GRANTS: Bulgarian National Film Center Announces Partial 2021 Grants


    SOFIA: The Bulgarian National Film Center has approved funding for feature, documentary and animated productions since the end of November 2021. The specific amounts for each project will be determined after the approval of the Finance Committee of the BNFC.

    Due to the short technological deadlines and the complex regulatory framework imposed by the amended Film Industry Act (July 2021), the Bulgarian National Film Center scheduled the calls for all types of films in unusually shortened time cuts. At the end of November and during the first half of December 2021 the selection committees approved nine fiction, two documentary and three animated minority coproductions, along with twelve more documentaries and four animated films.

    Despite plans to announce the results for all calls before the end of 2021, that has not been achieved. Therefore, the Selection committee for all feature film formats will have until 6 January 2022 to review the more than 100 applying projects.

    The exceptional race against time was caused by the fact that the mandatory notification of the new state aid schemes (25% cash rebate for foreign film productions and TV series) by the European Union came only in September 2021. The BNFC was then allowed to restart its activities, which had been suspended since 1 January 2021.

    In less than four months, the BNFC also had to assure the legal preservation of an additional amount of 9 m EUR provided by the government during the last quarter of 2021 in accordance with the amended law. On 17 November 2021, Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers decided that this amount will be kept in a special bank account and will be allotted in addition to the future core budget of the National Film Center, provided in the forecasts for 2022.

    According to Kamen Balkanski, Acting director of the BNFC: “The decision was made thanks to the cooperation between the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Finance, and the National Film Center itself. This is the first such act and shows the state's support for the efforts of the national institution to restart the financing of the film industry and to overcome the problems accumulated during the recent years.”

    The national aid expected in 2022 is approximately 20 m EUR.