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Title: Transnational Bulgarian cinema : pieces of the past, present and future
Author: Nedyalkova, Maya
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 9556
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2015
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My thesis investigates issues of sustainability and belonging surrounding the Bulgarian feature film industry. There is a limited body of scholarship on Bulgarian cinema, most of which focuses on film aesthetics and fails to account for the socio-historical and industrial context of local film creation, dissemination and consumption. My work is a continuation of Dina Iordanova’s New Bulgarian Cinema (2008) which promoted the idea of cross-Balkan creative collaborations. In contrast, I see pan-Balkan alliances as simply one part of the transnational co-operation and appropriation practices that have shaped Bulgarian film culture. I reveal that early productions like The Bulgarian Is Gallant (Vassil Gendov, 1915) and Cairn (Alexander Vazov, 1936) sought to reaffirm Bulgaria’s place in European culture and act as a business bridge between the East and the West. During Communism (1944-1989) the Bulgarian Poetic Realist movement and the detective cycle appropriated narrative and aesthetic ideas from, respectively, the Italian Neorealism and British/American spy movies, achieving sustainability not necessarily reliant on state funding. With the shift to an open market economy, I show how the notion of national cinema changed under different legislation as did the balance between state subsidy and private funding. The tension between the art-house canon and contemporary domestic audiences’ idea of Bulgarian cinema is evident in my case-studies of The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner (Stephan Komandarev, 2008), Mission London (Dimitar Mitovski, 2010) and (Ilian Djevelekov, 2011). The emergence of the Sofia International Film Festival, digital distribution and piracy further redefined the cinema experience in Bulgaria. The case of Bulgaria illustrates the complexities of describing a small national cinema in an environment of legislative and economic inconsistency. It exposes the need for overcoming stereotypes when examining Eastern Europe and questions the existence of singular definitions when it comes to European film culture.
Supervisor: Mazdon, Lucy ; Keenan, Sally Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available