Britain's Ealing Studios hastaken a step towards buying leading Bulgarian film studio Boyana Film.

The home of the EalingComedies has become the first candidate to be approved by the country'sprivatization agency to enter the preliminary round of bidding. Up for grabs isa 95 per cent stake in the state-owned company.

Crucially, the bid also has the support ofBoyana's management including chairman of the board and executive directorEvgeny Michailov.

Sean Hinton, managingdirector at Ealing Studios, said the British company would turn the studio intoa successful business and cultural project.

Boyana is situated close tothe capital city Sofia, has three sound stages and recently hosted the shoot ofSpartacus for USA Cable Entertainment.