Bulgaria Downsizes Day of National Cinema

By Pavlina Jeleva

    Bulgaria's Day of National Cinema, held on 13 January 2011, was a quieter event due to the funding difficulties the film industry faced over the past year. Taking place in the National Film Center (www.nfc.bg), the ceremony was opened by Deputy Minister of Culture Mitko Todorov who predicted that the financial problems would be solved in 2011. "The Bulgarian cinema deserves a better future and numerous spectators," he said.

    The national film industry is impatiently awaiting the legal and structural reforms confirmed at a 12 January 2011 meeting between Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, financial minister Simeon Dyankov and numerous representatives of the film industry. According to director Evgeny Mihailov, "For the first time in ten years the government said ‘yes' to the foundation of a Film Fund."

    The foreign relations manager of the Bulgarian National Film Center Irina Kanusheva (and the current acting director, following the late December resignation of NFC executive director Alexander Donev) told FNE, "For the moment the NFC owes over €3.5 million to producers who have signed agreements with us. Nearly €6 million is owed to producers who have already received or are waiting for approval by the finance committee. Concerning financing in 2011 we have confirmation from the Ministry of Culture that €5.1 million is guaranteed, with a possible increase of €1.7 million. In order to prevent a drop to "zero" film production in the near future, during the second half of the year, we should have a selection process for new projects with a carefully formulated format. As overall situation is not at all easy, I consider that all future actions must be fulfilled step by step. The reform process must involve the film community as a whole."