SOFIA: The Bulgarian director/producer Ivaylo Penchev is in the final postproduction stage of his comedy Last Call. The film was screened during the 17th Sofia Meetings’Works in Progress, held online at Festival Scope.

SOFIA: Memento Film International has picked up Kamen Kalev’s fourth feature February, one of the 56 titles from the Cannes 2020 Official selection. The French/Bulgarian coproduction between Koro Films and Waterfront Film will be launched during the forthcoming online edition of the Cannes Market, scheduled online for 22-26 June 2020. MFI also handled world wide sales of Kalev’s 2009 debut Eastern Plays (coproduced by Bulgaria’s Waterfront Film, Sweden’s Film i Väst and Norway’s The Chimney Pot).

SOFIA: Bulgarian actor/director/writer Ivailo Hristov is completing the postproduction of his newest black and white feature Fear. The film screened during the 17th Sofia Meetings’ Works in Progress held online at Festival Scope on 27 – 31 May 2020.

SOFIA: Nu Boyana Film Studios are restarting production work after a break of nearly two months due to the COVID pandemic. Bulgaria lifted most of its confinement restrictions on 13 May 2020.

SOFIA: Bulgaria’s government has announced its decision to strengthen the independent cultural sector by supporting its needs with nearly 2.5 m EUR. The eagerly awaited financial measures were announced by the Minister of Culture Boil Banov during an official press conference on 11 May 2020. The same day the Ministry of Health authorised the partial opening of smaller cinema halls, but only with a limit of 30 % of their halls' capacity.

SOFIA: Bulgaria’s Minister of Culture Boil Banov announced on 10 April 2020 a package of emergency financial measures aimed at the cultural sector. The beneficiaries of the aid include both independent artists as well as state and municipal cultural institutions. The announcement came one day after a video conference that brought together the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel and the EU Ministers of Culture.

SOFIA: The Bulgarian Parliament voted on 3 April 2020 to extend by one month the State of Emergency declared on 13 March over the coronavirus pandemic. All cultural and entertainment venues including cinema halls will remain closed during this period. In the meantime, work is in progress on the 2020 Budget Act revision.

SOFIA: Bulgaria’s government has declared a “one month state of emergency on the territory of the whole country”. It was immediately and unanimously voted by the country’s Parliament on 13 March 2020. The emergency measures include closing all cinemas and come shortly after having eased restrictions on cinema screenings only last week.

SOFIA: Restrictions imposed on Bulgarian cinemas have been eased following protests by Bulgarian Association of Cinemas. The authorities have decided to amend the initial “prohibition of cultural and public events and mass gatherings due to COVID-19” allowing theatres with less than 250 seats to sell tickets on the condition that they skip a row and a seat.

SOFIA: Following an order of Bulgaria’s Minister of Health related to the registered cases of COVID-19, the director of the Sofia Film Festival Stefan Kitanov announced that the 24th edition of the festival will not kick off on 12 March 2020 but will be postponed. The same goes for Sofia Meetings, the industry segment of the festival.