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Interview: Europe tries to rescue its film identity, expert says [China Economic Information Service (Xinhua)]

September 1, 2013


Interview: Europe tries to rescue its film identity, expert says

by Marian Draganov

VARNA, Bulgaria, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- European film market is dominated by American productions, so the old continent is trying by various means to save its film identity, a prominent Bulgarian expert said recently in an interview with Xinhua.

Alexander Grozev, one of the most famous Bulgarian film critics, said that Europe is dealing with all means to stimulate the production of European films from one hand, and their distribution from the other hand.

It is the role of European festivals, said Grozev, who is also Artistic Director of the International Film Festival "Love is Folly," one of the three largest movie festivals in Bulgaria.

Europe holds huge amount of film festivals, Grozev said. Of course, Venice, Cannes, Berlin are the largest, but there are many small festivals around them, each of which has found its niche, the expert said.

Festivals are yet to gain speed because they are a tool to counteract the commercial production business, Grozev said.

Festivals are trying to rescue the national identities, he said.

This is primarily to save what we call national identity, Grozev said.

"Recently, the world becomes cosmopolitan with huge steps, which is leading to alignment of mass taste and dying out traditions," Grozev said. "When the tradition dies, the national identity disappears."

In terms of the film market in Bulgaria, Grozev said it has also been dominated by American films, while movie making in the Balkan country in recent years went pretty hard because in Bulgaria it has been financed from the state budget, and the money was not enough.

He said that 25 years ago, Bulgaria has made 28 to 30 feature films per year, plus another 50 films for television, but currently it makes seven feature films a year.

However, some televisions have recently started to make TV series, which revived the market and production, Grozev said. This is one way to save the Bulgarian cinema, he said.

"Another way is finding other off-budget ways to finance films, such as the creation of a film fund, which means that part of the profits of the screenings of foreign films in Bulgaria should be provided to this fund; revenues from the ads that run on television should also be provided to the fund, and thus ensure stable funding for national production," Grozev said.

At the state level, there is an understanding of this idea in words, but in practice there is not because the institutions that have to make deductions do not want to be deprived of their profits, Grozev said.

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