Bulgarian film funding faces drastic cuts

By Pavlina Jeleva
    Following initially promising discussions during the summer, the new administration of the Ministry of Culture will need to cut film funding in 2010.

    According to the acting film law by the 2010 the national subsidy should be €9,744,000, but only €4,154,000 will be transferred to the Bulgarian National Film Center. In 2009, the approved budget was € 8,205,000, but only € 6 million will be given to film production, distribution and promotion.

    The Bulgarian film community has been fighting for the complete funding. The Union of the Bulgarian Film Makers addressed an "Open letter" to the government. European advocacy came from the FERA president István Szabó, who expressed his support of Bulgarian film makers: "It has now been brought to our attention that the Bulgarian government plans to cut the Film Fund by 57%. The Federation of European Film Directors wishes to make clear its extreme concern at these massive proposed cuts - the like of which would suffocate the film industry in any European country. We sincerely urge the Bulgarian government to reconsider such a plan, and to - even in the face of financial hardship which causes difficulty in all European countries today - choose to invest in your creative talent now - and for the future."

    After a public meeting between representatives of various artistic guilds and Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borissov it was decided that an "adjustment" of the state subsidies by the government could be considered after August 2010, but only in the case of a visible economic improvement in the country.