Berlinale's Dieter Kosslick makes first official visit to Bulgaria

By Pavlina Jeleva

    SOFIA: Yet another sign of the Bulgarian film industry's recent rise to prominence, Berlinale programmer Dieter Kosslick completed his first trip to Bulgaria to speak with Bulgarian filmmakers.

    "Although Bulgarian cinema and the Berlinale have had rich relations over the years, as director of the festival I am here for the first time," he said

    Invited by the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture (www.mc.government.bg) together with the festival delegate for Eastern Europe Nikolaj Nikitin, Kosslick promoted the Berlinale Talent campus (www.berlinale-talentcampus.de) among students and young film creators.

    Both of them met a large number of producers and film directors who have already been part of the Berlinale and key representatives of crews completing their films. "I will not hide that it is important for me to find good Bulgarian titles for the forthcoming Berlinale."

    Kosslick strongly defended the need for public support for the existence of any national cinema in Europe. "Without the national and the regional public funds, even in a country like Germany, the film industry would not have been able to survive during the last decades," Kosslick told FNE.

    He commented the financial cuts in Bulgarian public support as "an unpleasant reality" occurring in other small countries as well. "On the other hand," he added, "if you cut too much, it becomes worse. In Germany, our chancellor, our cultural minister and also the mayor of Berlin decided to do just the opposite. At moments when we did not have enough money for film, we spent more on film productions."