Once upon a time...
The idea of creating online space for reviewing, discussing and watching short films popped up spontaneously in Yuliyan Spasov's head in the fall of 2012. In October Kinematograf was already online - with its first logo, depicting the Lumiere brothers, the inventors of the cinematograph. The machine capturing photography in motion and being able to project it afterwards.
During the next several months the first team members were recruited and the website's content was being improved.
The twisted nature of short films
Everyone in our team "hooked" one way or another to this utterly provocative form of art, able to induce immense feelings and mind boggling. We knew at some point we should look into a bigger perspective if we really want to bring these beautiful stories in the Internet universe to everyone. So we build this website carefully and keen to the details, allowing good cinematographic experience, giving every film its own space and respected tribute. We gather feedback all the time to develop the platform, following the viewers. What we decided to do is to meet the storytellers and all the people who love experiencing stories.
When Kinematograf went LIVE
We presented our project in front of a broader audience for the first time in the early 2013 in Studio 5, Sofia. This is when Kinematograf went on a whole new level of interaction with the public. Through our live events we were getting people to know what short films are and started engaging them in discussions. Soon we started performing in Plovdiv, in "The Spot of Rorschach" club, following the same pattern of cozy environment, amazing stories and atmosphere, inspiring thought and self-expression. Up to now we have performed more than 120 events in Sofia, Plovdiv and Blagoevgrad with about 7 200 guests in total.
Coherence between the website and the events was a key part to the bigger picture we were trying to figure out - how short cinema works and how to spread it? More and more young filmmakers were attending our events and asking us different questions. This growing interest drove us to organizing a semi-professional seminar in the South-West "Neofit Rilski" University in Blagoevgrad. At that workshop we invited 3 directors with rich experience in short films shooting. They discussed several topics - how to fund films; why some films become popular and others do not; and the internet and the future of short films. The experience all the participants got was enriching, so we where invited by the students to continue holding such seminars.
Website renovation and media recognition section
Late 2014 is when the right moment to get more serious came. We made a redesign, leveling up on a new trendy road - more stylish and clean design. It was welcomed by the users adding up to 20% in the up trend of attracting regular audience.
As our media recognition was growing, we decided we will launch a new section of our website, dedicated to our interaction with filmmakers and journalists; to the networking and consulting service we did for directors; and to the greater extent of media openness towards short cinema that we aided.
The first school debate
We had participated in several other school debates at that time, but this was the first that we organized, being officially invited by one of the most respected high schools in our country - a symbolic and historical emblem, being the first modern secular school in Bulgaria, opened in 1835. There we presented some of the best films from our collection having then more than 1 000 films. Having diverse age groups of students, we selected films balancing fun, fine crafted stories and personages and some thought provoking profoundness.
on this page we have collected some of our media participations and mentions
The discussion went quite well and made us continue even further in this type of interaction with young people. We found out that we can inspire them to be wiser, discover more points of view in difficult situations, think critically, open up their senses to the environment.
We were later invited to two other schools in Gabrovo, where we held similar events.
The new Kinematograf website...
2016 was dedicated to research and analyzing instead of activities, as they are effective, but not easily conducted without serious funding or well planned business activity. We used this time to take a new look and one of the key things was to construct a totally new website solving the issues discovered through years of operating with and according to big data, gathered through the actions of the viewers on the website, revealing their taste and, to some extent, way of understanding films.
redesign since 2017 and we loved the yellow a lot
What we did is an even more correlated system, emphasizing and giving respect to every film as a piece of art. It is mobile friendly and follows smoothly the intuitive patterns of seeking, sorting and choosing a film to watch. On key pages, storytelling is the model of organizing content, because the website is a story itself. The content has a lot of points of interacting with other content through different criteria. This will make the website a high end in long term, perfectly organized catalogue of thousands of films up to 42 minutes, forever accessible for free without ugly ads. All we do is for the sake of love of what we do in this amazing times we live in, rich of so much to be experienced.