"Liuben": Venci Kostov's Bold Debut of Bulgaria's First Queer Film in Dutch Cinemas

News - 25 March 2024
Venci Kostov is making a triumphant return with his third feature film, "Liuben," which is making its debut in Dutch cinemas. This groundbreaking film proudly holds the title of Bulgaria's first queer film, marking a significant milestone in the country's film industry. Despite this achievement, it also serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges and barriers faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in Bulgaria and beyond.

nnThe story of "Liuben" unfolds in a remote Bulgarian mountain village, where deep-seated prejudices and traditions shape the community's dynamics. The film follows the summer romance between two young men from vastly different backgrounds. Victor, a successful twenty-seven-year-old living in Madrid with his partner Jose, returns to his hometown in Bulgaria for his grandfather's funeral.

What was intended to be a brief visit turns into a life-changing experience as Victor decides to stay in the village for the summer.nnAs Victor reacquaints himself with his father and the village's way of life, he unexpectedly finds himself falling for Liuben, an eighteen-year-old Roma boy. Despite the societal norms and conflicts that threaten to tear them apart, Victor and Liuben find solace and companionship in each other's arms.

The film explores themes of love, acceptance, and the power of human connection in the face of adversity.nnThe trailer for "Liuben" offers a glimpse into a visually stunning drama that captures the beauty of the Bulgarian landscape. From sun-drenched scenes of idyllic countryside to moments of emotional intensity, the film promises a cinematic experience that is both captivating and thought-provoking.

Audiences in Dutch cinemas can experience the magic of "Liuben" starting March 28th.nnWith its bold narrative and heartfelt performances, "Liuben" challenges traditional norms and shines a light on the LGBTQ+ community in Bulgaria. The film serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of representation and inclusivity in cinema, as well as in society at large.

By telling a story that is both universal and deeply personal, "Liuben" invites audiences to empathize with its characters and reflect on the complexities of human relationships.nnThrough the character of Victor and Liuben, "Liuben" explores the intersections of sexuality, ethnicity, and identity in a country where such topics are often taboo. By centering the love story between two men from different backgrounds, the film celebrates diversity and emphasizes the common humanity that unites us all.

"Liuben" is a powerful testament to the resilience and strength of individuals who dare to defy societal norms and follow their hearts.nnAs the first queer film from Bulgaria to reach Dutch cinemas, "Liuben" paves the way for more diverse and inclusive storytelling in the film industry. It serves as a beacon of hope for LGBTQ+ individuals in Bulgaria and beyond, reminding them that their stories are valid and deserving of recognition.

By amplifying marginalized voices and shedding light on untold narratives, "Liuben" challenges audiences to confront their own biases and preconceptions.nnIn conclusion, "Liuben" is a groundbreaking film that defies conventions and breaks barriers in its portrayal of love and acceptance. Through its captivating storytelling and compelling performances, the film invites audiences to explore themes of identity, diversity, and the universal quest for connection.

By shining a light on the LGBTQ+ experience in Bulgaria, "Liuben" sparks important conversations and fosters greater understanding and empathy. Don't miss your chance to witness this cinematic gem when it hits Dutch cinemas on March 28th.