This article focuses on issues of representation and belonging, in an attempt to uncover how popular cinema in Bulgaria caters to national sensitivities while at the same time making the link with the global film industries. The Bulgarian popular feature Love.net (Ilian Djevelekov, 2011) is an example of the shift towards treating filmmaking in Bulgaria as a business as much as a cultural venture. It emerged as part of broader European trends, which put an emphasis on film development, marketing and stars, with the aim to counter Hollywood’s dominant market position. Love.net focuses on the role of the Internet as facilitating love, relations and communication in the contemporary world. On a textual level, and similarly to Love Actually (Richard Curtis, 2003), it explores the six degrees of separation theory, implicitly advocating for a world of interconnectedness. Contextually, Love.net created a sense of virtual belonging among the local online community, allowing them to participate in the film’s development and engage with its interactive marketing. Transnational stars provided a further point of contact and involvement. Through its mixed cast featuring home-grown and locally popular foreign actors, Love.net both channelled and challenged Hollywood, positioning European cinema as similar in glamour and attraction but different in identity.
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School of Arts
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-08-16