SOFIA: The Italian actress Monica Bellucci has just joined the crew of Martin Campbell’s Memory, produced by Black Bear Pictures, which is currently being shot in Bulgaria. She will star next to Liam Neeson, who first arrived in the country in mid-April 2021. The action thriller based on the 2003 Dutch film The Memory of a Killer also stars Guy Pearce, Harold Torres, Taj Atwal and Ray Fearon.

SOFIA: Velislav Minekov, a professor at the National Academy of Art, was appointed the Caretaker Minister of Culture on 12 May 2021. Known as a civic and political activist he was invited by Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev to join his Cabinet, which will rule the country until the next early Parliamentary elections on 11 July 2021.

SOFIA: The political journalist and international correspondent for the Bulgarian National Television, Sevda Shishmanova is developing her first feature film Remains of Life. This so far Bulgarian/German coproduction is inspired by the terrorist attack in Burgas in 2012 and it is produced by Red Carpet.

SOFIA: Bulgarian director Ilian Djevelekov is in final postproduction with his six-part TV series The Portal, backed by the Bulgarian National Television, with Miramar film serving as executive producer.

SOFIA: Bulgaria’s major annual film festival Cinemania, which was postponed several times because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is finally taking place 8 – 22 April 2021 in cinemas at 30% of their capacity.

SOFIA: Bulgaria's Ministry of Health has allowed the re-opening of cinemas on 1 April 2021, together with theatres, museums, galleries, libraries and circus performances, but only at 30% of their capacity.

SOFIA: The US company Film Movement snapped up North American rights from sales company Films2C to Ivaylo Hristov’s black and white drama Fear, produced by Pro Film. The story follows the revolt and the opposition of a jobless teacher towards her fellow villagers, who deny her relationship with a black refugee.

SOFIA: The 18th edition of Sofia Meetings, which took place online 17- 24 March 2021, announced nine of its twelve awards during an online awards ceremony, while the remaining three will be announced later during the year. Pavle Vuckovic‘s Frost, produced by Plan 9, about a female detective investigating a criminal case in an unusual region, won the Ten Dots Film & TV Virtual Production Studio award of services equal to the amount of 10,000 EUR.

SOFIA: The 18th edition of the Sofia Meetings coproduction market, taking place online till 24 March 2021, included TV series projects for the first time. Eight projects were presented, three from Bulgaria, two from the Czech Republic, two from Cyprus and one from Serbia. Four of the projects were selected in partnership with Midpoint TV Launch, two with the French TV industry event Series Series, and two projects applied directly.

SOFIA: Iuli Gerbase’s science fiction debut The Pink Cloud (Prana Filmes) won the Sofia City of Film Grand Prix in the international competition of the 25th Anniversary Sofia IFF, with a prize of 7,000 EUR offered by the Sofia Municipality. The official ceremony took place at the National Palace of Culture on 20 March 2021, a day before the ten day closing of cinemas that starts on 22 March 2021.