SOFIA: The first part of the 25th anniversary of the Sofia International Film Fest took part mostly online in March 2021, while the second part started in a physical format on 14 September 2021. Festival director Stefan Kitanov hopes the celebration will be a feast of cinema with numerous new films and prestigious guests.

SOFIA: The Bulgarian National Film Centre (BNFC) has announced it will launch calls for funding which have been stalled since the beginning of the year. Calls for all types of films, distribution and exhibition support are rescheduled for October 2021. The decisions for the grants are expected before the end of 2021.

SOFIA: The acclaimed documentary director Tonislav Hristov completed the Helsinki shooting of his fiction debut The Good Driver on 6 August 2021. The film is a coproduction between Finland’s Making Movies Oy and Bulgaria’s Soul Food, and was supported by Eurimages.

SOFIA: Kamen Balkanski, Head of Creative Europe’s Media office – Bulgaria since 2004, has been appointed Acting Director of the Bulgarian National Film Center. He is replacing Jana Karaivanova, forced to resign prematurely in pursuance of an official order issued on 17 June 2021 by the Caretaker Minister of Culture Velislav Minekov.

SOFIA: The Caretaker Bulgarian Minister of Culture Velislav Minekov dismissed Jana Karaivanova from her post of executive director of the Bulgarian National Film Center on 17 June 2021. The name of the new executive director has not been announced yet.

SOFIA: The entertaining low budget musical comedy The Naked Truth about Zhiguli Band directed by Victor Bojinov has had a record number of 113,059 admissions and over 500,000 EUR gross since its theatrical release on 16 April 2021. Despite the reduced capacity of cinemas, the film has entered the Bulgarian Top 5 for the last 30 years.

SOFIA: The acclaimed Bulgarian filmmaker Stephan Komandarev is preparing his sixth feature film Hello, on low-income retirees in Bulgaria’s provinces. The project is so far a Bulgarian/German coproduction between Argo Film and 42 film, with the financial participation of Serbia’s EED productions.

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.