SOFIA: The Bulgarian Parliament has put film tax incentives on hold indefinitely, following the veto of the Investment Encouragement Act by President Rosen Plevneliev.
The proposal for film incentives was not introduced, after heated discussion on the topic.
A lack of guarantees for financing the incentives, including a proposed return of 15 percent of the costs incurred within Bulgaria, was the primary reason the proposal did not go forward. The likely annual cost to the country’s budget was estimated at a minimum of 20 m EUR.
Prior to the discussion, the Ministry of Culture declared that this financing was not projected in its budget. Furthermore, it was unable to even meet the financial provisions of the Film Industry Act. The Ministry of Finance did not confirm that the funding necessary for film incentives would be assured in the near future.
The reactions of the film community to yet another postponement of film incentives have been wide-ranging. Some noted actors and directors have defended financial encouragement for foreign film production as “highly needed.” David Varod, CEO of Sofia’s Nu Boyana film studio said tax incentives would only expand investments into the film industry in Bulgaria. Some others, most of them members of the National Film Council, an advisory body of the Bulgarian National Film Center and the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers insist that the government assure the full financing for national cinema, which in 2013 is expected to be at least 25 percent less than the amount required by law.