FNE 2010 Year in Review: Progress in Croatia

By Goran Ivanisevic

    Croatia was rich with major developments in 2010: the support to minority co-productions was multiplied, 10 more film festival were supported with public funds, a new art cinema in Zagreb was opened, script and project development funding was granted for the first time, the Croatian audiovisual centre got a new manager, a new law on the Croatian Radio Television was approved, and two Croatian actresses attracted international attention.

    In February, the Croatian audiovisual centre (www.havc.hr) decided to increase the support to minority coproduction to 10% of the total film budget, in order for the films to be official coproductions according to the European convention of film coproductions. In the past the contributions to minority coproduction were in range of 20,000 to 60,000 euros, while in 2010 three minority feature film co-productions - The Morning After (Jutro poslije), by the Danish director Brigitte Staermose, the Serbian film Enemy (Neprijatelj) directed by Dejan Zecevic and Parade (Parada) by Serbian director Srdan Dragojevic received a total of 370,000 euros.

    In April, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre increased financial support to Croatian film festivals by from 600,000 euros to 737,222 euros. In 2009 the Centre supported 31 festivals, while in 2010 40 festivals receive support. However, the support to two public festivals promoting national film and sharing the goals of the Centre was cut.

    July brought the most successful Croatian film in 2010: Rajko Grlic's Just Between Us won seven Golden Arenas at the national film festival in Pula (www.pulafilmfestival.hr) and the award for best director at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (www.kviff.com).

    In September, the Croatian capital Zagreb got a new cinema: Metropolis Art House opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art (www.msu.hr), focusing on European films and features selected from world's most prestigious film festivals and European art house cinemas. The cinema is the first one in Croatia to regularly screen Croatian shorts prior to the feature-length films, and a children's program was launched with a selection of Croatian, European and independent international animated and feature-length films for youth.

    In October, script and project development funding was granted by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre for the first time. 27 projects got script developments funds for a total of 127,700 euros, while 8 film projects got project development funds for a total of 158,000 euros.

    In December, a Croatian actress was nominated for the first time for a European Film Award (www.europeanfilmawards.eu): the 2010 Shooting Star Zrinka Cvitesic was nominated for her main role in the drama On the Path by Jasmila Zbanic, presented in Berlinale competition. December also brought a second Shooting star from Croatia: Marija Skaricic, known for her role in Shahada by Burhan Qurbani, presented in the Berlinale 2010 competition, and winner of best actress award at the Croatian national film festival in Pula for her role in the Mother of Asphalt by Dalibor Matanic.

    A new law on the Croatian Radio Television (www.hrt.hr) was approved, reducing the time for prime time commercials on the public television. It provoked reactions for the Croatian Film Directors Guild (www.dhfr.hr), claiming that the law will weaken public television, which already has many financial problems, and support private TV stations that mostly import foreign programme or produce programmes of low quality.

    Finally, after serving three months as Acting Manager of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, film director Hrvoje Hribar (What is a Man Without a Mustache) was appointed Manager of the Centre for a four year term.