Bulgaria’s Cabinet has approved a range of changes to the Film Industry Act, to bring the existing state aid scheme for movie productions into line with EU rules on the film industry.
Among the amended provisions is that recipients of state aid for film production to spend at least part of the budget within the territory of the country.
The changes scrap the discriminatory requirement that authors of films produced within Bulgaria must have Bulgarian citizenship.
A Bulgarian government media statement said that the changes were being proposed as a response to the monitoring by the European Commission of the aid scheme approved up to December 31 2017.
The monitoring, being carried out by the European Commission’s competition directorate-general, has not been completed because the Bulgarian legislation did not comply with EU rules, the statement said.
The draft amendments include a specific text that provides that after December 31, individual aid under the current scheme will not be granted, while the new state aid scheme for film productions gets underway.
The amendments to the draft law also propose measures to reduce the administrative burden, the statement said.
The requirement to include in the public register of film producers, film distributors and film-makers on the territory of Bulgaria is subject to a current certificate of entry in the Commercial Register. The information will be collected by business.
Amendments introduce a legal definition of “difficult film”. This is a movie whose only version is in Bulgarian.
Measures are also proposed to reduce the administrative burden, by eliminating a rule on the compilation of a public register of film producers, distributors and film-makers in Bulgaria.
The changes also create a specific category for films released solely in the Bulgarian language, the statement said.