Croatian Producer Aims to Repeat Balkan Success Story

    Croatian Producer Aims to Repeat Balkan Success Story Igor A.Nola

    ZAGREB: Igor A.Nola of Mainframe -Zagreb (www.mainframeproduction.com), the Croatian coproducer of Srdjan Dragojevic’s hit comedy Parada, is hoping to replicate its success with a slate of four films that includes at least two more international coproductions.

    Parada topped the 2012 box office in Croatia with 158,000 admissions and garnered some 600,000 admissions in the Balkans.

    A Serbian-Croatian-Macedonian-Slovenian coproduction, Parada premiered in Croatia before Christmas 2011 and has been released in the coproducing countries as well as in Bosnia & Herzegovina and in Montenegro.

    “Basically if you go by the numbers it was a hit everywhere, and given that we are facing lower and lower theater admissions these days this was a great success. We are still missing support for domestic films from local distributors in all countries. This is something which might improve once they see that you can have higher admissions with local films,” Nola told FNE.

    Nola believes the huge success of recent Croatian movies is chiefly due to word of mouth. The film walks a fine line between comedy and tragedy. Parada opened in six cinemas in Zagreb and spread progressively to Rijeka, Zadar, Sibenik, Varazdin and Split, and then to other Croatian cities. It has now launched a successful DVD distribution, according to its Croatian coproducer.

    Nola has four new projects. After coproducing Peter Greenaway’s Goltzius and the Pelican Company, a Netherlands-UK–France-Croatia coproduction with Eurimages support (www.coe.int). Nola is also closing the financing on Lazarus, a Macedonian-French-Croatian coproduction between Small Moves Films (www.smallmovesfilms.com), Arizona Films (www.arizonafilms.net) and MP Production, to be directed by Macedonian director Svetozar Ristovski.

    Nola is also in preparation with Patriotic Men, the first Finnish-Croatian coproduction, to be directed by Finnish documentary director Arto Halonen. The narrative story is based on true events: the Finnish national ski team included a person who, due to his rare blood type, functioned as a living blood supply. During Olympic and championship-level competitions, blood donated by him was given to a successful Finnish female skier.The film is set to start shooting in February 2013 in Finland and Croatia with a budget of 1.7 m EUR.

    Nola is also developing two Croatian features, The Two of Us, written by Tena Stivicic and directed by Vesna Cudic, and The Gravity, written by Sanja Kovacevic and Zoran Sudar, and directed by Zoran Sudar.

    “You have to invest in the development of several projects because you never know where it can lead you,” Nola said, adding that coproductions, “and not only in the region,” are the future of the European film industry.