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Mali by Antonio NuićMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

ZAGREB: Domestic box office surged from 204,763 EUR in 2018 to 1 m EUR in 2019, with a total of 22 domestic releases in 2019, compared to seven in 2018.

It was a year of an absolutely record spending by international productions filming in Croatia. According to the requests for cash rebates (12 projects in 2019), local spend amounted to over 50.6 m EUR / over 377 m HRK in 2019.

Croatian beneficiaries of the MEDIA sub-programme of the Creative Europe successfully concluded 2019 with a total grant of 805,831 EUR, which is the largest annual amount achieved in terms of funds since the Croatian entry into the MEDIA Programme.

Tune up by Stanislav Tomic, credit: Kaos ltdChristopher Peter Marcich was unanimously elected for a four year term as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC), starting 1 May 2019.

In 2019, Croatia announced that it will build a new film studio near Zagreb, to accommodate its rapidly growing business as a services provider for both domestic and international productions. The new initiative was introduced by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, together with local producers and the Ministry of Culture.

In addition to the new Law on Audiovisual Activities dating from 2018, the Ordinance on the Promotion of Investment in the Production of Audiovisual Works was adopted in 2019.

The adoption of a new Rulebook on the procedure, criteria and deadlines for the implementation of the National Programme for the Promotion of Audiovisual Creativity, is currently in its final stages.

The Zagreb Film Office was established in order to provide services to international and local crews filming in Croatia’s capital.

In June 2019, Croatian main independent screening venue Kino Europa was closed following months of political pressure.

In 2019, Croatian films travelled to festivals in Berlin, Clermont-Ferrand, Oberhausen, Annecy, Karlovy Vary, Lisbon, Sarajevo, Thessaloniki, Warsaw, Los Angeles, New York and others, winning multiple awards.

Mali by Antonio Nuić was chosen to represent Croatia in the Best International Feature Film category at the 92nd Academy Awards 2019.

God Exists Her Name is Petrunija by Teona Strugar MitevskaPRODUCTION

Seven Croatian feature films, including four debut features, were shot in 2019 with the support of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC).

The biggest production was Murina, a debut feature by Croatian director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, shot on the Croatian coast in August 2019. The film is produced by Croatia’s Antitalent and Brazil’s RT Features of Rodrigo Teixeira, in coproduction with Sikelia Prods of Martin Scorsese and the local production company Spiritus Movens.

Spiritus Movens is also producing Family Dust / Kućna prašina, the debut feature of the awarded Croatian actress and director Nina Violić. The live-action parts were due to be completed in December 2019 and the puppet scenes will follow shortly afterwards. The premiere of the film, which portrays the final hours of a crumbling marriage, is expected in the summer of 2020.

Dario Lonjak shot his new comedy Wildlings / Divljaci in August 2019. The film is produced by Alka film and tackles the burning issue of irregular migration and people smuggling at Croatian borders, through the story of a corrupt border police officer played by Slaven Knezović.

The musical comedy Tune Up / Ufuraj se i pukni directed by Stanislav Tomić and produced by Kaos started filming in October 2019. The setting of this cultural heritage road film-action comedy is the Croatian folk scene and especially the traditional folk instrument tamburica. The film will be theatrically released by 2iFilm in July 2020.

Also in October 2019, Croatian helmer Zrinko Ogresta started filming his eighth feature film People Can’t Fly / Ljudi ne mogu letjeti. The film is produced by Interfilm from Croatia and coproduced by Zillion film from Serbia. The script is loosely based on the award-winning drama Play about Mirjana and Those Around Her, by the young Croatian playwright Ivor Martinić.

In November 2019, Eduard Galić started filming The Sixth Bus / Šesti autobus, a film about war atrocities in the besieged Croatian city of Vukovar in the 1990s. The filming on the production by MissArt coproduced by Global entertainment media from Australia, Strike Back seriestakes place in Vukovar, Zagreb, Glina and the Serbian capital Belgrade, and will last till the spring of 2020. The distribution is set to start in 2021.

The end of 2019 was marked by the filming of The Staffroom / Zbornica, a debut feature by Sonja Tarokić, regionally famous for her witty short films with strong female protagonists. Zbornica is produced by Kinorama, with Marina Redžepović in the lead role of a young counselor who starts working in an unfriendly school environment.

It was a year with an absolutely record spending by international productions filming in Croatia. According to requests for cash rebates (12 projects in 2019), the local spend amounted to over 50.6 m EUR / 377 m HRK.

A record number of filming days was also recorded in 2019 - 421. Of these, 32 were recorded in regions of below average development, where additional 5% of the cash rebate applies.

As of July 2018, the cash rebate for filming in Croatia was raised from 20% to 25%, and up to 30% in underdeveloped regions. The total number of foreign productions using cash rebates since the start of implementing the Incentive Measures Programme exceeded 134 m EUR / 1 billion HRK by the end of 2019, with 70 applications submitted by foreign production companies.

The biggest international project filmed in Croatia in 2019 was Strike Back, a TV series produced by Left Bank Pictures. Embassy film was the local service provider, ensuring 120 days of filming in Zagreb, Trogir, Knin, Kistanje, Rijeka, Opatija, Obrovac, Zadar, Oroslavlje, Jastrebarsko, Velika Gorica, Jasenice, Ivanec and Samobor. Over 200 local film professionals and up to 3,000 extras were contracted for the production.

The filming of the A-list Hollywood feature film The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard took place in April and May 2019. The film starring Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas is directed by Patrick Huges and produced by Hitman 2 Production, with MP-filmska produkcija servicing. Over 200 production crew members and 750 extras were employed in 49 days of filming in Rovinj, Istra, Rijeka, Zagreb, Biševo, Pisarovina and Karlovac.

Other notable foreign productions include the German TV series Mordkomission, produced by Constantin Television, which filmed for 44 days in Split. The crime series is produced by Constantin Television for the ARD, with Pakt Media as service provider.

Stitches by Miroslav TerzićThe post-apocalyptical film Mayday, produced by Mayday Pictures, was shot in Pula in over 38 days. The local service provider was Antitalent.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 201 films were distributed in regular distribution in 2019, compared to 229 in 2018. There were 22 domestic releases in 2019, compared to seven in 2018.

The biggest domestic distributor is Blitz, followed by Editus, Continental Film, Discovery and 2i Film. There are 192 cinema screens in Croatia, out of which 74 are in public ownership.

The beginning of 2019 was successful for minority coproductions God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija / Bog postoji, njeno ime je Petrunija by Macedonian director Teona Strugar Mitevska and Stitches / Šavovi by Serbian director Miroslav Terzić, both having their world premieres at the 2019 Berlinale. Both films, coproduced by Spiritus Movens, garnered two awards each.

The Macedonian/Belgian/Slovenian/Croatian/French coproduction God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija won the Ecumenical Jury Award and the Guild Film Prize, the latter awarded by a jury comprised of members of the German Association of Art House Cinemas.

Stitches, a Serbian/Slovenian/Croatian/Bosnian coproduction, was awarded Best Film in the Panorama programme and it was also the Panorama Audience Award runner-up. Numerous Croatian film professionals worked on both of these films, while both of them were also long-listed for the European Film Awards’ nominations for Best European Film.

In November 2019, God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija went on to win the 2019 LUX Prize awarded by the European Parliament. The film also received the Arab Critics’ Award for European Film, awarded by film critics from 13 Arab countries, at the Cairo IFF.

God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija was produced by Sisters and Brother Mitevski in coproduction with Entre Chien et Loup, Deuxième Ligne Films, EZ Films, Spiritus movens and Vertigo.

Stitches was produced by West End Production in coproduction with Nora Production, Spiritus Movens and scca.Pro.ba.The Diary of Diana B. by Dana Budisavljevic

In July 2019, the Croatian minority coproduction Aga’s House / Agina kuća directed by Kosovar director Lendita Zequiraj and produced by n’Art Films in coproduction with Woof Films, Sacrebleu Productions, SKA-NDAL Production and SY13, won the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean (FEDORA) Jury Special Mention at the 54th Karlovy Vary IFF.

Also in July 2019, director Dana Budisavljević triumphed at home, when her docu-fiction The Diary of Diana B. / Dnevnik diane Budisavljević won her the Golden Arena for Best Directing, which made her the third woman in history to be crowned with these laurels and the second female director ever to win the Grand Golden Arena for Best Film. The film garnered six awards at the Pula IFF, starting its Croatian cinema run at the beginning of October 2019 and receiving the Best Debut Film Award at the FilmFestival Cottbus in Germany in November 2019.

The Diary of Diana B. was produced by Hulahop in coproduction with This and That from Serbia and December from Slovenia.

In October 2019 eleven Croatian films were screened in the curated programme “A Flourishing Documentary Film Scene in a Country Full of Contradictions” at DOK Leipzig, in the Country Focus section.  

In November 2019, Vinko Brešan’s black comedy What a Country! / Koja je ovo država won the Audience Award at the Thessaloniki IFF. The film was produced by Interfilm in coproduction with Orka Productions Studio from Poland and Zillion films from Serbia.

Barbara Vekarić’s feature debut Aleksi, produced by Studio Dim in coproduction with Filmkombajn, scooped 15 awards at 10 festivals around the world in 2019 alone.

The short animated film Imbued Life / Udahniut život by Ivana Bošnjak and Thomas Johnson won its 11th award for best short film at the Exground FF in Wiesbaden in November 2019. After its premiere at the Oberhausen FF, Imbued Life has been selected for over 60 international festivals.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

What a Country! by Vinko BrešanA total of 201 films were distributed in regular distribution in 2019. Total admissions were 4,912,282 in 2019, compared to 4,607,068 in 2018, with the total gross reaching 21.2 m EUR / 157.9 m HRK in 2019, compared to 19.5 m EUR / 145.1 m HRK in 2018.

Domestic box office surged from 204,763 EUR in 2018 to 1 m EUR in 2019, with a total of 22 domestic releases in 2019, compared to seven in 2018.

The biggest exhibitor is Blitz Cinestar. Additionally, films are independently distributed through the Croatian Independent Cinemas Network, which includes 65 cinemas in 53 cities and on the islands.

In 2019, the central Croatian independent screening venue Kino Europa and main venue for the Zagreb Film Festival, was closed following months of political pressure. Another important venue in Zagreb’s city centre, Art kino Grič, was closed following the court decision to return the building to its pre-WWII owners.

However, in 2019 Kino Forum and Kino SC in the Zagreb Student Centre re-opened following the decision of the management, while Dokukino Kic, located in the city centre, re-opened after the refurbishing of the building.

According to Continental film, the general admissions top ten 2019 is composed of: The Lion King (259,427 admissions), Joker (236,587 admissions), Frozen 2 (197,900 admissions), Avengers: Endgame (192,283 admissions), Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (121,229 admissions), Last Christmas (115,438 admissions), How to Train your Dragon 3 (110,947), Spider-man: Far From Home (100,841), Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (99,208 admissions) and Hustlers (89,006 admissions).

At the beginning of 2020, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) published the full box office statistics for 2019, based on data gathered from local distributors.

According to HAVC, the most viewed Croatian title of the year was The General, a biopic about the life of the war general Ante Gotovina, who was accused of war crimes in the 1990s. Directed by Antun Vrdoljak and produced by Kiklop film in coproduction with The General by Antun Vrdoljakthe Croatian Television, the film had 74,585 admissions in regular distribution and it was broadcast on the Croatian Television through 3 February 2020.

The second most viewed Croatian film was What a Country / Koja je ovo država, a dark political comedy by Vinko Brešan produced by Interfilm in coproduction with Orka Productions Studio from Poland and Zillion films from Serbia, with 58,265 admissions. Children's science fiction hit My Grandpa Is an Alien / Moj dida je pao s Marsa directed by Andrea Škop and Drazen Zarkovic, and produced by Studio Dim in coproduction with Senca Studio, MasterFilm, Fabrika, Wady Films, Artileria, Filmbin and the Croatian Radiotelevision, holds the third place with 29,025 admissions.

The fourth place with 28,072 admissions is reserved for The Last Serb in Croatia / Posljednji Srbin u Hrvatskoj, marketed as “the first Croatian zombie comedy from the future”. The film was directed by Predrag Ličina and produced by Kinorama in coproduction with Art & Popcorn. The award-winning docu-fiction The Diary of Diana B. directed by Dana Budisavljević and produced by Hulahop, is in the fourth place with 26,642 admissions.

The sixth and seventh spots on the list of domestic titles went to the independent comedies Ufuraj se i pukni by Ljubomir Kerekeš, produced by Kerekeš teatar, with 17,533 admissions, and Go, Went, Gone / Ideš? Idem! by debut director Ljubo Zdjelarević, produced by Kinoteka, with 8,138 admissions.

The social satire Extracurricular, directed by Ivan-Goran Vitez and produced by Interfilm, is 8th with 5,825 admissions, followed by the crime drama Mali directed by Antonio Nuić and produced by Propeler Film in coproduction with Alka film, with 5,535 admissions, and Punk documentary Tusta directed by Andrej Korovljev and produced by Factum in coproduction with Wake Up Films, Zagreb film, Award Film & Video, with 3,980 admissions.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The most important film institution is the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) founded in January 2008. HAVC provides public funding for the development, production, promotion and sales of Croatian film abroad, festivals, schemes and programmes aimed at widening audience choice, supporting film education, culture and archives, as well as skills and training initiatives.

The total budget of HAVC in 2019 was 13.9 m EUR, according to the Ministry of Culture. HAVC operated with a total annual budget of 9.11 m EUR in 2012, a total budget of 9.30 m EUR in 2013, of 9.03 m EUR in 2014 and 7.99 m EUR in 2015. HAVC’s total budget for 2016 was 8.67 m EUR, in 2017 it was 10.15 m EUR and the total budget in 2018 (without the cash rebate) was 9.8 m EUR.

Christopher Peter Marcich was unanimously elected for a four year term as the new Chief Executive Officer of the HAVC, starting 1 May 2019. He replaced Daniel Rafaelić, who had stepped down in February 2019.

On 13 March 2019, HAVC distributed 3,892,222 EUR for the production of seven feature films, four experimental films, seven long documentaries, seven animated films and seven short films, as well as 23 project and script development grants. The biggest support, of 512,510 EUR each, was granted to the production of two feature films: Death of the Little Match Girl / Smrt djevojčice sa šibicama directed by directed by Goran Kulenović and produced by Livada Produkcija, and Little Tesla and the Idea Poachers / Mali Tesla i kradljivci ideja directed by Petar Orešković and produced by Nukleus Film in cooperation with Jaako Dobra Produkcija and in coproduction with Studio Virc (Slovenia), Dor film (Austria), Gargantua films (Serbia) and Sirena Film (Czech Republic).

On 9 October 2019, five equal grants of 538,300 EUR were given for the production of new feature films directed by Zvonimir Jurić, Lukas Nola (both produced by Kinorama), Rok Biček (produced by Antitalent), Vlatka Vorkapić (produced by Interfilm) and Dražen Aleksi by Barbara VekarićŽarković (produced by Izazov 356). A total of 4.3 m EUR was granted for feature film production, including four debut features.

An additional 548,808 EUR was awarded to 20 documentaries and animated films, including the all-time high for a long documentary - 107,719 EUR for the new film of Igor Bezinović, Fiume o morte!, produced by Restart. Nine minority coproductions were also awarded a total of 403,198 EUR and five TV projects in development received 57,793 EUR.

The Croatian beneficiaries of the MEDIA sub-programme of the Creative Europe successfully concluded 2019 with a total grant of 805,831 EUR, which is the largest annual amount achieved in terms of funds since the Croatian entry into MEDIA. The record year so far had been 2015, when the Croatian filmmakers managed to secure 797,430 EUR.

In 2019, the Croatian applicants were successful in nine categories of MEDIA financing. Production companies Antitalent, Nukleus film and Restart provided a total of 100,000 EUR in the category of individual project development.

Antitalent is preparing a feature film based on the award-winning Croatian novel Black Mother Earth, written by Kristian Novak, while Nukleus Film and Restart are preparing two creative documentaries under the working titles Caught in the Net / Ulovljeni u mrežu directed by Anna Shishova-Bogolyubova and Museum of the Revolution / Muzej revolucije by Srđan Keča.

Kinorama received a grant of 88,000 EUR as part of a call for the development of a joint project, for the development of three feature films: The Fourth King / Četvrti kralj directed by Zvonimir Jurić, Traces / Tragovi directed by Dubravka Turić, and Sandbag Dam / Zečji nasip directed by Čejen Černić. Within the same type of support, the category "incentive for new talent" also provided financial support for one short film - Sphere / Sfera directed by Manuel Šumberac.

A total of 70 foreign productions have used the tax incentives scheme since its launch in 2012: five in 2012, four in 2013, eight in 2014, ten in 2015, seven in 2016, eleven in 2017, fourteen in 2018 and twelve in 2019.

Under the Croatian cash rebate scheme, projects can claim back 25% of their qualifying expenditure, which is based on the cost of the Croatian cast and crew working in Croatia, as well as goods and services purchased in Croatia, with a cap of around 2.6 m EUR per project. Additional 5% is awarded to productions in regions of below average development.

Filming in Croatia, a department within the HAVC, ensures that Croatia remains a film-friendly location for both local and visiting filmmakers.

Zagreb Film Office was launched in 2019, with a goal of assisting both local and international film crews in their work in the Croatian capital. The Zagreb Film Office will work under Zagreb Film, a city-funded institution known for its animation production, led by Vinko Brešan. The office is led by the local producer Mia Pećina Drašković.

The Istria Film Commission was launched in July 2015, following the example of the Zadar Film Commission in helping filming crews in location scouting, communication with public authorities and domestic producers and crew, obtaining filming permits and accessing databases. Kvarner Film Commission opened in Rijeka in 2017.

Additional public support bodies are the Zagreb City Office for Education, Culture and Sport and the Rijeka City Office for Culture.

In 2019, Croatia announced that it will build a new film studio near Zagreb to accommodate its rapidly growing business as a services provider for both domestic and international productions. The new initiative was introduced by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, together with local producers and the Ministry of Culture.

In addition to the new Law on Audiovisual Activities dating from 2018, the Ordinance on the Promotion of Investment in the Production of Audiovisual Works was adopted in 2019.My Grandpa is an Alien by Drazen Zarkovic and Marina Andree Skop

The adoption of a new Rulebook on the procedure, criteria and deadlines for the implementation of the National Programme for the Promotion of Audiovisual Creativity, is currently in its final stages.

With respect to other laws relevant to the audiovisual sector, the following laws are currently in the process of aligning national legislation with European directives:

Electronic Media Law - Compliance with AVMSD (Audiovisual Media Services Directive)

Copyright and related rights law - Compliance with the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market and the Sat Cab 2 Directive.

TV

As stipulated by the 2007 Croatian Film Act, the Croatian public broadcaster Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT), as well as all other Croatian broadcasters with a national concession (Nova TV, RTL), are obliged to contribute towards the funding of the HAVC.

As a public broadcaster, the Croatian Radiotelevision plays an important role in the promotion of national cinema through its two terrestrial and two digital channels, and is legally obliged to invest a minimum of 15% of its programming budget in works by independent producers.

The Last Serb in Croatia by Predrag LičinaThe biggest TV series produced for the Croatian Radiotelevision in 2019 was The General, an eight-episode TV series directed by Antun Vrdoljak and based on his 163-minute feature film. The total budget of the project was estimated at over 3 m EUR. The Croatian Television contributed with 1.23 m EUR, while the Croatian Audiovisual Centre supported it with 568,644 EUR.

Uspjeh, the first original HBO series for HBO Adria, premiered in January 2019. The six-part series was written by Marjan Alcevski and directed by Danis Tanović. The script was chosen from among 570 applications to the HBO Adria “First Draft” competition.

The Croatian drama series Newspapers / Novine directed by Dalibor Matanić filmed its third and final season in May 2019. The first season of Newspapers, which was sold to Netflix in 2015, became available in 130 countries. The final season will be screened in 2020, first on Croatian Television and then on Netflix for subscribers in 198 countries. The series was produced by Drugi Plan for the Croatian Television, with a budget of approximately 1.3 m EUR per season.

CONTACTS:

Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC)
Nova Ves 18
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 (0)1 6041 080
Fax: +385 (0)1 4667 819
www.havc.hr
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MEDIA Desk Croatia
Ulica Kralja Zvonimira 20
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 (0)1 4655 434
Tune up by Stanislav Tomic, credit: Kaos ltdFax: +385 (0)1 4655 442
www.mediadesk.hr
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ministry of Culture- Directorate for Performing Arts and Audiovisual Affairs
Runjaninova 2
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 (0)1 4866 408
Fax: +385 (0)1 4866 438
www.min-kulture.hr

Report by Milena Zajović (2020)
Sources: the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Continental Film, the Ministry of Culture


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

The Eighth Commissioner by Ivan SalajCroatian cash rebate was raised to 25% as of July 2018, with additional 5% for productions in regions of below average development.

It was a very good year for Croatian documentaries and animated films, which received several accolades at international festivals.

Admissions for domestic films in Croatia decreased from 121,205 in 2017 to 55,709 in 2018, as the number of theatrically released domestic films dropped drastically from 16 in 2017 to seven in 2018.

On 19 July 2018 the Parliament adopted a bill on audiovisual activities, put forward by the Croatian Government on 22 March 2018. The law introduces a new structure for the Council and the Managing Board of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) and regulates the definitions of audiovisual works so as to include video games.

The Eighth Commissioner by Ivan Salaj was chosen to represent Croatia in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 91th Academy Awards 2019.

PRODUCTION

The list of Croatian films shot in 2018 includes projects by well-known directors as well as debut features of various genres. Most of them are supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.

Milan Trenc shot his third feature film Fishing and Fishermen's Conversations / Ribanje i ribarsko prigovaranje starring Rade Šerbeđija in 2018. The film is based on the philosophic narrative poem and travelogue writings of Croatian Renaissance poet Petar Hektorović, first The Last Serb in Croatia by Predrag Ličinaprinted in Venice in 1568. Trenc is producing through Studio Devet.

In autumn 2018 The Voice aka God in a Shoe, a drama about faith directed by the acclaimed Croatian writer/director Ognjen Sviličić, entered postproduction. The producer is Maxima Film.

The new feature film by Danilo Šerbedžija, Teresa 33, wrapped shooting in Split on 22 July 2018, produced by Focus Media.

Last Serb in Croatia / Posljednji Srbin u Hrvatskoj, a debut feature by director Predrag Ličina, was also shot in 2018. The film is produced by Kinorama in coproduction with Belgrade's Art & Popcorn. It will be theatrically released in Croatia by 2i Film on 28 February 2019.

The feature film Dopunska nastava directed by Ivan Goran Vitez and produced by Interfilm started shooting in 2018.

Zora, the new feature film by Dalibor Matanić, was also shot in 2018 with Kinorama producing.

Vinko Brešan’s comedy Koja je ovo država, produced by Interfilm in coproduction with Serbia’s Zillion Films, was completed in 2018 and it was theatrically released in December 2018.

In 2018 Croatian director Goran Dević was in production with the Croatian/Slovenian coproduction What's to Be Done? / Što da se radi, a 90 minutes docu-fiction following the efforts of a union leader and the workers of a train factory. Croatia’s Petnaesta umjetnost is producing in coproduction with Slovenia’s Bela film and Croatia’s Antitalent. The first part has already been shot and the second part is currently in the financing stage with shooting expected from 1 September to 1 November 2020.

Another documentary shot in 2018 is Kuća na Kraljevcu 35 directed by Pero Kvesić and produced by Factum.

The Barefoot Emperor by Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens, photo source: HAVCAs of July 2018, the cash rebate was raised from 20% to 25%, with additional 5% for productions in regions of below average development.

Fourteen projects applied for tax incentives in Croatia in 2018. According to Filming in Croatia within the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the local expenditure exceeded 15.5 m EUR. Eleven projects had applied in 2017, with a local expenditure of 24.7 m EUR.

Among the projects that applied for incentives in 2018 are: season 8 of the HBO series Game of Thrones, the Belgian/Dutch/Bulgarian/Croatian coproduction The Barefoot Emperor by Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens, Se ti abbraccio non aver paura directed by Gabriele Salvatores, and the HBO series Uspjeh directed by Danis Tanović. The historical drama The Master Butcher's Singing Club directed by Ulrich Edel, shot in Croatia in 2018, was the first foreign production using incentives for filming in regions of particular national interest. Kijevo, where the first scenes were shot, and other locations from Šibenik-Knin, Sisak-Moslavina and Zagreb counties, are new for the film industry. The film is produced by the German company MOOVIE GmbH with Pakt Media servicing.

Filming for the eight and final season of the HBO series Game of Thrones begun in Dubrovnik in February 2018. Dubrovnik has been used as the location for King’s Landing since season 2, with Embassy Films servicing ever since.

The American production The Islander directed by Dom Mazuran and Zoran Lisinac was shot in Croatia and Serbia from May till early July 2018. The film benefits from the incentives schemes in both Croatia and Serbia. U.S. Garden of Titans is producing and financing. Dida Boza is the service provider in Croatia.

The Belgian/Dutch/Bulgarian/Croatian coproduction The Barefoot Emperor / Bosonogi car by Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens, a mockumentary and a sequel to King of the Belgians, completed filming in Croatia on 15 October 2018. It is produced by Entre Chien et Loup, Art Fest and Topkapi Films, along with Croatia’s coproducer Propeler Film.

DISTRIBUTION

iOtok by Miha ČelarA total of 229 films were distributed in cinemas in 2018, including seven domestic films (five from 2018 and two released in 2017).

A total of 228 films were distributed in cinemas in 2017, of which 210 were new openings. Sixteen domestic films were released in 2017, including 13 new releases and three films released in 2016.

The biggest domestic distributor is Blitz, followed by Continental Film.

In July 2018 Factum, one of the most important Croatian documentary film production companies, launched a new project, Factum Online, and its first stage is a VOD platform, which offers more than 70 documentaries produced by Factum. In September 2018 the second stage of the project featured the first ever DokuChat guest, with writer/director Miha Čelar presenting his latest documentary film iOtok and the interactive series under the same title.

The drama series Newspapers / Novine directed by Dalibor Matanić was sold to Netflix in 2018, thus becoming available in 130 countries. Netflix also bought the second season of the series, produced in 2018. Newspapers describes the decline of the Croatian press, the director told FNE. The script is written by the famous journalist and scriptwriter Ivica Dikić. Drugi Plan produced the series for the Croatian Television.

In 2018 Britain’s Channel 4 and Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT acquired the Croatian Radio and Television’s (HRT) mini-series Guardian of the Castle directed by Lukas Nola and set in Croatia at the end of the 1980’s. The four-part political thriller was also made available on-demand in the US, according to the show’s producer Kinorama. The series premiered on HRT in September 2017.

The awarded Croatian/Czech/Macedonian/British coproduction The Constitution / Ustav Republike Hrvatske by Rajko Grlić was released in Italian cinemas on 4 April 2018 and in the U.S. in May 2018. The film's festival success is confirmed by 32 awards. Sadly, one of the main actors of the film, the acclaimed Bozidar Smiljanic, passed away on 7 April 2018, following the main actor Nebojša Glogovac, who died on 9 February 2018.

The Constitution / Ustav Republike Hrvatske was produced by Interfilm and coproduced by In-Film, Sever&Sever, the Croatian Radio Television HRT and NP7, Revolution Production and Film and Music Entertainment.

Newspapers by Dalibor MatanićIn September 2018 the Croatian/Bosnian coproduction The Eighth Commissioner / Osmi povjerenik by Ivan Salaj was selected as Croatia’s official entry for the US Academy Awards in the Foreign Language Film category. The decision was made via a secret ballot by the Croatian Society of Film Workers (HDFD).

This drama/comedy, based on a book by Renato Baretić, was produced by Croatia’s Alka film in coproduction with Embrio Production, Hrvatska radiotelevizija (HRT), Kadar film from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia’s Olimp produkcija.

Most of the awards at international festivals received in 2018 went to documentaries and animated films, both majority and minority Croatian coproductions.

Nebojša Slijepčević’s Srbenka, produced by Restart, was awarded best documentary at the 24th Sarajevo Film Festival, while Leon Lučev won the best actor award for the Croatian minority coproduction The Load, directed by Ognjen Glavonić and coproduced by Kinorama.

Srbenka was also nominated for Best European Documentary at the 2018 European Film Awards. The film had its world premiere at the Visions du Réel Festival in Nyon, where it received a Special Jury Mention, while in Cannes it won the Doc Alliance Award.

Cyclists by Veljko Popović was awarded the Jury Prize at the 2018 International Animation Festival in Annecy.

The long documentary On the Water, directed by Goran Dević and produced by Petnaesta umjetnost, received the Honorary Mention at the 61st International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film.

The short animated film A Demonstration of Brilliance in Four Acts, directed by Lucija Mrzljak and Morten Tšinakov, won the Grand Prix in the international animated film category at Poland’s IFF Etiuda & Anima. This Croatian/Estonian coproduction also received the Special Jury Mention in the international competition of the Montreal Animated Film Summit (Sommets du cinéma d’animation).

The Czech/Croatian coproduction When the War Comes directed by Jan Gebert won the Silver Eye prize for best feature length film at the 22nd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival. The film produced by Pink and coproduced by HBO Czech Republic and Hulahop also received the Best Central and Eastern European Director award at the 2018 Astra Film Festival in Sibiu, Romania.

Srbenka by Nebojša SlijepčevićEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

The European branch of the International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA) gave its 2018 New Build Cinema of the Year award to the Cinestar 4DX, Mall of Split, during a ceremony that took place in Barcelona on 10 June 2018, the opening day of ICTA’s seminar series. The announcement was made on 23 April 2018. The awards celebrate technological leadership and innovation in the European cinema exhibition industry.

In 2018 total admissions were 4,702,143 and total gross 147,426,590 HRK, according to estimates provided by Continental Film.

In 2017 total admissions were 4,637,287 and total gross 18,398,215 EUR / 136,778,122 HRK, according to Continental Film.

Domestic admissions decreased from 121,205 in 2017 to 55,709 in 2018 and as a consequence the box office decreased from 2,767,018 in 2017 to 1,559,829 in 2018, according to Continental Film.

The general admissions top ten 2018 is composed of: Bohemian Rhapsody (194,497 admissions), The Grinch (156,785), A Star Is Born (132,153), Avengers: Infinity War (125,975), Deadpool 2 (122,060), Mamma mia! Here We Go Again (111,145), Hotel Transylvania 3: Monster Vacation (107,271), Aquaman (96,712), The Nun (90,387) and Venom (88,376).

The most popular Croatian films in 2018 were: The Eighth Commissioner / Osmi Povjerenik directed by Ivan Salaj and distributed by 2iFilm (with 31,828 admissions), and Comic sans directed by Nevio Marasović and distributed by 2iFilm (with 14,030 admissions).

The other domestic films in cinemas in 2018 were: F20 directed by Arsen Anton Ostojić, produced by Filmosaurus Rex and distributed by Duplicato Media (4,905 admissions), Aleksi directed by Barbara Vekarić, produced by Studio dim and distributed by 2iFilm (3,657 admissions), the Croatian minority coproduction Neparožderi aka The Oddsockeaters / Lichožrouti directed by Galina Miklínová, coproduced by Filmosaurus Rex  and distributed by Duplicato Media (801 admissions), Happy End directed by Darko Šuvak, produced by Alka film and distributed by Continental Film (458 admissions), Dead Fish / Mrtve ribe directed by Kristijan Milić, produced by Eurofilm and distributed by Continental Film (30 admissions). Both Neparožderi and Dead Fish / Mrtve ribe had their premiere in 2017 but continued exhibition in 2018.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The most important film institution is the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) founded in January 2008. HAVC operated with a total annual budget of 9.11 m EUR in 2012, a total budget of 9.30 m EUR in 2013, of 9.03 m EUR in 2014 and 7.99 m EUR in 2015. HAVC’s total budget for 2016 was 8.67 m EUR and 10.15 m EUR in 2017 and the total budget in 2018 (without the cash rebate) was 9.8 m EUR.

When the War Comes by Jan GebertThe HAVC is currently headed by Daniel Rafaelić, who was named acting director in February 2017 and director in May 2017 for a four year term. Daniel Rafaelić replaced Hrvoje Hribar.

On 12 February 2018 the Croatian Audiovisual Centre distributed 272,300 EUR / 2,025,000 HRK to three minority coproductions directed by Peter Brosens & Jessica Woodworth, Metod Pevec and Ines Tanović. A total of 27 projects applied through 26 October 2017.

On 29 March 2018 HAVC distributed 2,135,735 EUR / 15,880,000 HRK as production grants for feature films, debut features, long documentaries, short documentaries, short fiction films and experimental films, and also as project and script development grants. The biggest grant (524,519 EUR / 3.9 m HRK) went to the feature film Bischofshofen by Igor Mirković.

The production grants were allotted to two feature films, three debut features, four experimental films, four short fiction films, three long documentaries and two short documentaries, and also for the postproduction of two long documentaries and one short fiction film.

In April 2018 HAVC distributed 226,000 EUR / 1.7 m HRK to eight short animated films.

In July 2018 the HAVC distributed 2,280,000 EUR / 17,160,000 HRK to feature film, documentary and short film production and minority coproductions, as well as to script and project development. The six minority coproduction grants went to projects directed by Chintis Lundgren & Christin Peets, Gjergj Xhuvani, Ronnie Sandah, Tiha Gudac, Zdenko Jurilj and Mitja Ličen & Sonja Prosenc.

In November 2018 the HAVC allotted 370,666 EUR / 2,780,000 HRK for minority coproduction grants and for script and project development grants, 124,000 EUR / 930,000 HRK for script and project development of television projects, 247,000 EUR / 1,855,000 HRK for seven short animated films and 62,000 EUR / 470,000 HRK for four experimental films.

New projects by Goran Paskaljević and Srđan Vuletić are among the seven Croatian minority coproductions receiving production funding.

A total of 59 foreign productions have used the tax incentives scheme since its launch in 2012: five in 2012, four in 2013, eight in 2014, ten in 2015, seven in 2016, eleven in 2017 and 14 in 2018.

Comic Sans by Nevio MarasovićUnder the cash rebate scheme, projects can claim back 25% of their qualifying expenditure, which is based on the cost of the Croatian cast and crew working in Croatia, as well as goods and services purchased in Croatia, with a cap of around 2.6m EUR per project. As of July 2018, the cash rebate was raised from 20% to 25%, with additional 5% for productions in regions of below average development.

The Istria Film Commission was launched in July 2015, following the example of the Zadar Film Commission in helping filming crews in location scouting, communication with public authorities and domestic producers and crew, obtaining filming permits and accessing databases. A new film commission, Kvarner Film Commission, opened in Rijeka in 2017.

Additional public support bodies are the Zagreb City Office for Education, Culture and Sport and the Rijeka City Office for Culture and Split.

The bill on audiovisual activities put forward by the Croatian Government on 22 March 2018 was adopted by the Parliament on 19 July 2018. The law introduces a new structure for the Council and the Managing Board of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) and regulates the definitions of audiovisual works so as to include video games, thus creating a legal framework for further development of one of the most propulsive segments of the audiovisual industry.

„The new law improves the current functioning of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre. Especially in regard to a clearer definition of the Audiovisual Council and Managing Board activities, as well as stricter regulations regarding potential conflicts of interests“, Daniel Rafaelić, the Head of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, told FNE.

The Law on Audiovisual Activities which established the Croatian Audiovisual Centre was adopted in 2007.

TV

As stipulated by the 2007 Croatian Film Act, Croatian public broadcaster, the Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT), as well as all other Croatian broadcasters with a national concession (Nova TVRTL) are obliged to contribute towards the funding of the HAVC.

Aleksi by Barbara VekarićAs a public broadcaster, the Croatian Radiotelevision plays an important role in the promotion of national cinema through its two terrestrial and two digital channels, and is legally obliged to invest a minimum of 15% of its programming budget in works by independent producers.

Uspjeh, the first HBO original series for HBO Adria, completed shooting in Zagreb at the end of May 2018. According to comments by HBO Adria producer Ana Balentovic, work on the six-part series lasted 18 months, while the shooting began in March 2018. The series was written by Marjan Alcevski and directed by Danis Tanović. The script was chosen from among 570 applications to the HBO Adria “First Draft” competition.

Also in 2018 the acclaimed Croatian director Dalibor Matanić shot the six-part TV series The Last Socialist Artefact. The project is a Croatian/Serbian coproduction produced by Kinorama in coproduction with Sense Production.

According to the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the series is among the 16 projects selected from 312 applications for the prestigious television coproduction forum Series Mania Television Festival, which will take place in Paris mid-April 2017. The Last Socialist Artefact / Područje bez signala is the first Croatian television series to be pitched at this coproduction market.

CONTACTS:

Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC)
Nova Ves 18
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 (0)1 6041 080
Fax: +385 (0)1 4667 819
www.havc.hr
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Eighth Commissioner by Ivan SalajMEDIA Desk Croatia
Ulica Kralja Zvonimira 20
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 (0)1 4655 434
Fax: +385 (0)1 4655 442
www.mediadesk.hr
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ministry of Culture- Directorate for Performing Arts and Audiovisual Affairs
Runjaninova 2
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 (0)1 4866 408
Fax: +385 (0)1 4866 438
www.min-kulture.hr

Report by Iulia Blaga (2019)
Sources: the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Continental Film


MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

Constitution by Rajko GrlićThe Board of HAVC reappointed Hrvoje Hribar as Chief Executive for a second four-year term beginning in December 2014, but on 6 February 2017 Hribar handed in his resignation due to the negative audit conducted by the Croatian State Audit. In February 2017 Daniel Rafaelić was named acting director and in May 2017 the director of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre for a four year term.

The most important awards for the Croatian cinema in 2017 were: the Grand Prix of the national competition at the Pula Film Festival won by The Brief Excursion directed by Igor Bezinovic and produced by Studio Pangolin, the three main prizes (best film, best screenplay and best performance) received by Rajko Grlic’s The Constitution at the 2017 London Raindance Film Festival, the Special Mention in the Generation Kplus programme of the Berlinale and the Young Audience Award at the 41st Annecy International Animation Film Festival for Hedgehog’s Home by Eva Cvijanović and also the jury award of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia for The Just Come and Go by Boris Poljak and the Youth Jury award for Into the Blue by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović at the 63rd International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen.

Important awards were also received by minority Croatian coproductions, Dede by Mariam Khatchvani and Men Don’t Cry by Alen Drljević.

Hana Jušić’s debut feature Quit Staring at My Plate was chosen to represent Croatia in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 90th Academy Awards 2018.

In 2017, Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović became the first Croatian selected for the Cinéfondation residency in Cannes, where she developed her first feature film Murina (produced by Spritus Movens).

Total admissions increased by 2.93 percent in 2017. Admissions to domestic films decreased by 10.49 percent.

Quit Staring at My Plate by Hana JušićPRODUCTION

The list of Croatian films shot in 2017 includes projects by well-known directors as well as debut features of various genres. Most of them are supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.

Antun Vrdoljak’s anticipated The General / General, starring Goran Višnjić as the hero of the Croatian War of Independence Ante Gotovina, started shooting in Croatia in February 2017. The project includes a feature film and also an eight-episode series, and it is a Croatian/Bosnian coproduction between Kiklop film and Oktavijan.

The acclaimed writer/director Veljko Bulajic shot Escape to the Sea in 2017. The film stars the German actor Tom Wlaschiha and is a coproduction between Croatia’s Gral Film, Montenegro’s Dogma Studio and Macedonia’s Geyzer Production.

In 2017 Nevio Marasović also shot Comic Sans, a feature film produced by Ankica Jurić Tilić through Kinorama.

The children's film My Grandpa is an Alien / Moj dida je pao s Marsa by Drazen Zarkovic and Marina Andree Skop was filmed in 2017 as a Croatian/Luxembourg/Norwegian/Czech/Slovenian/Bosnian coproduction produced by Studio Dim.

My Grandpa is an Alien by Drazen Zarkovic and Marina Andree SkopIn 2017 helmer Antonio Nuić shot his new feature film Mali / Mali je naš, the third part of a project he had started as a student film. Propeler Film is producing.

Writer/director Bobo Jelčić also shot All Alone / Sam samcat, a social drama about a divorced father, produced by Croatia’s Spiritus Movens Production in coproduction with Dokument Sarajevo from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, that supported it through its newly founded Montenegrin Film Centre.

Deep Cuts, an omnibus film about violence, directed by Filip Peruzović, Filip Mojzeš and Dubravka Turić, was also in production in 2017.

One of the most awaited debut features in 2018 is Awakenings / Samo zatvori oci by Jure Pavlović. Pavlović (who won the European Film Academy Award for the Best European short film for Picnic in 2015), produced through the Croatian company Sekvenca in coproduction with Slovenia’s Vertigo, Germany’s Monokel, Serbia’s Baš čelik and Novi Film from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Writer/director Barbara Vekarić also shot her debut feature Aleksi in 2017. This coming-of-age story is produced by Croatia’s Studio Dim in coproduction with Serbia’s FilmKombajn and Croatia's Motion.

Also shot in 2017 were Na zapadu, directed by Sara Hribar and Marko Šantić, and produced by Sekvenca d.o.o., Dom, directed by Dario Pleić and produced by Sekvenca d.o.o., and For Good All Times by Eduard Galić, produced by Missart.

Actress/producer Marija Ratkovic Vidakovic penned, produced and co-directed together with Dinka Radonic her first film, the autobiographical documentary In Search of a Lost Country / U potrazi za izgubljenom državom (working title). Shooting started in 2015 and wrapped in 2017. Marija Ratkovic Vidakovic is producing through the Croatian Film Association.

In Search of a Lost Country by Marija Ratkovic Vidakovic and Dinka RadonicDana Budisavljević continued in 2017 the production on Diana’s List, a documentary–fiction film about a distant kin, who was the greatest unheralded rescuer of children during WWII. Hulahop is producing.

Eleven projects applied for tax incentives in Croatia in 2017. According to the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the local expenditure was almost 25.4 m EUR.

In 2015 ten international productions applied for incentives with a cumulative local expenditure of approximately 20.5 m EUR. In 2016 seven international productions had a local expenditure of nearly 10 m EUR. Through the incentives programme, 34 projects were filmed in Croatia between 2012 and 2016, with local spending of almost 54 m EUR / 400 m HRK.

Among the projects that applied for incentives in 2017 are: the BBC One series McMafia directed by James Watkins (serviced by MP Film Production) and the 10-part AMC series The Terror directed by David Kajganich and Soo Hugh, produced by Ridley Scott and serviced by Embassy Film, as well as Robin Hood by Otto Bathurst (with Pakt Media servicing) and The Guardian Angel by Arto Halonen, with MP Film Production coproducing.

Also benefiting from the tax incentives scheme in 2017 were Ol Parker’s Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, Universal Pictures’ sequel to its 2008 hit musical, which was shot in Croatia for 24 days (the film was serviced by Pakt Media), the Dutch/Belgian/Croatian coproduction Rafael by Ben Sombogaart with Croatia’s Nukleus film as minority coproducer, the Danish feature film Lifeboat, directed by Josefine Kirkeskov and coproduced by Croatia’s MP Films, the TV series Kiss Me First and the feature film Ibiza, directed by Alex RichanbacRafael by Ben Sombogaart, photo: Rinkel Filmh.

The White Crow, a film focusing on the Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Rudolf  Nureyev and directed by Ralph Fiennes, was shot in Croatia in 2017, as well as Intrigo: Death of an Author directed by Daniel Alfredson, and also Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War / Zimna Wojna shot in Croatia for a few days. 

”Just the fact that Croatian cities can play the roles of major global metropolises as well as themselves, shows that the local infrastructure and local communities are ready to offer all that is necessary for top quality productions at the highest level", Daniel Rafaelić, director of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) said in a statement.

In 2017 Filming Europe - European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN) placed two locations in Croatia, Dubrovnik and Kaštel Gomilica (Kaštilac), on its list of the 11 most beautiful European locations of the decade, competing for a European Film Location Award.

Awakenings by Jure PavlovićDISTRIBUTION

A total of 228 films were distributed in cinemas in 2017, of which 210 were new openings. Sixteen domestic films were released in 2017, including 13 new releases and three films released in 2016.

The biggest domestic distributor is Blitz, followed by Continental Film.

The Constitution / Ustav Republike Hrvatske by the acclaimed Croatian director Rajko Grlic was picked up for US Distribution by Synergetic and was released theatrically in 2017.

Rest in Peace series produced by Ring MultimediaIn 2017 the ,Croatian TV series Rest in Peace expanded onto the American market as a ‘Walter Presents’ project, a partnership between Channel 4 and the British firm Global Series Network, which bought the UK rights. Rest in Peace, which was developed with the support of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and produced by Ring Productions for the Croatian Radio Television (HRT), was acquired by the Belgian Flemish Radio and Television (VRT) in 2015, becoming the first series developed by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre to be broadcast in Western Europe. The series created by Dario Vince and Koraljka Meštrović was also the first Croatian series to be sold to the U.S. at the beginning of 2014, when Lionsgate bought remake rights.

The High Sun by Dalibor Matanić was released in Spain by Surtsey Films in February 2017. Matanić’s film had its world premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section, has been screened at more than 100 international festivals and won 30 awards. In its first year of screening it was sold by Cercamon to over 30 countries and in 2017 it was distributed in the United States and China. The film is a Croatian/Serbian/Slovenian coproduction between Kinorama, SEE Film Pro and Gustav Film.

In 2017 On the Other Side by Zrinko Ogresta (a Croatian/Serbian coproduction between Interfilm and Zilion film) began its theatrical distribution in Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

The most important awards for the Croatian cinema in 2017 were: the Grand Prix of the national competition at the Pula Film Festival won by The Brief Excursion directed by Igor Bezinovic and produced by Studio Pangolin, after its premiere in Rotterdam; the three main prizes (best film, best screenplay and best performance) received by Rajko Grlic’s The Constitution at the 2017 London Raindance Film Festival; the Special Mention in the Generation Kplus programme of the Berlinale and the Young Audience Award at the 41st Annecy International Animation Film Festival for Hedgehog’s Home by Eva Cvijanović; the jury award of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia for The Just Come and Go by Boris Poljak and the Youth Jury award for Into the Blue by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović at the 63rd International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen; the Heart of Sarajevo for best short film received by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s Into the Blue and the Special Mention received by Zdenko Jurilj for his documentary Home at the 23rd Sarajevo Film Festival.

Into the Blue by Antoneta Alamat KusijanovićAlso the Croatian minority coproduction Dede by Mariam Khatchvani won the Special Jury Mention in the East of the West programme at the 52nd Karlovy Vary IFF, while the minority Croatian coproduction Men Don’t Cry by Alen Drljević won the Europa Cinemas Label and the Young Audience Award at the 23rd Sarajevo FF and a Special Jury Mention in Karlovy Vary.

The Sarajevo Film Festival Partners’ Award went to another Croatian minority coproduction, When Pigs Come by Biljana Tuturov (coproduced by Croatia’s Kinematograf).  The minority coproduction In Praise of Nothing, directed by Boris Mitrović and coproduced by Anti-Apsurd, premiered in Locarno.

The documentary My Life Without Air by Bojana Burnać premiered at HotDocs and was in the documentary competition in Karlovy Vary.

Toma Waszarow’s Red Light (a Croatian minority coproduction) won the Audience Award at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival.

Hana Jušić’s debut feature Quit Staring at My Plate was chosen to represent Croatia in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 90th Academy Awards 2018. The film is the first Croatian/Danish coproduction between Kinorama, the Croatian Television and Beofilm.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

In March 2017 Blitz-Cinestar opened its 13th multiplex in Croatia, the Kaptol Boutique Cinema & Bar in Zagreb, the first laser cinema in the region. In December 2017 Blitz-Cinestar opened CineStar 4DX Mall, its14th multiplex in Croatia, its second multiplex opened in Split, the largest in the Dalmatia region. Blitz-CineStar is the largest and most successful exhibition company in ex-Yugoslavia.

In 2017 total admissions were 4,637,287 and total gross 18,398,215 EUR / 136,778,122 HRK, according to estimates provided by Continental Film.

The Mystery of Green Hill by Čejen Černić credit KinoramaThe most popular Croatian films in 2017 were: The Mystery of Green Hill / Uzbuna na Zelenom Vrhu by director Cejen Cernic , produced by Kinorama and distributed by 2iFilm, with 68,642 admissions, Anka by Dejan Aćimović , produced by DA Film and distributed by Blitz Film&Video, with 30,885 admissions, and Neparožderi by Galina Miklinova, produced by Filmosaurus Rex and released by Blitz Film&Video, with 15,764 admissions.

Total admissions top ten 2017 is composed of: Despicable Me 3 (with 162,554 admissions), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (132,540 admissions), Fast &Furious 8 (125,334 admissions), Fifty Shades Darker (116,810 admissions), Boss Baby (107,813 admissions), It (107,032 admissions), Wonder (99,163 admissions), Smurfs: The Lost Village (85,989  admissions), La La Land (85,388  admissions), Thor: Ragnarok (79,778 admissions).

In 2016 the most watched Croatian film in the cinemas was Igor Šeregi’s ZG80 (Kinoteka) with 65,685 admissions.

Total admissions increased by 2.93 percent from 4,505,139 in 2016 to 4,637,287 in 2017, according to the estimations made by Continental Film.

Admissions to domestic films decreased by 10.49 percent from 147,205 admissions in 2016 (including minority coproductions) to 133,219 in 2017 (including the three films released in 2016 and still in distribution in 2017).

Men Dont Cry by Alen DrljevićGRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The most important film institution is the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC), founded in January 2008. HAVC operated with a total annual budget of 9.11 m EUR in 2012, a total budget of 9.30 m EUR in 2013, of 9.03 m EUR in 2014 and 7.99 m EUR in 2015. HAVC’s total budget for 2016 was 8.67 m EUR and 10.15 m EUR in 2017.  

The Board of HAVC reappointed Hrvoje Hribar as Chief Executive for a second four-year term beginning in December 2014, but on 6 February 2017 Hribar handed in his resignation due to the negative audit conducted by the Croatian State Audit. As a result, representatives of the Croatian Film Director's Guild and the Croatian Producers Association launched the initiative We’ve Had Enough / Puk’o nam je, aimed at protecting Croatian cinema from political influence and control. The Federation of European Film Directors and the Association of European Film Agency Directors (EFADs) supported the initiative and praised Hrvoje Hribar’s contribution to Croatian and European film.

In February 2017 Daniel Rafaelić was named acting director and in May 2017 the director of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre for a four year term. Rafaelić told FNE: “One of my main tasks is to strengthen the Croatian Audiovisual Centre as an institution with a clear policy for the state fund management. It is relevant for Croatian film to be autonomous within the guidelines of the National Programme. The battle against piracy and the promotion of Croatian films abroad are also in the forefront of HAVC's work much more now than before.”

In May 2017 a total of 1,615,161 EUR / 12,004,100 HRK was distributed by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre as production grants and minority coproductions grants, and also for script and project development. Production grants were allotted to 17 projects including feature films, short films, long and short documentaries, animated films and experimental films. From among 17 applications for minority coproduction grants only two projects were selected – the feature film God Exists, Her Name is Petrunija by Teona Strugar Mitevska and the documentary Am Ziel by Želimir Žilnik.

In July 2017 the Croatian Audiovisual Centre allotted 118,730 EUR / 880,000 HRK to two feature films and one short film.

In October the Croatian Audiovisual Centre distributed 452,116 EUR / 3,395,000 HRK as production grants for minority coproductions, and script development and project development support for TV productions. Seven Croatian minority coproductions received 326,269 EUR / 2,450,000 HRK. HAVC also allotted 63,256 EUR / 475,000 HRK for the script development of 20 fiction, documentary and animated TV projects (series or independent works), while 62,590 EUR / 470,000 HRK went to the project development of 11 fiction, documentary and animated TV projects (series or independent works).

A total of 45 foreign productions have used the tax incentives scheme since its launch in 2012: five in 2012, four in 2013, eight in 2014, ten in 2015, seven in 2016 and 11 in 2017.

Constitution by Rajko GrlićUnder the cash rebate scheme, projects can claim back 20% of their qualifying expenditure, which is based on the cost of the Croatian cast and crew working in Croatia, as well as goods and services purchased in Croatia, with a cap of around 2.6m EUR per project.

The Istria Film Commission was launched in July 2015, following the example of the Zadar Film Commission in helping filming crews in location scouting, communication with public authorities and domestic producers and crew, obtaining filming permits and accessing databases. A new film commission, Kvarner Film Commission, opened in Rijeka in 2017.

Additional public support bodies are the Zagreb City Office for Education, Culture and Sport and the Rijeka City Office for Culture.

TV

As stipulated by the 2007 Croatian Film Act, Croatian public broadcaster, the Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT), as well as all other Croatian broadcasters with a national concession (Nova TVRTL) are obliged to contribute towards the funding of the HAVC in the form of a mandatory contribution.

As a public broadcaster, the Croatian Radiotelevision plays an important role in the promotion of national cinema through its two terrestrial and two digital channels, and is legally obliged to invest a minimum of 15% of its programming budget in works by independent producers.

In April 2017, the Croatian TV project Uspjeh by Marjan Alčevski was selected for development by HBO Europe from its HBO Adria First Draft Contest for original drama, out of more than 500 entries.

CONTACTS:

Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC)
Nova Ves 18
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 (0)1 6041 080
Fax: +385 (0)1 4667 819
www.havc.hr
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dede by by Mariam KhatchvaniMEDIA Desk Croatia
Ulica Kralja Zvonimira 20
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 (0)1 4655 434
Fax: +385 (0)1 4655 442
www.mediadesk.hr
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ministry of Culture- Directorate for Performing Arts and Audiovisual Affairs
Runjaninova 2
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 (0)1 4866 408
Fax: +385 (0)1 4866 438
www.min-kulture.hr

Report by Iulia Blaga
Sources: the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Continental Film