Kinematograf

a short films platform with website, events and initiatives, the first one in Bulgaria

www.kinematograf.bg
120+
live events
600+
short films online
14
debates with students & seminars
300+
mentions on TV, radio, online
35
presented bulgarian directors
150k
unique viewers since start
position founder & CEO
i did design, web development, short films curating, interviews hosting, copy writing, team & event management, pr
project started in January 2013
thanks to Kalin Dimitrov, Yordan Agov, Angel Ivanov, Ivaylo Donchev, Mihaela Alexandrova, Alexander Dobrev, Diana Dimitrova, Yancho Mihailov, Boryana Raycheva, Atanaska Cholakova, Nicola Jordanov, Alexander Daniel, Elena Rapondzhiiska, Kaloyan Lulchev, Margarita Kostova, Vader Akbarhan, Stefan Dobrev, Irina Kitova, Konstantin Mravov, Anna Dimitrova & Gabriella Vasileva

This is the biggest thing I have ever done. For almost 3 years, me and my team managed to construct a new, refreshed vision to the short cinema in Bulgaria. People who didn't knew it exists started to watch it regularly and to keep them informed about the news around it. When we started, theatre, Hollywood block busters, events at galleries, sports and some performances had traditionally good media coverage, meanwhile the short cinema was totally out of the public space. Nor the directors, nor the producers, nor the film schools were motivated to find the right PR language, which will bring the big audience to the short film screens. Because of that, most of the Bulgarians don't have a good perception what a short film actually is. This was the biggest challenge for us - to motivate people to give it a shot. Most of those who did, continued and slightly short cinema became one of their everyday entertainment channels. How we did it?

Well, by firstly creating a place where you can watch easily short films - kinematograf.bg. Now it has more than 620 short films from 53 countries. A considerable percent of these films are festival winners or nominations, social media block busters and films with amazing cinematography. More than 250 of them are subtitled in Bulgarian.

The second level of our work was the contextual content - interviews with cinematographers and useful articles for both directors and audience. The website speaks to both groups - those who create, and those who "consume" short films.

The third big step were the events. Hour and a half LIVE editions in cozy piano bars, where we projected films, talked with filmmakers at stage and gathered information from the audience, trying to analyze their reactions, taste and expectation. This information, mixed with the statistics from our website, gave us a bigger picture about the short films and the people.

Our fourth step? Students. We targeted schools and universities by gathering youngsters (and often professors) at discussion clubs. We choose a topic and watch several films around the same topic but by different points of view. This effect had astonishing impact over the people - the discussions were really profound, intense and emerging these points of new into new ones. We discovered that an this type of interaction could have a huge effect over young people by giving them new perspectives and motivating them to develop critical thinking toward everything. Conclusion?! Short films are not only entertainment media, they also educate and motivate to self development.

The fifth significant step was the "new way" communication with media. We made the short cinema attractive to journalists. Because of us, more than 35 Bulgarian young filmmakers talked at radio stations and TV shows on the big national broadcasters, promoting their films. We created a steady flow of short film information among the medias, which continues even now, when our activity is diminished.

Why? More than 3 years of regular content creation process, several events every month in both Sofia and Plovdiv and every day communication with media and film directors. Until now, Kinematograf is a zero budget project based on our enthusiasm only. Because of some mistakes, typical for most explosive startups, lack of experience among the team members and the market conditions in Bulgarian cinema, at some point we had to stop, to distance a little bit and rethink it afterwards. Right now we are just one step before restart in this process. We learned a lot. I learned a lot. I had time to see the Big picture without the everyday to-do's and realize all its weaknesses. I believe that short cinema has a big future and I know what to do, to make it reaching more people.

This brings us to the last question - why am I so passionate about it? Why exactly short cinema? Because it's amazing. We all know what a mighty power cinema is. Don't forget that cinema was one of the most powerful constructors of world reality perception among people. That power today is left in the hands of two main groups of people - the rich producers and the state regulated funding of films. USA produces films via Hollywood, and the state funding is most typical for Europe and some others countries. The problem is that state funded films have not this power to go to the cinema chains like Hollywood, which takes 90% of the total screening time. Why is that important? Because big corporations don't make cinema, they make block busters with the goal to earn more and more. This is the reason of the ideas corrosion we observe for more than 10 years and relaunching same well known plots as Star Wars, Batman, Godzilla etc. Meanwhile state funded films are rich in ideas, but limited in audience and media coverage. They are mostly watched at one time events like festivals.

Considering this big picture, a third power is emerging but yet at an early stage - Internet film makers. This is the biggest stage right now for short cinema. Short films are not included in the big film market, that's why most of the productions are made with zero or low budget. You can imagine how motivated in his idea and passionate is a student with regular income, to get himself in the film making centrifuge. That's why short cinema is diverse and has things to show, which you can't watch anywhere else. Money are not an end goal. Short films often have amazing messages toward people and with good cinematography, it makes them alive. In a world of uncertainty, threatened values and everyday risk of war, it makes it more and more important to inspire people to be good and more critical. This is a cause, which I'll protect and develop for a brighter future.