The Cultural Cosmos project aims to put Plovdiv back on the cinema map
by Stefan Dobroiu
- A group of young artists is preparing a cultural project for Bulgaria's second-largest city
Although bigger than Varna, Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second-biggest city (with 340,000 inhabitants in 2015), is a long way from beating the Black Sea town in terms of cultural events. The town's only film event was a documentary festival organised by the country's National Film Center, but it was cancelled for this year. Fortunately, there are alternatives: Cultural Cosmos, an initiative started by a group of young artists from Plovdiv, may put the city back on the cinema map in 2019.
Besides events concerning architecture and theatre, the Cultural Cosmos project plans to re-open the town's now-derelict Kosmos cinema and to make it into the headquarters of diverse film-related initiatives, from a film academy for teenagers to the Plovdiv International Film Festival and Kultivizator, a media outlet that will explore all of the cultural aspects of the city. The initiatives are considered to be of paramount importance by the group, as Plovdiv will be European Capital of Culture in 2019.
Filmmaker Dimitar Kutmanov, one of the project's founders and the winner of the Best Short Film Award at last year's Golden Rose Film Festival with his short Ecce Homo, tells Cineuropa, “Culture and art are of fundamental importance for the identity of every society, and I do believe that Cultural Cosmos will give the people of Plovdiv the opportunity to get to know themselves better and will thus bring them closer to each other.”
Kutmanov says that the group is ready to submit the project to the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation, the organisation in charge of selecting the initiatives for the extensive cultural events programmed for 2019. Simultaneously, the group is in negotiations with the Plovdiv authorities for the funds necessary to renovate the cinema and re-open it to the public. A green light for the project may be received by mid-2017.