Bosnia and Herzegovina saw four important events in 2015: it hosted the 21st edition of Sarajevo Film Festival, it joined the Film New Europe Association and European Film Promotion and it also witnessed the opening of the Creative Europe Desk in Sarajevo and Banja Luka in November 2015.
A new Cinema Law has been under discussion in the Parliament in 2015. Its approval would lead to the launch of the Bosnian Audiovisual Centre.
A total of 51 films were produced in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015 including two feature films. Our Everyday Life / Naša svakodnevna prića by Ines Tanović follows a contemporary Bosnian family as it deals with illness, separation and the consequences of war. The film was produced by Dokument Sarajevo in coproduction with Croatia's Spiritus Movens and Slovenia's Studio Maj. Our Everyday Life has been selected as Bosnia and Herzegovina's candidate for the Foreign Language Academy Award 2016.
Thousand / Hiljadarka by Nenad Đurić, a comedy based on the script of the successful Bosnian-Herzegovinian writer Zilhad Kljucanin, was produced by Heft Production Sarajevo and the Chicago, Podgorica and Belgrade-based company GM Films in association with Moving Stories Theatre.
Balada by Anton Petersen is a 63-min student film produced by film.factory. There were also seven long documentaries produced in 2015: Lost Button / Izgubljeno dugme by Renato Tonković, Marijo Vukadin and Robert Bubalo (Kadar from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia’s Olimp, Austria’s One Sand), The Fog of Srebenica / Izmaglica Srebrenice by Samir Mehanović (Face TV, Paradiso Films Documentaries LTD), One Day in Sarajevo / Jedan dan u Sarajevu by Jasmila Žbanić (produced by Deblokada), Rus by Damir Ibrahimović and Eldar Emrić (produced by Deblokada), Sarajevo 1914 by Goran Dujaković (produced by Fenix art), Soul Train by Nermin Hamzagić (produced by SCCA / Pro.ba, Red Bull Media House), An Invisible Child’s Trap / Stupica nevidljivog djeteta by Šemsudin Gegić (FAVIC - Filmski i audio video centar, Institut za istraživanje zločina protivčovječnosti i međunarodnog prava Univerziteta u Sarajevu), and 22 short documentaries and 18 short fiction films.
Four minority coproductions were produced in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015, all of them feature films. Rosa by Denijal Hasanović, currently in postproduction, is a coproduction between Poland’s Scorpion Arte, Croatia’s Focus Media and SCCA / Pro.ba from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Sabina K by Cristobal Krusen, a drama inspired by true events taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina in January 2004-January 2005, is produced by the American/German company Messenger Films in coproduction with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Relative Pictures.
Before Enmity /Prije Neprijateljstva by Dane Komljen, currently in postproduction, is a coproduction between Serbia’s Dart Film, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s SCCA / Pro.ba and VizArt, and Slovenia’s Code Blue. My Aunt in Sarajevo by Goran Kapetanović is produced by Chinema Film Sweden in coproduction with SCCA / Pro.ba, and is also in postproduction.
One international production has been shot in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015, Marco Bellocchio’s feature film Blood of My Blood, an Italy/France/Switzerland coproduction between Kavac Film, IBC Movie and Rai Cinema, with SCCA / Pro.ba providing services.
A total of 158 films were distributed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015, compared to 188 in 2014. One Bosnian feature films was distributed in 2015, Hiljadarka by Nenad Djuric (Heft from BiH, RTV Federacije BiH, CINEPLANET Serbia).
The main distributors in Bosnia and Herzegovina are Blitz film and video distribution, Una Film, CON Film, 2iFilm, MCF, Tropic, Art Service, Obala Art Centar and Oscar film.
EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE
The biggest box office hits in 2015 were: Fifty Shades of Grey with 110,819 EUR /216,746 BAM gross, Minions with 105,881 EUR / 207,088.50 BAM gross, Fast &Furious 7 with 100,294 EUR / 196,160 BAM gross, Gorčilo, Jesi li to dosao da me vidis by Milan Karadzic (Serbia) with 71,536 EUR / 139,914 BAM gross, Spectre with 70,526 EUR / 137,939 BAM gross, The Theory of Everything with 52,254 EUR /102,201 BAM gross, We Will Be World Champions / Bičemo prvaci sveta with 55,486 EUR / 108,523 BAM gross, Avengers: Age of Ultron with 47,407 / 92,721 BAM gross, Taken 3 with 46,490 EUR / 90,928 BAM gross and Hiljadarka with 45,931 EUR / 89,834 BAM gross.
The domestic hit of 2015 was Hiljadarka by Nenad Djuric which sold 20,866 tickets and cashed in with 45,931 EUR / 89,834 BAM through November 2015.
There are 35 screens of which 32 are digitalised. There are five multiplexes: Sarajevo Cinema City, Multipleks Palas Banja Luka operated by Oskar Film doo, Cinestar Mostar operated by Blitz, Multiplex Ekran Zenica operated by Ekran and Cinestar Bihac operated by Blitz.
On the art house cinema scene there are four cinemas in the Europa Cinemas network with the director of Sarajevo Film Festival, Mirsad Purivatra who is also the manager of Kino Meeting Point cinema in Sarajevo winning the Europa Cinemas 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the outstanding work of this cinema in the distribution of European films.
GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION
The main fund is Sarajevo Film Fund and the grant contest opened in autumn 2015 with the results set to be announced before Christmas 2015. The budget remained the same as in 2014: approximately 1 m EUR for film production and promotion.
The Fund functions within the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while in the Republic of Srpska there is a film centre with its own funding procedure.
The main film institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina which has an important role in the development of Bosnian cinema, making strategies and connecting with the government, and also promoting Bosnian cinema abroad.
A new Cinema Law has been under discussions in the Parliament in 2015. Its approval would lead to the launch of a Bosnian Audiovisual Centre which will mainly regulate the funding. Elma Tataragić, the General Secretary of the Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “The main challenge is definitely the funding. The system that we have now is not really able to support film production. Only in half of the country we have a film fund and the budget for this film fund is a little bit less than 1 m EUR and it’s decreasing every year. The other entity (Republic of Srpska) is in an even worse situation. They have set up an official call for proposals for projects only recently.”
“So the law is very precise in how the funding will function and how it can work for obtaining more money for the cinema because the cinema does not waste money, it also brings a lot of money back. As most of the feature films made here are coproductions, we did a little math: if a film gets about 100,000 EUR from our Film Fund, it will bring five times more to the city, including local employees, hotels, food, services etc ", said Elma Tataragić.
It is also expected that the new legislation will decentralise film production, which for now focuses mainly on Sarajevo. “This new legislation will open up space for dispersing film production to other film centers such as in Herzegovina, which has a strong documentary film festival that has made people there aware of documentary filmmaking. There is also Banja Luka with a new generation of filmmakers coming up”, said Tataragić.
There is no tax incentives scheme yet, but according to Elma Tataragić it will be the next step.
The main public channels are Radio Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT) and Federal TV (FTV). The main private channels are Al Jazeera Balkans, N1 and Hayat TV.
No TV channel in Bosnia and Herzegovina funds feature films. Only Al Jazeera produces independent documentaries and also a very small amount of sitcoms.
ASSOCIATION OF FILMMAKERS OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
FOUNDATION OF CINEMATOGRAPHY SARAJEVO
MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS
FILM CENTER SARAJEVO
FILM CENTER OF REPUBLIC OF SRPSKA
THE NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVES OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Report by Iulia Blaga
Sources: Association of Filmmakers in Bosnia and Herzegovina