Bulgaria Constitutional Court Rules in Favor of Filmmakers

Culture | April 5, 2011, Tuesday // 11:20|  views

At the end of 2010, Bulgarian filmmakers staged several protest rallies against the intentions of the cabinet to eliminate subsidies for the production of Bulgarian movies. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Constitutional Court (KS) annulled Tuesday article 38 of the State Budget Act, which gave the government the right to not slate any funds for the film industry.

This was one of the filmmakers' conditions to lift the threat of large-scale protest rallies.

The Film Industry Act provides for a regular annual subsidy, based on the average budget, to fund at least 7 motion pictures, 14 documentaries and 160 minutes of animation. In the new text, the words "at least" were replaced with "up to," and "financing will be done only if there are enough resources" was added.

According to the KS ruling, the article is not a legal amendment, but rather a wish, adding its application is tied with a subjective assessment – something inadmissible by the law. The opinions provided by different filmmakers' organizations support this ruling as well.

The KS magistrates further point out the text of article 38 had not been aligned with the main principles of the Budget Act, and side with the filmmakers' view it had been mechanically copied from article 17 of the Film Industry Act, but several words have changed its content entirely.

"Article 17 leaves the impression it mandates by law to set aside in advance funds for filmmaking," the ruling of judges, Blagovest Rumenov, and Rumen Nenkov, states.

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Tags: Constitutional Court, filmmakers, Constitutional Court, KS, state budget act, Film Industry Act, article 17, article 38


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