Extracurricular by Ivan-Goran VitezMARKET ANALYSIS 2020

ZAGREB: The total gross of Croatian cinemas dropped from 21.1 m EUR in 2019 to only 5.9 m EUR in 2020, due to lockdowns. Box office for Croatian films plummeted from 1 m EUR in 2019 to 77,600 EUR in 2020, even though the number of domestic releases dropped only slightly, from 22 in 2019 to 19 releases in 2020.

The amount spent by international productions filming in Croatia was 11.9 m EUR / 90 m HRK, with nine international projects spending a total of 161 days in the country, following the record-breaking 2019, when 12 international productions spent 421 days filming in Croatia, and the local spend amounted to over 45.5 m EUR / 341 m HRK.

Following the lockdown that started in March 2020, independent cinemas started opening in May, while multiplexes opened only at the end of August 2020. In cooperation with exhibitors, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) launched the Return to Cinemas campaign at the beginning of September. It was a viral video campaign accompanied by a film programme intended to promote Croatian films, but also to enrich the cinema repertoire because there were not enough titles in the distribution.

Despite the disruption of the distribution chains, five new independent cinemas were introduced in 2020, as well as the three new independent VOD platforms Croatian.film, Kino Europa Online and Kino Mediteran od doma, and a new SVOD platform Svevid.

The Croatian beneficiaries of the MEDIA sub-programme of the Creative Europe successfully concluded 2020 with a total grant amount of 2.3 m EUR, which is the largest annual amount received since Croatia entered the MEDIA sub-programme of Creative Europe.

Father by Srdan Golubović, photo: Maja MedićIn 2020, Croatian films traveled to festivals in Rotterdam, Berlin, Clermont-Ferrand, Annecy, Warsaw, Tallinn and others, winning multiple awards.

Goran Bogdan became the first Croatian actor nominated for an EFA award, for the lead role in The Father / Otac by Srđan Golubović.

Extracurricular by Ivan-Goran Vitez was chosen to represent Croatia in the Best International Feature Film category at the 93nd Academy Awards 2020.

Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus by Dalibor Barić is among the 27 titles competing for a 2021 Oscar nomination in the category of animated feature films.

Student film The Stamp / Pečat by Lovro Mrđen was nominated for the Student Oscar in the foreign film category.

From January to June 2020, Croatia held the presidency of the Council of the European Union, for the first time since its admission to the EU in 2013. Among many events planned in Croatia and abroad, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) had announced a series of events that had to be cancelled or moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PRODUCTION

Five Croatian feature films, including two debut features, were shot in 2020 with the support of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC). Three TV series, out of which two are new projects, were also shot. Filming was not possible between March and late May 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, which postponed or prolonged several announced projects.

Goran Dukić, a Croatian director based in the USA, filmed his second feature Do Pigs Go to Heaven? / Nosila je rubac črleni, a romantic comedy set in the Croatian region Zagorje and produced by Švenk. The film features Jesus Christ as the narrator, with Croatian actress Nataša Dorčić and a piglet in lead roles. The premiere is planned for 2021.

Branko Schmidt filmed Poker / Džoker, a war veteran drama produced by Telefilm and following the struggle of a Croatian war veteran consumed by his sense of guilt. It has been 25 years since, as a commanding officer, he refused to help save the life of a wounded comrade-in-arms. The premiere is set for 2021.

Josip Žuvan filmed his debut feature The Carbide / Garbura, produced by Maxima film and coproduced by Serbian Biberche productions. The film follows two inseparable friends from strained families, who live across the road from each other and share a love of pyrotechnics and mobile phones. The filming finished in the Croatian coastal city of Pirovac during the winter holidays in 2020.

Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Water Rebus by Dalibor BarićDirector Dubravka Turić, winner of the Venice Horizons Award for the short film Belladona in 2015, shot the first half of her debut feature Traces / Tragovi in September 2020. Produced by Kinorama and coproduced by Romania’s MicroFILM, the film is a drama with mystical elements that encompasses the four seasons of a single year, following middle-aged Ana (Marija Škaričić), who is struggling to understand connections in her life. The second part of filming is planned for the first quarter of 2021.

Eduard Galić finished shooting the Sixth Bus / Šesti autobus, a film about war atrocities in the besieged Croatian city of Vukovar in the 1990s. Produced by MissArt and coproduced by Australia's Global Entertainment Media, the film was shot in Vukovar, Zagreb, Glina, and the Serbian capital Belgrade during 2019 and 2020. The distribution is set to start in 2021.

Following a record-breaking 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel bans blocked several service productions. The restart of audiovisual production in the Republic of Croatia at the end of May 2020 made it possible for projects which had been in a high stage of preparation before the lockdown to be filmed, and for new recordings to be made in the second half of the year and in compliance with all measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The filming of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, a humorous meta-comedy directed by Tom Gormican, attracted a lot of media attention thanks to its lead actors Nicholas Cage and Pedro Pascal. Produced by Gold Films Kft, with Embassy Films as the local service provider, the project was shot for 15 days in a luxurious hotel near Dubrovnik. A total of 412 film workers participated in the production in Croatia (of which 97 Croatian citizens) and about 300 Croatian citizens as extras.

The popular German TV series Split Homicide / Der Kroatien Krimi filmed its 9th and 10th installment over 44 days in Zagreb, Split and Imotski. By the end of 2020 they also had one day of filming for the 11th and 12th film of the series, and the shooting will continue in 2021. The crime film series set in Croatia is produced by Constantin Television for the ARD, with Pakt Media as service provider.

Pakt Media also worked as the service provider for three days of shooting of the second season of Carnival Row, produced by Stillking Features for Amazon Studios and filmed in Dubrovnik. While in Dubrovnik, the same two production companies did one day of shooting for the feature film Oslo directed by Bartlett Sher and based on a true story of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in the 1990s. The film is produced by DreamWorks Pictures and will be distributed by HBO.

Pakt Media also did four days for the Dubrovnik-based filming of The Wheel of Time, a new series directed by Uta Briesewitz, Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Wayne Yip, based on Robert Jordan's bestselling fantasy book series that is set to premiere in 2021. Little Island production Ltd is producing.

The Croatian minority coproduction How I Learned to Fly / Ljeto kada sam naučila letjeti, produced by Sense Production (Serbia), Kinorama (Croatia), Art Fest (Bulgaria) and Silverart Traces by Dubravka Turic, photo: Kinorama(Slovakia), filmed in the island towns of Stari Grad and Jelsa for 32 days. Directed by Radivoje Andrić and based on Jasminka Petrović’s popular novel of the same title, the film depicts a life-changing summer vacation of 12-year old Sofia.

As the lead production company, Kinorama also got incentives for the coproduction TV series Last Socialist Artefact / Područje bez signala by Dalibor Matanić, which they filmed for 48 days in Zagreb, Duga Resa, Karlovac, Lički Osik and Gračac also in 2020.

In 2020 nine international projects spent a total of 161 days of filming in Croatia, of which 23 days were filmed in local self-governed units located in underdeveloped regions, for which the right to incentives is 30%. The total local spending reached almost 11.9 m EUR / 90 m HRK, according to preliminary cost estimates and audit reports submitted so far.

In 2019, twelve international productions spent 421 days filming in Croatia, and the local spend amounted to over 45.5 m EUR / 341 m HRK.

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 amount spent by foreign productions using cash rebates since the start of implementing the Incentive Measures Programme exceeded 145.5 m EUR / 1.1 billion HRK by the end of 2020, with 79 applications submitted by foreign production companies.

COVID-19 GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

On 17 March 2020, the Croatian Parliament passed a total of 66 measures to support the local economy, estimated at 3.9 billion EUR / 30 billion HRK in total. Under these measures, filmmakers could benefit from a postponed tax payment with no interest, and employers were able to apply for help from the 660.7 m EUR / 5 billion HRK state fund to cover minimum salaries for their employees, up to 425 EUR per employee.

A number of emergency measures have been introduced by the Ministry of Culture and Media since March 2020. In the initial reallocation of the state budget, 6.2 m EUR / 48 m HRK were allocated to the emergency fund to support the culture and media sector, and additional 4.6 m EUR / 35 m HRK were secured for the Arts and Culture Online tender, financed by the European Social Fund (ESF).

The Ministry introduced a total of 15 measures in three packages by the end of 2020. In addition to the funds distributed by HAVC, filmmakers could apply for state incentives for Entrepreneurship in Culture, and independent artists could apply for a monthly state support in order to compensate for their losses. The revision of lists of independent artists entitled to How I Learned to Fly by Radivoje Andrićstate benefits was postponed until the end of the pandemic.

In June 2020, HAVC announced support for additional filming costs incurred due to extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. The support was available for projects that had already received production support from HAVC, and were ready to start filming while the nation-wide anti-epidemic measures were in place.

In August 2020, on the initiative of the Zagreb Film Office, the City of Zagreb agreed to abolish and reduce the rental prices of public spaces in the city of Zagreb through the following measures: approval of the shooting of national films in public areas owned by the City of Zagreb free of charge until the end of COVID-19 measures; approval of filming of international coproductions and productions with 50 percent discount on the cost of fees until the end of COVID-19 measures; approval of shooting commercials with a 50 percent discount on the cost of fees until the end of COVID-19 measures.

In November 2020, HAVC announced that it would provide 660,000 EUR / 5 m HRK in additional support for the production of feature films affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as agreed with the Ministry of Culture and Media. The funds were earmarked for the previously co-financed projects that were unable to complete production.

Feature films that were in the postproduction phase are able to apply for a maximum of 13,000 EUR / 100,000 HRK per film, and production must be completed by 30 June 2021. A maximum of 82,000 EUR / 600,000 HRK are allocated to debut and feature films that are in the preparation phase and plan to begin shooting in 2020 and 2021, with a deadline on 31 December 2021.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 179 films were released in regular distribution in 2020, compared to 201 in 2019. Out of 116 new releases in 2020, 19 were domestic, compared to 22 in 2019. Croatian distribution in 2020 consisted of 55% Northern American films, 30% European and UK films, 10% Croatian films and 3% films from the rest of the world.

The biggest domestic distributor is Blitz, followed by Editus, Continental Film and Discovery. In June, Blitz Group purchased the Croatian distributor 2i Film, thus securing more than 70% of the Croatian box office.

There are 192 cinema screens in Croatia, out of which 75 are in public ownership.The Last Socialist Artefact by Dalibor Matanić

Despite many cancellations due to COVID-19 restrictions, Croatian films found their way to international festivals.

In January 2020, the minority coproductions Barefoot Emperor directed by Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens, and produced by Propeler film (Croatia) in coproduction with Art Fest (Bulgaria), Entre Chien et Loup (France) and Topkapi Films (the Netherlands), and Occupied Cinema directed by Senka Domanović and produced by This and That That Productions (Serbia) in coproduction with Nukleus Film (Croatia), premiered at the IFF Rotterdam, where the experimental short Testfilm #1 by the Croatian arts collective Telcosystems was also presented.

The 42nd edition of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short FF presented in its competition the short animated film Inhaled Life / Udahnut Život by Ivana Bošnjak and Thomas Johnson, produced by Bonobostudio. Minority coproductions Toomas Under the Valley of the Wild Wolves / Toomas ispod doline divljih vukova by Chintis Lundgren, produced by Miyu productions and coproduced by Animatsioonistuudio (Estonia) and Adriatic Animation (Croatia), and The Flood / Potop by Kristijan Krajnčan, produced by EnaBanda (Slovenia) and coproduced by Eclectica (Croatia), also competed in the festival.

In February 2020, Croatian minority coproductions Mare by Andrea Štaka, coproduced by OKOFILM Productions (Switzerland) and Dinaridi Film (Croatia), and The Father / Otac by Srđan Golubović, produced by Baš Čelik (Serbia) in coproduction with Propeler film (Croatia), Vertigo (Slovenia) and SCCA/pro.ba (Bosnia and Herzegovina), premiered at the 70th Berlinale. The Father won the Audience Award in the Panorama section, as well as the Ecumenical Jury Award.

The animated feature film Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus by Dalibor Barić, produced by Kaos, vied in the feature film competition of the online edition of Annecy International Animation FF in June 2020. The Ark / Arka by Natko Stipančev, produced by Kreativni sindikat, and The Adventures of Gloria Scott – Murder in the Cathedral / Pustolovine Glorije Scott - umorstvo u katedrali by Matija Pisačić, produced by Kinematograf, competed for the short film award. I'm Not Feeling Very Well by Sunčana Brkulj, produced by Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts, competed for the student award. The Croatian minority coproduction Natural Selection /  Prirodni odabir by Aleta Rajič, produced by Studio Neum (Bosnia) and coproduced by Zagreb film, competed in the Perspective shorts programme.

Mare by Andrea Štaka won the CICAE Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival. The lead actress Marija Škaričić won her third Heart of Sarajevo award for the role in Mare. The short film Antiotpad by Tin Žanić, produced by Dinaridi film, won the Heart of Sarajevo in the short film competition.

Occupied Cinema by Senka Domanović, photo: This and That FilmsThe feature film Tereza 37 directed by Danilo Šerbedžija, produced by Focus Media, premiered in the Discoveries section of the Warsaw IFF in November 2020.

The Tallinn Black Nights FF hosted the premiere of The Dawn / Zora by Dalibor Matanić, produced by Kinorama in coproduction with Ascent Film (Italy). The short film Cockpera by Kate Gugić, produced by Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts and coproduced by Zagreb film, screened in the Shorts Panorama programme. PÖFF Shorts programme screened The Ark by Natko Stipančev, produced by Kreativni sindikat.

The feminist drama Tereza37 directed by Danilo Šerbedžija was also the big winner at the 2020 Pula Film Festival, bringing a total of six Golden Arenas to its creators.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

A total of 179 films were distributed in regular distribution in 2020.

The total admissions were 1,388,742, compared to 4,912,282 in 2019.

The total gross reached 5.9 m EUR / 44.6 m HRK, compared to 21.2 m EUR / 157.9 m HRK in 2019. 

The box office for Croatian films plummeted from 1 m EUR / 7.8 m HRK in 2019 to 77,600 EUR / 587,000 HRK in 2020.

The biggest exhibitor is Blitz Cinestar, followed by Cineplexx. Additionally, films are independently distributed through the Croatian Independent Cinemas Network, which includes 65 cinemas in 53 cities and on the islands. Five new independent cinemas, all located in community-owned venues, opened in 2020: Kino Lič, Kino Senj, Kino Tvrđava kulture Šibenik, Kino Rudar in Mursko središće and Kino Dom in Vrbovsko.

The 10 most watched films in Croatian cinemas in 2020, according to BoxOffice.hr, were: The The Barefoot Emperor by Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens, source: HAVCGentlemen (86,092 admissions), Bad Boys for Life (68,635 admissions), 1917 (59,122 admissions), Tenet (56,586 admissions), Sonic the Hedgehog (51,989 admissions), Parasite (47,521 admissions), Dolittle (47,297 admissions), Trouble (45,076 admissions), After We Collided (40,767 admissions) and Greenland (34,751 admissions).

Following the preventive shut-down in March 2020, independent cinemas mostly opened in May or June, and multiplexes only at the end of August. In cooperation with exhibitors, HAVC launched the Return to Cinemas campaign at the beginning of September. It was a viral campaign accompanied by a film programme, intended to promote Croatian films, but also to enrich the cinema repertoire because there were not enough titles in the distribution.

The most viewed Croatian title of the year, according to the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC), was Zagreb Equinox / Zagrebački ekvinocij, a generation drama directed by the young debutant Svebor Mihael Jelic. The surprise independent hit produced by CEFGI collective follows six youngsters who decide that the 2015 spring equinox is a great reason to throw a party. While trying to run their seemingly simple errands, the characters introduce us to the nightlife of the Croatian capital Zagreb, and get to know themselves and each other. Following successful premieres at the Pula Film Festival and the Motovun Film Festival in 2019, the film attracted 4,545 filmgoers and earned 18,000 EUR / 136,000 HRK in 2020.

Another debut feature, Mater by Jure Pavlović, holds the second place among the domestic premieres with 4,256 admissions and 10,300 EUR / 78,000 HRK gross. Produced by Croatia's Sekvenca and coproduced by Serbia's Wake Up Film & Video Production, France's Les Films de l'oeil sauvage and Bosnian Udruženje Novi film, the film follows a middle-aged emigrant as she pays a visit to her mother, an old, bedridden Croatian woman suffering from cancer. The film premiered at the Tallinn Black Nights FF in 2019 and had its Croatian premiere in 2020.

The docudrama Diary of Diana B. / Dnevnik Diane B. by Dana Budisavljević holds the third place with 3,854 admissions and 4,000 EUR / 45,400 HRK gross in 2020. The film was produced by Hulahop (Croatia) in collaboration with December (Slovenia) and This and That Productions (Serbia). Since its premiere at the Pula Film Festival in 2019, where it won six awards, the film was screened at a string of international festivals. Its Croatian theatrical distribution in 2019 brought 26,642 admissions throughout the country, making it the fifth most-watched film of the year.

The fourth highest grossing Croatian film was the documentary Stepinac - The Archbishop and His Conscience / Stepinac: Kardinal i njegova savjest by Višnja Starešina, produced by Interfilm.

The political documentary Kumek by Dario Juričan, produced by HRCIN, is estimated to be in the fifth place.

Mare by Andrea Štaka, credit: Okofilm productionFishing and Fishermen's Conversations / Ribanje i ribarsko prigovaranje by Milan Trenc, produced by Studio Devet in coproduction with Propeler Film and the Croatian Television (HRT), holds the sixth place. It is followed by two minority coproductions: The Father / Otac by Srđan Golubović and Mare by Andrea Štaka.

The contemporary drama The Voice / Glas by Ognjen Sviličić, produced by Maxima Film, holds the ninth place. Finally, the tenth place is reserved for another minority coproduction, God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunia / Bog postoji, njeno ime je Petrunija by Teona Strugar Mitevska, produced by Sisters and Brother Mitevski (Macedonia), coproduced by Spiritus movens, (Croatia), Entre Chien et Loup (Belgium), Vertigo (Slovenia),  Deuxième Ligne Films (France) and EZ Films (Ireland).

VOD PLATFORMS AND ONLINE DISTRIBUTION

In addition to international streaming services such as Netflix, HBO GO and Amazon Prime, the local streaming service Pickbox.hr, founded in 2014, remains a popular choice among the Croatian internet users.

Leading internet providers T-Com, A1 / Bnet and Iskon Internet provide IPTV services with VOD packages including international and domestic feature films, animated and documentary films, as well as TV series.

The Croatian Radiotelevision offers its own VOD service HRTi, free for all TV subscribers, offering a wide range of domestic and foreign productions. The broadcasters with a national concession, Nova TV and RTL, also offer VOD services with TV series, films and TV shows.

The Restart association pioneered independent VOD platforms in Croatia with their project Volim Dokumentarce, which offers a wide catalogue of Croatian and international documentary films, but also masterclasses by renowned documentary filmmakers. The films can be rented for 1-3 USD or downloaded for 6 USD.

More independent producers and festival organisers started setting up smaller VOD services in 2020, to address the lack of distribution channels for independent cinema during the pandemic.

The free of charge VOD platform Croatian.film, dedicated to the promotion of Croatian short films, started in February 2020, and by November 2020 it managed to attract over 135,000 users, who watched more than 100,000 films. The platform is managed by Propeler Film, the production company that started a digital version of the closed-down Kino Europa dedicated to Croatian and international feature films in April.

The platforms Kino Europa Online and Croatian.film streamed the 2020 online version of the Zagreb Film Festival and KinoKino Children's Festival, both produced by the same team.Tereza37 by Danilo Šerbedžija Streaming on the Kino Europa Online platform ranges from free of charge to 2 USD per film.

A new SVOD platform Svevid was introduced to Croatian audiences in May 2020. The Zagreb-based platform presents Croatian and regional cinematography with film titles from the former Yugoslavia from the 1940s until the present day. Yearly membership fee is 48 EUR / 360 HRK, with the possibility to subscribe on a monthly or bi-yearly basis.

Kino Mediteran od doma is the new VOD platform set up by the Kino Mediteran project in December 2020, founded by the organisers of the Mediterranean Film Festival Split. The platform offers a variety of Croatian and international independent feature films, for a fee of 3 EUR / 20 HRK per film.

Following limited festival releases, feature films Tereza 37 by Danilo Šerbedžija, Mater by Jure Pavlović, and Mare by Andrea Štaka, were among the Croatian films released on the aforementioned VOD platforms during 2020.

Following its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Quo Vadis, Aida? by the Bosnian director Jasmila Žbanić, produced by Deblokada (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in coproduction with Austria’s Coop99, Romania’s Digital Cube, the Netherlands' N279 Productions, Germany's Razor Film, Poland's Extreme Emotions, France's Indie Prod and Norway's Tordenfilm, had a fully-online distribution in Croatia starting December 2020.

The independent cinemas Art-kino Croatia, Kino Valli, Kino Tuškanac and Kinoklub Šibenik moved parts of their programmes online and offered streamings free of charge during the 2020 lockdowns.

The Dawn by Dalibor MatanićThe independent cinemas Duga Resa, Lič, Plaški and Vrbovsko united their offers in the Kino.hr platform, maintained by the Radar distribution company. Production companies such as Zagreb film, Factum, Bonobo Studio, Blank, Fade in, Filmaktiv and Kreativni sindikat also unlocked their catalogues and offered them to the audience free of charge.

Factum production hosted on its website a VOD distribution of its music documentary film Tusta by Andrej Korovljev from 23 December 2020 until 3 January 2021.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The most important film institution is the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) founded in January 2008 and led by Christopher Peter Marcich since 2019. 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 the HAVC in 2020 was 19.9 m EUR / 150 m HRK, 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, followed by 9.8 m EUR (without cash rebate) in 2018.

The total budget in 2019 was 19.9 m EUR and the foreseen budget for 2021 is 19.3 m EUR.

On 10 March 2020, HAVC distributed a total of 3.3 m EUR / 25 m HRK to 115 projects and individuals. Out of that sum, 1.7 m EUR / 12.5 m HRK went for the production of three feature films that applied for support in 2019: Svemu dođe kraj by Rajko Grlić produced by Interfilm, Zatvoreno za javnost by Vanja Juranić produced by Maxima film, and the debut feature Proslava by Bruno Anković, produced by Eclectica. Support was also granted for six animated films, six documentaries, two short documentaries, four experimental films and five short films. Feature films by Rusudan Glurjidze, Radu Jude and Stevan Filipović, as well as debut works by Maksym Nakonechnyi, Una Gunjak and Dominik Mencej, received support in the minority coproduction category.

On 15 July 2020, 3.7 m EUR / 27.7 m HRK were allocated for the production of 33 new films. Out of this sum, 2 m EUR / 15.5 m HRK was allocated to support the production of five feature films. The biggest amounts of 661,000 EUR / 5 m HRK were awarded to the long animated film Crystal Kidnappers / Kristalni otmičari by Arsen Antun Ostojić, produced by Filmosaurus Rex, and Bumbarov let by Antonio Nuić, produced by Interfilm. Diary of Paulina P. / Dnevnik Pauline P. by Neven Hitrec, produced by Jaka produkcija, Sandbag Dam / Zečji nasip by Čejen Černić, produced by Kinorama, and the debut feature Pula by Andrej Korovljev, produced by Kinematograf, were also supported. The production of seven short animated films, eight long documentaries, four short documentaries, six experimental films and three short films was also supported.Mater by Jure Pavlović

On 14 December 2020, HAVC approved a total of 1.2 m EUR / 9.2 m HRK for 15 films, and additional 183,850 EUR / 1.4 m HRK for microbudget films. Two feature films were funded: 331,500 EUR / 2.5 m HRK for the debut feature Punim plućima by Radislav Jovanov Gonzo, produced by Fade In, and 448,000 EUR / 3.4 m HRK for Vampires of Miljacka / Vampiri s Miljacke by Pavo Marinković, produced by Telefilm. The microbudget feature films Deja Vu by Nevio Marasović, produced by Švenk, and Pelican by Filip Heraković, produced by Wolfgang and Dolly, were also funded, together with six documentaries and five animated films. Funds for the development of scripts and projects of feature films, documentaries and animated films, as well as funds to encourage cinema distribution, were also granted.

On 15 December 2020, additional 285,600 EUR / 2.2 m HRK were granted for seven short films and six experimental films.

The Croatian beneficiaries of the MEDIA sub-programme of the Creative Europe successfully concluded 2020 with a total grant amount of 2.3 m EUR / 13.9 m HRK, which is the largest annual amount achieved in terms of funds since the Croatian entry into MEDIA. The record year so far had been 2019, with 805,800 EUR / 6 m HRK awarded to Croatian filmmakers.

In 2020, the Croatian applicants were successful in 11 categories of MEDIA financing. Production companies Recircle, Telefilm, Adriatic Animation, Spiritus Movens and Eclectica (joint application), and the association Restart, received a total of 225,000 EUR in the category of individual project development.

The Diary of Diana B. by Dana BudisavljevicThe production companies 4film, Propeler Film and Wolfgang & Dolly, through a joint application, provided funds from the MEDIA Sub-programme for the development of group projects in the total amount of 301,254 EUR.

A total of 79 foreign productions have used the cash rebate incentives scheme since its launch in 2012: five in 2012, four in 2013, eight in 2014, ten in 2015, seven in 2016, 11 in 2017, 14 in 2018, 12 in 2019, and nine in 2020.

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 filming 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 works 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 would 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 2020, The Croatian Institute for Public Finance and Olsberg SPI consultancy presented the results of their feasibility study on a project of a new film studio complex in Croatia. Among the four locations in the immediate vicinity of Zagreb, the field in the Jastrebarsko area was highlighted as the most favourable, given its good connections, state-owned locality and willingness of local authorities to cooperate.Fishing and Fishermens Conversations by Milan Trenc

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

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.

Occupied Cinema by Senka Domanović, photo: This and That FilmsThe fourth season of Black & White World / Crno-bijeli svijet, a Croatian period drama with elements of comedy, filmed for 100 days between May and August 2020, and it was released in December 2020. The popular TV series follows members of different generations of citizens of Zagreb in the latest decade of communist Yugoslavia. It is written and directed by Goran Kulenović and Igor Mirković, and produced by Interfilm for the Croatian Radiotelevision.

Dalibor Matanić, author of Newspapers / Novine, the first Croatian series sold to Netflix, filmed his new series Last Socialist Artefact / Područje bez signala in October 2020. Based on the book of the famous Croatian writer Robert Perišić, the series follows Oleg and Nikola, two “urban survivors,” who are brought to a remote town in the Balkans when a mysterious Colonel places an order for a specific type of turbine. The series is produced by Kinorama in coproduction with Serbian Sense Production and Slovenian Perfo Production. The premiere is expected for 2021.

The hitmaker Vinko Brešan filmed The Diary of the Great Perica / Dnevnik velikog Perice, based on the script by Albino Uršić and produced by Croatia film for Croatian Radiotelevision, in 2020. The new series is a sequel to the cult Croatian film One Song a Day Takes Mischief Away / Tko pjeva zlo ne misli directed by the late Krešimir Golik. Živko Anočić appears in the lead role of Perica.

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
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MEDIA DESK CROATIA
Ulica Kralja Zvonimira 20
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 (0)1 4655 434
How I Learned to Fly by Radivoje AndrićacFax: +385 (0)1 4655 442
www.mediadesk.hr
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MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND MEDIA- DIRECTORATE FOR PERFORMING ARTS AND AUDIOVISUAL AFFAIRS
Runjaninova 2
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 (0)1 4866 200
www.min-kulture.gov.hr

Report by Milena Zajović (2021)
Sources: Croatian Audiovisual Centre, City of Zagreb, Boxoffice.hr, the Ministry of Culture and Media

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