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Activities - 13/10/2011


27 Times Cinema - The Portraits- Stella Ivanova - Cineplex - Sofia - Bulgaria


Could you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and what you do?

My name is Stella and I am from Sofia, Bulgaria. I graduated in Cultural studies at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. I’m currently studying for my master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology. I’m also working for the Bulgarian National Television, for the TV-programme ”The Women” with Marta Vachkova with an incredible team. We make a morning talk show for all women.

How long have you been going to the cinema? When you were a child, did you go with your parents? Or did you go with school, as part of a special educational programme?

I have been in love with cinema since my early childhood. My parents used to show me movies at home, even before I knew how to read. I played those movies over and over again until I learned their lines by heart. One of these films was The policeman from Saint Tropez with Louis de Funès. Later when I started going to school I went to the cinema with my family. My sister used to read the subtitles for me until I learned how to read.  After a while, going to the movies turned into something like a tradition for me and my friends and a great deal of the time we spent together was dedicated to doing that.

Why do you like cinema?  Why do you prefer cinema to other media or to books, for example?

I love cinema because it influences one’s personality in many ways. The art of cinema uses and combines the power of words and images simultaneously. It’s a general misconception that the art of cinema gives much less freedom of ones imagination than books do. I have a great passion for books as well, but in a good movie a single glance or gesture might affect the level of emotions in a way that even words can’t.

Tell us what type of cinema or which kind of films you prefer? Which films are particularly important to you?
I can’t point a certain genre, because good films, I think, represent life – with all the love, sadness, beauty and ugliness in it. However, I particularly like films from the Balkans, which reveal the Balkan soul – very emotional, wandering between the unbearable grief and the burning love of weddings and funerals.

What are your 3 favorite films?

I could name a lot of them, but here are the three that are closest to my heart:
Non ti muevere / Don’t move (Italy) from Sergio Castellitto 
La vita e bella/ Life is beautiful (Italy) from Roberto Benigni
Eastern plays (Bulgaria) from Kamen Kalev

What do you think of European cinema?  What does European cinema represent for you?

I love European cinema and this might be due to the fact that I feel it much closer to my own nature. I like the depth of feelings that the European films manage to recreate. Human life is very colorful, but man himself is a whirlwind of many, sometimes completely polar emotions and that diversity and depth is specifically sensed in the European movies.

Do you feel European? Do you travel often in Europe? Have you ever lived abroad?

I definitely feel European. In terms of state structure and quality of life our country is still far from Europe, but from the perspective of culture I feel strongly connected to the European spirit. Our cities, buildings, languages and art bear the spirit of ancient culture and that brings us closer to Europe. Perhaps it is exactly that spirit that make European cinema so special and interesting to  me. I love travelling and there are thousands of places in Europe that I want to visit. Unfortunately I do not travel as much as I want and I have never lived abroad.

Which cinema are you representing at 27 Times Cinema? What do you like most about this venue?

The theatre that I represent is “Cineplex”. I started going there because it was the closest to my home, but luckily it turned out that this is not its only advantage. Externally it is well settled and with good facilities like the majority of most of the big theatres in Bulgaria, but the best thing about it is that you can see films, that are not screened elsewhere and that are mostly European films. “Cineplex” hosts various festivals dedicated to the European cinema and that definitely makes it the best cinema for me and my friends.

What are your habits as a film-goer?

I go to the cinema at least once a week and even more often when I have the chance. Movies help me get away from the everyday life and when I’m in a cinema I do not think about anything else. I love going to the movies with friends. Before a movie we usually grab something to eat and after the screening we take a walk and discuss it. My friends love movies just as I do and it is one of our favorite ways of spending time together.


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- Cineplex