Hollywood stars Sylvester Stallone, Salma Hayek, Jason Statham and Antonio Banderas appear in a new video promoting Bulgaria as a cinema tourism destination, a news conference in Sofia was told on October 11.
“Bulgaria is the place to be,” Sly intones in the video, which also features Adrien Brody, among others, praising the virtues of Bulgaria’s film industry and the country’s varied locations suitable for movie-making.
Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova said that the video, produced in partnership with Nu Boyana Studios and in which the stars participated free-of-charge, would be shown ahead of the presentation of Bulgaria’s candidate for the next Oscar for a foreign-language film, Stefan Komandarev’s The Judgment (Съдилището).
Angelkova, who was joined at the news conference by Yariv Lerner, the CEO of Nu Boyana Film Studios, praised Lerner for the year-long efforts in producing the video, which she said would change the way people talk about Bulgaria.
She said that the video was a very good example of a public-private partnership, because it had cost the state “not a single lev”.
The video proved the close relationship between tourism and the film industry and how many tourists are attracted to a country through cinema. The number of tourists visiting the UK had increased by 50 per cent because of the Harry Potter films, tourists visiting Thailand increased 22 per cent after The Beach, starring Leonardo di Caprio, was filmed there, and Game of Thrones had boosted Croatia as a film destination, Angelkova said.
Lerner said: “We love to shoot films in Bulgaria. When world celebrities come to a country, it is a very good advertising and a good way to popularise it”.
Angelkova said that the campaign would start in a couple of weeks and the video would be shown in all online communication portals and platforms that the Bulgarian Ministry of Tourism works with.
(Photo of the Seven Lakes of Rila: Ivelin Minkov)