ZAGREB: Hrvoje Hribar has resigned his post as head of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) after a controversial report by the State Audit Office, that was widely seen as politically motivated.
Hribar, who has enjoyed widespread support in the local film community, handed in his resignation on 6 February. Both the Croatian Producers Association and the Croatian Film Directors’ Guild have issued a joint statement supporting Hribar and the HAVC and saying the consequences of the government’s action could damage the independence of Croatian cinema and freedom of cultural works.
The State Audit alleged various irregularities, but the main issue raised was that all decisions and contracts of the HAVC should have been co-signed by the Minister of Culture, which according to Hribar is contrary to the 2007 Audiovisual Activities Act as well as contrary to the principle of HAVC as an independent institution.
Hribar, who has presided over a period of success for Croatian film both domestically and internationally during his time as head of the HAVC, has been under increasing political pressure over the past three years from right wing political groups as well as coming under attack in the local media.
Hribar will be attending the Berlinale as head of the HAVC and will step down after the event.