MARKET ANALYSIS 2018
Systematic neglect of film industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina, combined with strong political influences, is starting to show its ugly head, despite the tireless efforts of film professionals. Cinema Law hasn’t been adopted yet, which means that there is still no public body responsible for forming policies and the promotion of Bosnian and Herzegovinian film, and the Film Fund has cut the funds allocated for projects of the Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the third year in a row.
As the Association is filling the gap left by the non-existent film centre and has been taking over more and more responsibilities for the development and promotion of film industry in the whole country, this move will put the industry in even greater jeopardy in the future.
Despite the difficulties, the Association managed to put up the BH Film Programme, which is organised under the umbrella of the Sarajevo Film Festival and shows the complete yearly production of Bosnia and Herzegovina, maintains the Database of BH Films and keeps working on the international promotion of BH films.
Film Centre Sarajevo has announced several projects that could be of interest both to the local audience and to tourists. But the opening of the “Drive-in Cinema Dolly Bell”, named after Kusturica’s Do You Remember Dolly Bell?, 1981, produced by Sutjeska Film and Kinema Sarajevo, was postponed last summer and is expected to take place in 2019, while the Museum “Walter Defends Sarajevo”, which will focus on the legacy of the famous film Walter Defends Sarajevo (1972), directed by Hajrudin Šiba Krvavac and produced by Bosna film, is planned for February 2019.
Five feature films were shot in 2018 and are expected to premiere in 2019.
Son / Sin by Ines Tanović, is the only film of eight feature films supported by the Film Fund since 2015 that has gone into production. Son is produced by Dokument from Bosnia and Herzegovina in coproduction with Croatia’s Spiritus Movens, Slovenia’s Monoo, Macedonia’s Cut-up and Romania’s Luna Film. The project is supported by Eurimages.
Also in 2018 Faruk Lončarević shot his third feature film The Woods / Šuma. It is a micro-budget film that was shot in five days with a minimal financial support from the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Sarajevo Canton, and from the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo.
Full Moon / Pun mjesec, a debut feature by Nermin Hamzagić, is the third film of 2018. It was supported by the Film Fund with postproduction funding and produced by SCCA/pro.ba.
Second debut of the year was Emina Kujundžić’s micro-budget A Perfect Love Story produced by SCCA/pro.ba, that was shot without any public support.
Timur Makarević decided to go into shooting with his second feature The Lake / Jezero, also produced by SCCA/pro.ba in coproduction with Barka Media (AT) and Bussines Club Royal (SE), with only minimal support of Jajce Municipality.
Two more films were shot in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018: Sympathy for the Devil by Guillaume de Fontenay (coproduced by SCCA/pro.ba) and The Heroes Die Last / Les héros ne meurent jamais by Aude Léa Rapin (serviced by SCCA/pro.ba).
Six domestic films were distributed in cinemas in 2018.
The highest grossing domestic film of the year was the documentary Scream for Me Sarajevo directed by Tarik Hodžić and produced by Prime Time, with 3,620 EUR / 7,080 KM gross and 1,367 admissions.
It was followed by Elmir Jukić‘s debut feature The Frog / Žaba (produced by Refresh Production in coproduction with Macedonia’s Skopje Film Studio, Serbia’s Living Pictures, Croatia’s Propeler Film and Iridium Film) with 3,041 EUR / 5,948 KM gross and 999 admissions.
Never Leave Me / Ne ostavljaj me, directed by Aida Begić and produced by Film House Sarajevo and Turkey’s Beşir Derneği, had the second largest attendance with 1,387 admissions, but it ranked 3rd in the box office with 2,338 EUR / 4,572.5 KM gross.
Good Days Work / Dobar dan za posao, directed by Martin Turk and produced by Obala Art Center, topped the admission charts with 1,389 admissions and 839 EUR / 1,641.5 KM gross. It might seem odd that the film with the highest admissions ended so low in the charts, but this is mostly due to the fact that Good Days Work was shown throughout the country as part of the travelling cinema Operacija Kino, which as one of many Sarajevo Film Festival’s projects aimed at audience development, doesn’t charge for tickets.
Two more domestic films were theatrically released in 2018. Nothing but a Wind / Ništa, samo vjetar, a debut feature directed by Timur Makarević and produced by SCCA/pro.ba in coproduction with Slovenia’s Chinema Film, Romania’s Digital Cube and Poland’s Madants, had 110 admissions and 301 EUR / 588,5 KM gross, while the documentary Tifa, directed by Bakir Hadžiomerović and produced by Fist, had 150 admissions and 272 EUR / 532 KM gross.
A total of 217 films premiered in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018 and another 15 from 2017 continued distribution. There is a decrease in titles from 237 films that premiered in 2017 plus another 17 that continued distribution from 2016, but this didn’t reflect negatively on the total box office and admissions in 2018.
Blitz Film & Video Distribution dominated the market with 53% market share. The situation changed from 2017 when Una Film and 2iFilm, together with Blitz, dominated the market with 83.8% market share.
In 2018, Una Film had 16.97% of market share and Continental Film, 2i Film and Oskar Film all came close with 10.26%, 9.86% and 9.10% market share respectively.
In 2018 Bosnia and Herzegovina hosted the 24th Sarajevo Film Festival, as well as a number of smaller film festivals.
EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE
In 2018 Bosnia and Herzegovina lost one more art house cinema, when Kriterion closed in Sarajevo. There is still a possibility that the cinema will continue its work in 2019, but no information has been released yet.
The most important art house cinema with a predominantly European programme is still Cinema Meeting Point, a member of the Europa Cinemas Network. The cinema is run by the Obala Art Center, the organisation behind the Sarajevo Film Festival.
Three more cinemas are part of Europa Cinemas Network: Multiplex Ekran in Zenica, Cineplexx Palas in Banja Luka and Multiplex Cinema City in Sarajevo.
Most films in Bosnia and Herzegovina are screened in those three multiplexes and also in CineStar Cinemas, located in Mostar, Bihać and Tuzla. Operation Kino is also part of the Europa Cinemas Network.
The big cinema hit from neighbouring Serbia, South Wind directed by Miloš Avramović and produced by Režim and Eye to Eye, shook the general box office in 2018, ending at the top of the charts. However, American films still dominate with 79.76% share.
The highest grossing films in 2018 were: South Wind / Južni Vetar (with 228,155 EUR / 446,232 KM gross), Fifty Shades Freed (with 98,235 EUR / 192,131 KM gross), Avengers: Infinity War (with 95,111 EUR / 186,021 KM gross), Venom (with 79,896 EUR / 156,262 KM gross), Deadpool 2 (with 75,273 EUR / 147,911 KM gross), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (with 72,584 EUR / 141,961 KM gross), Bohemian Rhapsody (with 71,694 EUR / 140,221 KM gross), Aquaman (with 65,673 EUR / 128,446 KM gross), Hotel Transylvania 3 (with 63,569 EUR / 124,331 KM gross), The Meg (with 62,863 EUR / 122,949 KM gross).
Total admissions increased by 7.85 percent from 1,082,708 admissions in 2017 to 1,167,786 admissions in 2018. Total box office increased by 7.07 percent from 2,897,107 EUR / 5,666,249 KM in 2017 to 3,102,097 EUR / 6,067,174 KM in 2018.
All in all, admissions to domestic films increased by 124 percent from 2,410 admissions in 2017 to 5,402 admissions in 2018. General box office shows a 46.9 percent rise from 6,708 EUR / 13,121.5 KM in 2017 to 10,411.18 EUR / 20,362.5 KM in 2018.
Because of the rise, the data might look very optimistic, but it is obvious that the lack of an adequate film policy is harming this part of the industry greatly, too.
GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION
The Film Fund announced the recipients of grants for development, coproduction and production of feature films and production of short fiction, animated and documentary films in October 2018.
The Film Fund allocated 654,453 EUR / 1,280,000 KM in 2018. The production of two feature films and one documentary was supported, as well as the postproduction of one feature film. The production of seven short films and four minority coproductions (with Canada, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia) received support.
In 2018, the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Sarajevo Canton decided to support films through its own scheme for the production of cultural projects.
Once again the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska allocated a shockingly small amount of 30,677 EUR / 60,000 KM for film projects by filmmakers from Republika Srpska. To make the situation even worse, the Government of Republika Srpska decided to allocate 99,702 EUR / 195,000 KM for the Serbian film Kralj Petar I / King Peter the First, directed by Petar Ristovski and produced by Zillion Film, outside of any call for film production financing.
No new legislation was adopted in 2018 and filmmakers are still left on their own to organise the industry, which they mostly do through professional associations, film festivals and the organisation of different conferences and film forums.
Television stations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially the three main public channels, the Radio Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Radio Television of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Radio Television of Republika Srpska, produce short and long documentaries, but none of them funds feature films.
Al Jazeera Balkans is still involved in documentary film production, supporting further development of documentary filmmaking in the country on a big scale. In 2018 Al Jazeera Balkans organised the first international AJB DOC Film Festival.
There is still no support for the development of TV series, so they are mostly produced independently and then sold to the television.
Report by: Tina Šmalcelj (2019)Sources: Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo Film Festival’s Statistics and Analysis Department, Zoran Galić (VizArt production)
MARKET ANALYSIS 2017
Despite the fact that Cinema Law still hasn’t been adopted, which means that Bosnia and Herzegovina still doesn’t have an audiovisual centre, there was a slight stabilisation of the film industry in 2017.
Domestic films released in 2017 reached a record number with six feature films, one minority coproduction, one long animated film and 10 long documentaries. This is the first time since 2001 that more than 13 long films had their premieres in cinemas or at festivals.
Film Center Sarajevo, a public institution founded as the successor of Sutjeska film (the famous public film studio from the Communist era), has finally been unblocked after years of stalemate caused by mismanagement, and a new acting director Jasmin Duraković has been appointed.
The Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina still fills the gap left by the lack of film infrastructure and in 2017, beside its annual activities, which include for example organising the BH Film Programme as part of the Sarajevo Film Festival, it came out with two new projects - Filmmakers’ Location Guide and Base of BH Film. These two projects present the country as a possible filming location, offer industry information (including statistics and an industry address book) and provide information on Bosnian and Herzegovinian films since 1996, with plans to expand in 2018.
Several films were produced in 2017 and can be expected to premiere in 2018.
A Good Day for Work by Martin Turk, a character-driven social drama telling the story of an ordinary man struggling to find his place in life, was produced by Obala Art Centar as part of the Sarajevo City of Film for Global Screens initiative.
In 2017 VizArt Film completed the shooting on Marko Šipka’s long documentary Earth / Zemlja, which was included in Berlinale Doc Station in 2017.
Sarajevo-born Ena Sendijarević finished the photography for her debut feature Somewhere Nice, produced by Dutch company Pupkin with SCCA/pro.ba servicing.
Principal photography on Stitches / Šavovi directed by Miroslav Terzić and coproduced by Kombajn Film and Pakt Media with West End Production, Nora Production and SCCA/pro.ba, was also completed in 2017.
The biggest success of 2017 was Men Don’t Cry / Muškarci ne plaču, the debut film by Alen Drljević, produced by Deblokada in coproduction with Iridium Film, Produkcija Živa, Manderley Films, This and That and CinePlanet. This film about a group of war veterans attending group therapy in an isolated mountain hotel premiered at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award and the Europa Cinemas Label Award.
Men Don’t Cry was the only domestic film theatrically released in 2017 alongside the Croatian/Bosnian and Herzegovinian coproduction Dead Fish / Mrtve ribe directed by Kristijan Milić and produced by Eurofilm and Oktavijan.
With 2,366 admissions and 6,584.16 EUR / 12,877.5 KM gross in regular cinema distribution, Men Don’t Cry proved to be more popular in cinemas than both Dead Fish with 44 admissions and 119.64 EUR / 234 KM gross and Danis Tanović’s Death in Sarajevo / Smrt u Sarajevu (SCCA/pro.ba, Margo Films), that was the only domestic film in cinemas in 2016 and had 1,641 admissions and 4,204 EUR / 8,222 KM gross.
In 2017 the premiere of the first BH long animated film Birds like Us / Ptice kao mi, directed by Faruk Šabanović and Amela Ćuhara, and produced by Prime Time Production, was a real success. With three short animated films to accompany this success, it seems that things are looking up for Bosnian animation.
Three more debut films had their premieres at festivals in 2017: Frog / Žaba, directed by Elmir Jukić and produced by Refresh in coproduction with Skopje Film Studio, Living Pictures and Propeler film; Nothing But a Wind / Ništa, samo vjetar, directed by Timur Makarević and produced by SCCA/pro.ba with Chinema Film, Skorpion Arte, Digital Cube, and 3 Women or (Waking up From My Bosnian Dream), directed by Sergio Flores Thorija and produced by Lucia Film and the Sarajevo Film Academy. These films have not been released in domestic cinemas yet.
Aida Begić’s new film about Syrian refugees in Turkey, Never Leave Me / Birakma Beni, opened at the Antalya Film Festival. It was produced by Film House.
Jasmin Duraković’s The Final Barrier / Posljednja barijera, produced by Artdelux, Depo Production and Media Acquisitions, also premiered at festivals in 2017.
A total of 237 films premiered in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2017 and another 17 from 2016 continued distribution. With a total of 158 films released in 2015 and 194 in 2016, this shows a constant rise in distribution.
Three distribution companies, Blitz Film & Video Distribution, Una Film and 2iFilm, dominated the market in 2017, with 83.8% market share, compared to 71% in 2016.
Bosnia and Herzegovina hosted the 23rd Sarajevo Film Festival in 2017, as well as a number of smaller film festivals.
There were no significant changes in 2017. Most films in Bosnia and Herzegovina are still screened in five multiplexes: Cinema City in Sarajevo, Cineplexx Palas in Banja Luka, CineStar Mostar in Mostar, Multiplex Ekran in Zenica and CineStar Bihać in Bihać.
Cinema City, Cineplexx Palas and Multiplex Ekran are part of the Europa Cinemas Network..
The most important art house cinema, with a predominantly European programme, is Cinema Meeting Point, that is also a member of the Europa Cinemas Network. The cinema is run by the Obala Art Center, the organisation behind the Sarajevo Film Festival.
Operation Kino, a cinema-on-wheels project organised by the Sarajevo Film Festival, is still operational, bringing high quality cinema to all parts of the country, with the accent on communities that have no infrastructure for regular film screenings.
In 2017 the biggest box office hits, as well as the films with the biggest attendance in cinemas in Bosnia and Herzegovina, were produced in the US. Slight differences can only be visible in the box office top ten, as tickets vary from cinema to cinema and depend on the type of screening.
The highest grossing films in 2017 were: Fast and Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious (with 108,353 EUR / 211,921 KM gross), Beauty and the Beast (92,783 EUR / 181,468 KM gross), Fifty Shades Darker (86,944 EUR / 170,048 KM gross), Murder on the Orient Express (76,914 EUR / 150,431 KM gross), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (74,576 EUR / 145,858 KM gross), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (69,814 EUR / 136,545 KM gross), Despicable Me 3 (69,665 EUR / 136,233 KM gross), The Boss Baby (68,193 EUR / 133,374 KM gross), Smurfs: The Lost Village (60,170 EUR / 117,684 KM gross) and Thor: Ragnarok (58,971 EUR / 115,338 KM gross).
Total admissions increased by 17.81 percent from 919,016 admissions in 2016 to 1,082,708 admissions in 2017. Total box office increased by 21 percent from 2,395,166 EUR / 4,684,479 KM in 2016 to 2,897,107 EUR / 5,666,249 KM in 2017.
Admissions to domestic films increased by 46.9 percent from 1,641 admissions in 2016 to 2,410 admissions in 2017. Domestic films’ gross increased by 59.5 percent from 4,204 EUR / 8,222 KM in 2016 to 6,708 EUR / 13,121.5 KM in 2017.
Trying to adapt to the needs of the industry, the Film Fund opened the call for applications for development, coproduction and production of feature films and short fiction films, animated and documentary films, earlier in 2017, so the list of supported projects was announced in November 2017.
The production of two feature films and three documentaries was supported, as well as the production of seven short films. Once again, the Film Fund supported the production of four minority coproductions from Croatia (two of them), Serbia and Macedonia.
The negative trend of cutting funds available for film production stopped this year, as the Film Fund allocated the same amount as in 2016 (651,374 EUR) to production companies from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
However, in 2017 the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska allocated a shockingly small amount of 30,677 EUR for filmmakers from the smaller entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
No new legislation was adopted in 2017, leaving the film industry in the same complicated situation it has been in for years.
Television stations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially three main public channels, Radio Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Radio Television of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Radio Television of Republika Srpska, produce short and long documentaries, but none of them funds feature films.
Al Jazeera Balkans is still involved in documentary film production, supporting further development of documentary filmmaking in the country on a big scale.
Although there is no support for the development of TV series and they are still mostly produced independently and then sold to television, TV stations decide to get involved in production from time to time. In 2017 the Radio Television of Republika Srpska coproduced nine episodes of The Meat / Meso by Saša Hajduković, that should eventually be turned into a film.
Report by: Tina Šmalcelj (2018)Sources: Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo Film Festival Industry Office, Zoran Galić (VizArt production)
Population: 3.5 m (2018)GDP per Capita in USD: 19,984 (2018)Admissions: 1,167,786 (2018)Domestic releases: 6 (2018)Market share domestic films: 0.46% (2018)Admissions per capita: 0.33 (2018)Number of screens: 34 (2018)Digital screens: 32 (2017)Average ticket price in EUR: 2.65 (2018)Feature film production: 10 (2018)Annual state support for film industry: 685,130 EUR (2018)
Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina,the International Monetary Fund, the Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Sarajevo Film Festival Industry Office
Animation Industry Profile Bosnia and Herzegovina CLICK HERE
Admissions Top Ten 2018
Check OLFFI for Film Funding opportunities
ZORAN GALIĆ was born in Jajce (B&H) in 1979. He graduated from Art Academy in Banja Luka, directing department. He is currently at master studies at Belgrade At University, Media and Art Theory Department. He is foudner and co-owner of production company VizArt from Banja Luka. Since 2002. he has participated in production of dozen feature and documentary films and on over 20 commercials and music videos all in production of VizArt.
Interview with Elma Tataragić, the General Secretary of the Bosnian Filmmakers Association
Mirsad Purivatra Director Sarajevo Film Festival and Europa Cinemas Entrepreneur of the Year Read More>>>
Association of filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a professional association which gathers filmmakers, who are professionally engaged in filmmaking. It was founded in 1950 under the name Union of Filmmakers BiH. Read more >>>