The Bulgarian Ministry of Culture has denied allegations by the head of the National Film Council of Bulgaria that it intends to cut film funding in 2009 by nearly 59%.
But the National Film Council (NFC) and a number of Bulgarian filmmakers still fear that funding cuts after obtaining a document earlier this month that indicates funding cuts are planned. The NFC is slated to discuss the funding issue at its meeting in Sofia on 1 April according to NFC Chairman Georgi Cholakov.
Following the publication of an article in FNE the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture has provided FNE with an official statement of its position which FNE publishes in full below:
From the Press Office of the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture:
"Regarding your article „Bulgarian Film Industry Faces Threat of Major Funding Cuts" (http://www.filmneweurope.com/), published on March 17 2009 on the site http://www.filmneweurope.com/, in which you refer to a conversation with Georgi Cholakov, the Press Centre of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria is authorized to make the following statement:
The information about some major funding cuts of the Bulgarian film industry's 2009 budget is definitely very far from the truth.
For the first time, with the voting of the State Budget the Parliament approved the amount of BGN 16 mln., which, according to the Film Industry Act, is an undisputable engagement of the State till the end of 2009.
In the 2009 budget of the Ministry of Culture BGN 16 mln. are allocated to the Film Industry. With a Decree of the Council of Ministers 10% (BGN 1.6 mln.) of that amount is retained for the second half of 2009 as a buffer measure against the possible impact of the World Economic Depression.
BGN 7 700 000 are provided for the first session of the Film Industry and the remaining 6 700 000 - for the second session till late September - early October and the second half of 2009.
The first competition sessions of the Film Industry have already been published on the site of the National Film Centre (http://www.filmneweurope.com/).
According to the Film Industry Act, 7 feature films, 14 documentary films and 140 minutes of animation must be produced with the 2009 Film Industry budget."
Press Center of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria