Bulgaria’s National Film Center Selects Films for Grants

By Pavlina Jeleva

    {mosimage}SOFIA: Two feature films, two script development projects, nine documentaries and four animated films have been selected to receive grants from Bulgaria's National Film Center (NFC, www.nfc.bg). The grants session was the first in almost two years, affected by conditions of heavy financial restrictions. The number of projects receiving support is relatively small. The NFC received 79 applications, but has only €1,350,000 for film support.

    The Judgement by Stefan Komandarev was ranked first. After the international success of The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner, the director intends to shoot a story set between communism and contemporary times. According to him the title of the film, derived from the name of a cursed precipice, reflects the dramatic tension of any illegal cross border escape. The project was developed over the course of several workshops, including the 2010 ScripTeast (under the supervision of scriptwriter Tom Abrams).

    Konstadin Bonev's The Sinking of Sozopol, which ranked second, is a sensitive work from the director and writer Ina Valchanova. Focused on one of the most ancient and symbolic cities on the Southern Bulgarian Black sea shore, Sozopol, the script tells an unusual story of an elderly man returning to his home town with a suitcase containing only ten bottles of vodka. The Sea is presented as "a merciful god that can erase all the mistakes and bring peace to the already sunken worlds." The Sinking of Sozopol fits into Bonev's thematic search for harmony, mostly employing historical themes. The Ships are Full, 2005 and EUROPLIS: The Town of the Delta, 2009 are among his best documentaries. Warming Up Yesterday's Lunch 2002 and War Correspondent, 2008 are his first and second features. All of them received numerous international awards.

    Nine documentaries (including four debuts) and four animated films were also approved for production supports. According to the NFC regulations the amounts of the grants will be decided only after the producers supply proof that the remainder of the money needed for completion of the films is assured.