Bulgaria doubles public money for film


    The Bulgarian National Film Council, working with the National Film Center and the Ministry of Culture, will more than double support for films in 2009, increasing from 3.5 million to 8 million euros.

    The National Film Center will support four first feature films with amounts not exceeding 300,000 euros. The aim of the increased funding is to increase production of Bulgarian feature films to ten films annually, compared to recent output of three or four films per year

    Another important change is the provision of 100,000 euro for ten debut short films by very young directors. Development support is to be increased as well. Twelve projects will be supported with up to 12,500 euro each. In addition, six co-productions with minor Bulgarian participation will receive financing. The goal of this portion of the financing is to make Bulgaria, with its relatively low costs and the high professional level of the crews, more attractive to foreign co-production partners.

    "Up to now things are very encouraging," said Georgy Cholakov, president of the Film Council and president of the Film Producers' Association, "but there is still a lot to do. We must set up a real film fund and improve the regulations of the TV operators for their participation in the film production. The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) must be respected in a strict way. Only the full synchronization of the national audiovisual legislation with the European one can assure the further growth of the Bulgarian film industry."