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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Bulgaria

The Bulgarian National Film Center supports 49 projects

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- Amidst a bureaucratically complex situation, the main film-funding body in Bulgaria is trying to restore its previous levels of activity and has distributed a total of €6.5 million

The Bulgarian National Film Center supports 49 projects
Director Yana Titova, who has received funding for her second feature, Dyad

After the implementation of a complex regulatory framework imposed by the amended Film Industry Act in July 2021, and in accordance with the European Union’s requirement for mandatory notification of new state-run aid schemes, which entered into force in September 2021, the Bulgarian National Film Center has finally been allowed to restart its activities, which had been suspended since 1 January 2021. The funding institution only approved the 2021 slate of financing for feature, documentary and animated productions in November last year; for this reason, the calls for all types of films were announced with very short time frames, and hence the selection committees also had to meet tight deadlines. Despite plans to announce the results for all calls before the end of 2021, this was not feasible; therefore, the first results were not announced until last week.

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During a meeting in early January 2022, the committee for fiction films evaluated and ranked the 120 submitted fiction-film projects and screenwriting ideas; among these, 14 feature films, three directorial feature debuts, 14 short films and 18 screenwriting projects will be granted funding. Based on the agreed financial framework of the session, with a total budget of BGN 12,720,000 (or roughly €6.5 million), the executive director of the film centre, Kamen Balkanski, issued orders for the distribution of the financing in the respective categories.

While we will not list all of the supported titles here, the most highly anticipated ones among the seven projects supported in the category for films with a total budget of over BGN 600,000 (€306,749) are Fault, the most recent project by veteran Bulgarian helmer Georgi Dulguerov (Lady Zee [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Buffer Zone [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), produced by one of the most active local outfits, Screening Emotions (The Story of a Summer Lover [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Glory [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Petar Valchanov
interview: Petar Valchanov, Kristina G…
film profile
]
); tandem Grigor Lefterrov and Todor Matsanov’s next joint project, Stephan, following their successful debut, Hristo [+see also:
film review
interview: Grigor Lefterov
film profile
]
(produced by Matsanov’s Lema Film); and The Devastated, directed by Petar Popzlatev and backed by firmly established outfit Gala Film (Only Human [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Igor Ivanov
film profile
]
, Family Relics [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
). Seven other projects received support in the category for films budgeted at under BGN 600,000, the most eagerly anticipated among which are Yana Titova’s second feature, Dyad, produced by Portokal (whose January [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
recently premiered at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival), on the heels of her independent debut, A Dose of Happiness [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
; Lyubomir Mladenov’s second feature, Facing the Sun, to be made over a decade after his aesthetically minimalistic debut, Hunting Park (also produced by Screening Emotions); Dimitar Kotzev’s third feature, For You, following two smart, audience-friendly comedies, Lora From Morning Till Evening and Monkey [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
; and Georgi Stoev’s Ave Maria, in scriptwriting collaboration with non-conventional documentary filmmaker Nikola Boshnakov, produced by Ivan Tonev’s Ars.

The three financed debuts also look promising. They are: Land by Nikolay Todorov (Screening Emotions), who has appeared in minor roles in a number of Bulgarian films and has already received local and international recognition for his short and mid-length films; well-known actor Kitodar Todorov’s Paris 18 (Little Wing Productions); and Kristina Spasovska’s 40 Maria Louisa Blvd., backed by Viktoria Films, run by Maya Vitkova, who garnered international recognition with her debut, Viktoria [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maya Vitkova
film profile
]
, back in 2013. She herself accepted a script-development grant for a feature-film project named Saint Seraphim, which was among the 18 scriptwriting subsidy winners.

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