SOFIA: Nu Boyana Film Studios are restarting production work after a break of nearly two months due to the COVID pandemic. Bulgaria lifted most of its confinement restrictions on 13 May 2020.

SOFIA: Bulgaria’s government has announced its decision to strengthen the independent cultural sector by supporting its needs with nearly 2.5 m EUR. The eagerly awaited financial measures were announced by the Minister of Culture Boil Banov during an official press conference on 11 May 2020. The same day the Ministry of Health authorised the partial opening of smaller cinema halls, but only with a limit of 30 % of their halls' capacity.

SOFIA: Bulgaria’s Minister of Culture Boil Banov announced on 10 April 2020 a package of emergency financial measures aimed at the cultural sector. The beneficiaries of the aid include both independent artists as well as state and municipal cultural institutions. The announcement came one day after a video conference that brought together the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel and the EU Ministers of Culture.

SOFIA: The Bulgarian Parliament voted on 3 April 2020 to extend by one month the State of Emergency declared on 13 March over the coronavirus pandemic. All cultural and entertainment venues including cinema halls will remain closed during this period. In the meantime, work is in progress on the 2020 Budget Act revision.

SOFIA: Bulgaria’s government has declared a “one month state of emergency on the territory of the whole country”. It was immediately and unanimously voted by the country’s Parliament on 13 March 2020. The emergency measures include closing all cinemas and come shortly after having eased restrictions on cinema screenings only last week.

SOFIA: Restrictions imposed on Bulgarian cinemas have been eased following protests by Bulgarian Association of Cinemas. The authorities have decided to amend the initial “prohibition of cultural and public events and mass gatherings due to COVID-19” allowing theatres with less than 250 seats to sell tickets on the condition that they skip a row and a seat.

SOFIA: Following an order of Bulgaria’s Minister of Health related to the registered cases of COVID-19, the director of the Sofia Film Festival Stefan Kitanov announced that the 24th edition of the festival will not kick off on 12 March 2020 but will be postponed. The same goes for Sofia Meetings, the industry segment of the festival.

SOFIA: Twelve debut and sophomore films have been selected for the international competition of the 24th Sofia International Film Fest. The festival will run in Sofia from 12 to 22 March 2020 and in the biggest Bulgarian towns till 31 March 2020.

SOFIA: The 17th edition of the Sofia Meetings coproduction market, set to take place from 18 to 22 March 2020 within the 24th Sofia International Film Festival, will host 38 projects of first, second and third films.

SOFIA: Public support for film was finally unlocked in 2019 and the Bulgarian National Film Center resumed its regular activities. This became possible after the harmonisation of the Film Industry Act with the Communication on State Aid for Films and Other Audiovisual Works (2013/C 332/01), the Commission Regulation No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 and the Commission Regulation No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013. Most of the nearly 90 agreements signed between the national institution and producers with closed budgets by the end of 2018 started to take effect and a considerable number of films were shot.

Page 2 of 34