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IRIS 2012-4:1/13

Bulgaria

National Strategy for Culture Development Coming soon

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Ofelia Kirkorian-Tsonkova

Attorney at law

According to Art. 2a of the Culture Protection and Development Act, which entered into force in 2006, the Council of Ministers shall adopt a National Strategy for the Development of Culture upon the proposal of the Minister of Culture. For more than five years the Ministry had not even offered any conception of such a Strategy, but now, there is a real chance to have the draft of a Strategy by 1 July 2012.

The Strategy is being drawn up in a partnership between the Ministry of Culture and other Government institutions and representatives of civic and cultural organisations. More than 150 people from similar groups are involved. The working draft of the measures that shall be included in the Strategy is published on the Internet and can be discussed by the interested parties. After collecting the statements of the professional organisations the final document will be brought into line with the opinion of a special Government group of experts and discussed by the Ministers. The expectation of the people involved into this project is that the final document will be ready in July 2012.

The most important purpose of this Strategy is to propose alternative sources for funding creative industries in Bulgaria. Special measures concerning software, visual arts, scenic arts, publishing, design, architecture and the film industry will be offered. One of them consists of preparing a National Programme for the Film Industry, which was required since 2003 by virtue of Art. 9, para 3, point 1 of the Film Industry Act, but has never been even discussed. In this programme criteria for estimating films created with State subsidy shall be drawn up and best practices shall be stimulated.

Representatives of the film sector also insist on some tax relieves for investments in film productions realised in Bulgaria to be inserted in the Strategy, or a special fund for financing new films to be created, based on gambling as the money source, similar to the British model.

With this Strategy for the first time the Government shall demonstrate its policy regarding the digitalisation of Bulgarian cinema. The lack of sufficient cinemas in the country and the out-dated legislation in this field are pointed to as some of the disadvantages of Bulgarian film digitalisation. Internet piracy and the high costs for the process of digitalisation of the national film fund have been the arguments by the politicians for doing nothing in this field during the last 10 years. Now, the draft of the Strategy includes the creation of a digital cinema accessible via Internet by streaming and the development of a platform for the legal download of films.

References
Проектът „Национална стратегия за развитие на творческите индустрии” BG
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=15706
 
  Working draft of the measures that shall be included in the Strategy