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.

SOFIA: Twelve debut and sophomore films have been selected for the international competition of the 24th Sofia International Film Fest. The festival will run in Sofia from 12 to 22 March 2020 and in the biggest Bulgarian towns till 31 March 2020.

SOFIA: The 17th edition of the Sofia Meetings coproduction market, set to take place from 18 to 22 March 2020 within the 24th Sofia International Film Festival, will host 38 projects of first, second and third films.

SOFIA: Public support for film was finally unlocked in 2019 and the Bulgarian National Film Center resumed its regular activities. This became possible after the harmonisation of the Film Industry Act with the Communication on State Aid for Films and Other Audiovisual Works (2013/C 332/01), the Commission Regulation No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 and the Commission Regulation No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013. Most of the nearly 90 agreements signed between the national institution and producers with closed budgets by the end of 2018 started to take effect and a considerable number of films were shot.

SOFIA: The Bulgarian National Film Center allotted 1,987,397 EUR / 3,887,000 BGN at its second session in 2019. Nine fiction films, including two with higher budgets, three with lower budgets, one debut feature and three short films, will receive production funding. Six minority coproductions will be supported with 459,906 EUR / 899,500 BGN.

SOFIA: Jacqueline Wagenstein, working at Colibri Publishers since 2005 and founder of the International Book&Movie Festival CineLibri, spoke with FNE about its unique content and latest successes. The festival, which is focused on book adaptations, is running simultaneously in Sofia and several big Bulgarian cities from 5 to 20 October 2019.

VARNA: Kristina Grozeva’s and Petar Valchanov’s The Father won the Golden Rose award of the 37th Golden Rose National Film Festival (28 September - 4 October 2018). The film also received the Danny Lerner Award offered by Nu Boyana, including services equal to the amount of 50,000 EUR along with 5,000 EUR in cash for the development of the director’s next feature project. Grozeva, Valchanov and their co-scriptwriter Decho Taralezhkov also received the best script award, and Ivan Barnev and Ivan Savov received best actor awards for the same film. The Father won the Grand Prix at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival earlier this year.