me join the Burgas Theater company, where my friend Leon Daniel was the stage director. Leon had assigned me a nice role in 'The Death of Sisyphus', but I came late from Israel where I had gone to visit my mother and brothers. My mother, sister and one of my brothers moved to live there in 1948. In 1949 my eldest brother (who was married and had a child) emigrated there together with my younger brother who was studying here mechanical engineering. He continued his education in Israel. 

I visited Israel for the first time in 1959. We were let to go, but my daughter, Adriana Pinkas, had to stay here with her grandmother. She was born in 1958. It was a hard year for my wife - she was pregnant - but she did her state exams. My wife and I stayed in Israel for a month and a half. She had to meet my mother, my brothers and relatives. We visited Israel once more in 1990.    

So, I came late because of my visit to Israel and Leon Daniel had given the part to Leda Tasseva [a famous Bulgarian actress], and I almost didn't play this season. But at the end of it the theater had some problems on ideological reasons and 16 of the actors were hired by other theaters. Nobody took me, though. So one evening we were out to a restaurant in Burgas with the cinema director Nikola Korabov and I asked him: 'Why don't you take me in the cinema?' He said they really needed assistant directors, but the candidates were asked to pass a test. I asked him if he could help me with the preparation for the test, he said 'yes' and did his best after that. I applied for the position and passed the test. I asked the commission to write me a certificate that I had passed the test - and I brought it to Karalambov, the newly appointed director of the Burgas Theater. I needed to show it to him, because as a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party, they were not allowed to let me leave the theater. But the new position was an open one and the test I had passed was a reason enough to let me go.   

Well, I had my leave and I stayed in Sofia for four or so months when I was in the variety show until Sharleto [the cinema director Lyubomir Sharlandjiev] invited me as an assistant director for his first film 'Chronicles of the Feelings'. So I worked there for five months and after that I found myself jobless again. After that I was an assistant to the director Georgi Alurkov. Then I got a permanent job with the film center as an assistant director. The Piskov family [cinema directors Irina Aktasheva and Hristo Piskov] invited me as a second director for 'Monday Morning'. After that I became a man of age - over 40 years - and I said to myself: is the assistant director's job something I would like to do - to co-ordinate actors, to find people, to organize mass scenes. No, it wasn't for me. So I started searching for topics for shorts and popular science films. And I found my place in the Sofia Studio for Popular Science Films where I worked until retirement. I worked there although one of the directors there, Chukovski, was a kind of an anti-Semite. I made between 20 and 30 films and I retired in 1987.     

Photos from this interviewee