2014 Tribeca Film Festival Filmmaker Profile: Tonislav Hristov (Director/Co-Writer – ‘Love & Engineering’)

Is there an algorithm for love? Atanas, a Bulgarian engineer living in Finland, thinks he has an answer—he’s found a wife for himself, after all—and he wants to share his findings with some of his geeky bachelor friends. Together they carry out a series of experiments to crack the code and develop a new, scientific approach to romance. But when date conversation keeps turning to the latest PC games and heavy metal music, it’s clear that Atanas has his work cut out for him.

Directed by Tonislav Hristov, the charming and lighthearted documentary ‘Love & Engineering‘ follows Atanas and his band of eager test subjects as they research pheromones, chart brain waves, and try out “hacks” on blind dates in their quest to find love in the modern world.

Anticipating ‘Love & Engineering‘ Screening at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival we profile the film’s Director Tonislav Hristov.  The film screens as part of the World Documentary Competition on Saturday, April 19Tuesday, April 22Thursday, April 24 and Saturday, April 26, 2014 in New York City.

Find More Information & Tickets to ‘Love & Engineering’ at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival – HERE

With the growing popularity of online dating sites, which utilize their own sets of algorithms for love, ‘Love & Engineering’ appears to be entering the scene at the perfect time. How did you come to meet Atanas? What was it initially that attracted you to this particular story?
Atanas is an old friend of mine. We met for the first time a few years ago at the Bulgarian embassy party in Helsinki. Like most of my Bulgarian friends, he also was an engineer. A few years later, we met on an airplane between Sofia and Helsinki and he explained to me that my previous film (Rules of Single Life) was wrong in the way we approach women. He said, “There is a better way, and I know it… Trust me, I’m an engineer.’’

Love-and-Engineering-TFF-1What was the greatest challenge you faced during the making of ‘Love & Engineering’? What was the least stressful part of the filmmaking process for this project?
The first shooting period was the nicest, in the same day we had the lecture of Atanas and the blind dates at the restaurant (the beginning of the film). We had so much fun doing it, so instantly I knew we had something special!  The biggest challenge was the end the film, when and how to finish it. The voice over at the end came by surprise, we were having a drink with Todor and suddenly he started talking about how his life changed after the experiments we did in the film. Then we went home and only with my voice recorder I knew, that was it!

To what extent did you focus on pre-production/preparation before shooting ‘Love & Engineering’? Did you follow an outline? How much of the story came together in post-production?
Pre-Production was a long period, writing the idea and developing it, collecting the budget, involving co-producers and so on was about two years. Shooting the film was about the same period too. It was clear from the beginning what the film was about, we were pitching it to many forums so we had to answer many questions, very little in the story came in post-production. Of course during editing we had to make decisions on which stories to concentrate on, there was much happening in each of the five guys lives. Then we decided to concentrate on one story and to build the others to support it.

Love-and-Engineering-TFF-2What are your personal thoughts on Atanas Boev’s studies? Are you convinced there exists a scientific algorithm for love?
Sure, it exists 🙂

We even found it!  But it was too complicated to present it in one film.

Why do you feel the Tribeca Film Festival is the right venue for the International Premiere of ‘Love & Engineering?
The quality of the films presented at Tribeca Film Fest is very high, that is also why we are proud to have our world premiere there. I hope the audience will enjoy the film!

Director_Tonislav_HristovAbout The Filmmaker
Tonislav Hristov is a Bulgarian filmmaker, based in Finland since 2001. In 2008, he directed his first documentary film, Family Fortune, for Yle (Finnish Broadcasting Company) and Bulgarian National Television. His first feature-length documentary, Rules of Single Life, premiered in Finnish cinemas in 2011 and in Bulgarian cinemas in 2012, and won Best Documentary Award at the Sofia International Film Festival and was shown at many others.


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