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Kaval Park. To Bulgaria with love…

2017.02.08 Няма коментари
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To Bulgaria with love… (Alexander Iliev Eppler)



Ever since spending 8 unbelievable years immersed in authentic 1970’s Bulgaria, maestro Alexander Eppler’s dream has been to craft kavals and play music for a living. A dream he has yet to see come true despite his superb world-renowned craftsmanship and musical talent. Recent health issues further complicate an already hard-fought struggle. Will this be his last chance? (“Kaval Park” will be accompanied by a one of a kind instructional video on how to make the breathtaking instrument – kaval.)


With a week left in the campaign “Kaval Park” received a very generous gift from the members of Seattle Cheta. 40 folk dancers and their families contributed to claim the Dromeno Concert perk at 2K raising our total to over $4,375. As of February 2nd only $1,625 is left to meet our goal over the next 6 days.

(Because IndieGoGo cant’s take donations from 40 people for one perk, the grand total at the top right corner doesn’t reflect the total number of $4,375)

“Kaval Park” – Bulgarian folk project, a first of its kind cinematic documentary where the making of a musical instrument is thoroughly documented, the craftsmanship and trade secrets to be revealed, preserved and passed down for generations to come!



Kaval Park is a unique new documentary film by Bogdan Darev – the director of “This Baba.” This one of a kind documentary film follows virtuoso Alexander Eppler as he recounts his life-changing experience studying and living in Bulgaria during the 1970s. This authentic documentary film will be accompanied by a defining second film – a detailed instructional film on how to make an Eppler style kaval (Bulgarian shepherd’s flute.) Hence, preserving and honoring the ancient art of kaval making Alexander Eppler learned first-hand in authentic Bulgaria.

As the incredible journey of making of a kaval is documented, Alexander Eppler and friends tell us his unbelievable story about living in Bulgaria. It was there that Alexander fell in love with Bulgarian music, the generous Bulgarian people and the breathtaking sound of the kaval. His teachers were some of the great kaval players in Bulgaria at the time – Dragan Karapchanski and Nikola Ganchev.

He is the first American born citizen to study in the Bulgarian State Conservatory, played in ensembles, weddings which, in his own words, lasted for days and required otherworldly stamina,  and even served in the Bulgarian army.

Moreover, maestro Alexander Eppler learned the authentic craft of making kavals in the early 70s while in Bulgaria, watching renowned Thracian kaval maker, Slavi Ivanov (Tonev) and others work their magic.

Today, in the distant 2017, maestro Alexander Eppler yearns to pass on this ancient knowledge for the generations to come.


As a Bulgarian emigrant of 22 years who is still very connected to his heritage, gifted producer/director Bogdan Darev recognizes the role of this film in preserving Bulgaria’s rich cultural heritage. “Kaval Park” and the one of a kind accompanying kaval making instructional video are not only about and for Bulgarians, but an important document of authenticity for all cultures to recognize a part of themselves in. With his last documentary “This Baba” Bogdan Darev proved that a documentary journey can also be a cinematic one, a visual poem full of music, emotion and stories for audiences across all ages and cultures to connect to.

Bogdan Darev works actively in the film industry and has most recently enjoyed  a string of success with several music videos.

Enjoy the “This Baba” trailer here and learn more about Bogdan at www.bogdandarev.com

“This photo was taken two years ago when Alexander, also a wonderful gaida player, played for yet another Bulgarian gathering in Seattle. What always strikes me about this photo is the gesture of his hand reaching forward. It is the gesture of a gentle spirit who knows the future lies in our children. This gesture communicates the same grace with which he plays the kaval!” ~ Bogdan Darev

The realization of “Kaval Park” is made possible by the support of Kalin Kroumov and Bulgarian Education and Culture Society PCHELA.

With a mission to preserve and share Bulgarian traditions and cultural heritage, PCHELA is offering a nonprofit umbrella to help see this project come to life. This means that your donation is a 100% tax-deductible!  


  • The filmmaker is donating his entire time and resources at this stage to jump-start this project.
  • 82% will be paid to Alexander Eppler for interviews, b-roll filming and the documenting of the crafting of the kaval. Sadly, Alexander has had major health issues in the past few years and is in no position to donate his time. 62% of the money raised will be used to pay medical bills, mortgage &  living expenses for a month. The other 20% to buy the materials for the kaval.
  • 18% will go to paying a filmmaker in Bulgaria for interviews and b-roll footage, production of the DVDs and marketing costs associated with this fundraiser.
  • Please give generously. For anyone that knows how expensive films are to make, the time and work that goes in such a project usually requires a budget well above the modest sum we are asking for. The fact that we are able to even begin making this unique and important film is a small miracle in itself. In the event that the fundraiser raises more than the set goal, the extra donations will be used for subtitles, to compensate the filmmaker and additional support for Alexander Eppler.

Once the minimum amount of $6,000 is raised principal photography will start documenting Alexander Eppler crafting the kaval, interviewing him and friends. The film will be edited for a May, 2017 release if the funds are secured by February 1st, 2017.


Please take a look at the rewards listed to your right. (Remember your donation is 100% tax-deductible.)

Our generous community has rallied around maestro Alexander Eppler to offer some incredible rewards for your support including homemade breads, photography sessions, restaurant gift certificates, massages and even several private concerts by an incredible line-up of local musicians. Some of the rewards for your support include:

Home made bread by This Baba – Penka Encheva

or a gift certificate from Matters Of Space

Photography session by Tom Tzenov in Seattle!

or a photography session by Evelina Pancheva in sunny Orange County!

Maybe a concert by Dromeno for you and 50 of your closest friends!


  • “Kaval Park” – a unique documentary film preserving an authentic piece of cultural experience and rich music history.
  • A one of a kind instructional film on how to craft an Eppler style kaval, preserving the ancient art and passing it on for generations to come. Instruction or “how to” videos on the internet are enjoying great popularity. From children learning arts and crafts to adults learning sculpting and us Bulgarians, folk dancing. Hence, the value of such an instructional video is priceless as the world continues to expand into the digital domain.

These will be released both in a physical DVD set and in a digital HD format on-line.


Producer & director Bogdan Darev is committed to seeing this project through. If the fundraiser goal is not met, the money raised will be set aside until the entire amount is secured. To ensure the completion of this project your support in SHARING this campaign and your thoughts about it is vital. In addition, Bogdan Darev is applying for grants.


Kaval Рark in Indiegogo

THANK YOU for your time and support!


Source: Indiegogo.com

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