ZAGREB: Croatian filmmakers are predicting an increase in foreign film productions when the country becomes the 28th member of the European Union on 1 July 2013.
“It has been quite of a nice year for us – tax incentives are working just fine, the digitalisation process, too, and we had some domestic cinema hits. Joining the EU will probably mean that shooting in Croatia will become easier, so I suppose that it will bring some new crews and some new jobs to our territory,” Ankica Jurić Tilić of Kinorama, one of the most successful Croatian film producers told FNE.
Five major international projects shot benefiting from the 20% tax incentive system shot in Croatia last year including hit TV series Game of Thrones, vol.3, by Dan Minahan, David Benioff, Dan Weiss and David Nutter. This year so far Arto Halonen’s A Patriotic Men, shot in spring and Jasmila Zbanic’s Love Island is currently shooting. In 2012 there were also about 10 Croatian productions and Croatia participated in another five international coproductions including the highly successful German-Croatian-Bulgarian coproductionSofia's Last Ambulance directed by Ilian Metev and coproduced by the Croatian Nukleus Film.
Hrvoje Osvadić, the head of Croatian Producers Association told FNE that joining the EU will help the Croatian film industry to continue the positive trajectory of the past few years. “Of course it will be easier to attract more international productions given the full range of measures that preceded Croatia joining the EU which will make production easier and cheaper. The Croatian Audiovisual Centre has prepared procedures to speed up the flow of information on the possibilities of producing films in Croatia,” he told FNE.
Hrvoje Hribar, the head of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre is more cautious as he puts the event into perspective. He says that this “exciting experience” means “a lot of new knowledge to embrace.” The fact that this takes place at the same time as the debates around the US-EU trade deal (known as TTIP) makes the things more nuanced.
“Croatian filmmakers have been part of the EU playground for quite a while,” he said, pointing to membership in Eurimages, FIAPF, and the MEDIA Programme among others. “Still, the fact that we are becoming the official 28th state of EU is an exciting experience. Firstly, it means that we are already taking part in a political Via Crucis concerning TTIP,” He said.