Sunday, 2 May 2021

Drive-in Culture Show to Take Place in Zagreb on 14-16 May

ZAGREB, 2 May 2021 - A traveling music and film show for visitors in cars, called "Drive-in Culture", will take place in Zagreb on 14-16 May, and this year its second edition will also take place in Pula and Osijek.

The programme was designed during last year's lockdown by Sabrina Herak Smoković and Marin Leo Janković, the founders of the Submarine production company.

Faced with the question of whether to give up or find a solution to keep culture alive amid the coronavirus pandemic, they revived the idea of a drive-in cinema, the organizers said in the announcement.

The first event of this year's Drive-in Culture will take place in a car park behind the city's Technical Museum. Each film night will begin with a selection of local short films.

Feature films will also be screened, and the programme also includes music.

For more about culture and arts in Croatia, be sure to check our lifestyle dedicated section.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Zagreb to Get Drive-In Cinema for Weekend May 15-17

ZAGREB, May 11, 2020 - Croatian-produced hits will be screened in Zagreb from May 15 to 17 in a parking lot behind the city's Technical Museum, a project launched by two students of the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Art. The project, called "Drive in culture", was launched by Marin Leo Janković and Sabrina Herak Smoković, who together form the production duo SUBMARINE.

Their mission is to remind the public of the importance of art in the current times of crisis, revitalise the cultural sector and encourage the concept of outdoor culture.

The weekend drive-in cinema, which also includes music programmes, marks the start of work on developing a new platform for independent culture, which has been halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The event is also of a humanitarian nature as visitors are encouraged to donate money for students who have been left without any means of subsistence in the current crisis.

Donations can be made in the period from May 13 to 20. Additional information is available at www.driveinkultura.com.

More film news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Croatia Women Film Directors on the Rise: Hana Jusic

March 9, 2020 - Bold and visionary Croatia film director, Hana Jušić, is pleased that the female position is strengthening among domestic filmmakers. And young women directors like Jušić are increasingly visible in Croatia and abroad.


No Wolf Has a House | Hana Jušić

Her first feature film "Quit Staring at My Plate" was awarded the best European film in Venice, and her short film "No Wolf Has a House" received several awards in London. The award-winning Croatian director is in development with her second feature film "God Will Not Help", produced by Kinorama in coproduction with Gustav film from Slovenia and TICO Film Company from Italy.

Few Acclaimed Croatia Women Directors

However, the young artist does not believe that her successes have rubbed off on other female colleagues quite yet. She shared her thoughts about the emergence of a new female wave in the film industry in Croatia with Ana Lukiček/24 Sata on March 8, 2020.

“Talking about this (female) wave in terms of identity, rather than on a poetic basis, is not interesting to me. But one can certainly reflect upon empowering womens' position among artists in Croatian film,” explained the director.


Quit Staring at My Plate | Hana Jušić

She premiered the bleak oppressive story of a working-class family in Šibenik at the Tokyo Film Festival. "Quit Staring at My Plate" has won awards at many major international film festivals, and young directors, like Jušić, are increasingly visible worldwide.

Women Directors Completing First Features

“There are simply more of us, so we have become more present and stronger. For example, my colleagues Sonja Tarokić and Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović are completing their feature films. Dubravka Turić is preparing to shoot her film, and I hope I didn’t overlook anyone. Until recently, big budget movies had rarely been in womens' hands, she pointed out.

She also indicates that many younger colleagues, who have already completed great short films, are excitedly preparing for their first features. As she works as a Professor at ADU (Academy of Dramatic Art, University of Zagreb) she is proud of her female students, who are both ambitious and fearless. She believes that it is up to them to mature artistically, stand in solidarity with younger women and help them find their way in the industry.

Jušić: Young Women Directors Will Make Living

“When I was studying, Snježana Tribuson, was the only female professor in the department and the only woman to have made feature films. She was very supportive of us. As the number of women in this business expands, young women will find it increasingly possible to pursue a career as director and live off the income of that job,” Jušić claims.

She has seen changes as they relate to colleagues who are engaged in varios activities in the film sphere. As producers, directors and directors of photography; they will continue to pave the way.

“In a climate of mutual female empowerment, other filmmakers, actresses and editors are also becoming bolder. One famous late director's book describes female film editors as pleasant basement women who did whatever a director told them to do. That approach won’t work today.

Follow our Lifestyle page to keep track of young talented female film directors in Croatia.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Croatian.film - New Free Online Platform for Watching Films

ZAGREB, February 5, 2020 - Croatian.film, a new online platform where users can watch free of charge Croatian short films which more often than not go unnoticed after they appear at film festivals despite their quality, was presented on Wednesday in Zagreb.

The project developer is the Arts Organisation Zagreb Film Festival, which has published 118 films, as well as an array of accompanying texts, at www.croatian.film. The list is expected to expand significantly and to cover all film forms in the future.

The Executive Director of Zagreb Film Festival Hrvoje Laurenta said that the platform was established in order to return short films to the public space, particularly because Croatia had a highly-regarded short film production - the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) had co-financed almost 450 short films since its establishment.

Laurenta finds the fact that one could watch the films "anytime and anywhere" extremely important, just like the fact that the films were adapted to any device (mobile phones, tablets, computers, and TVs), and that domestic production's visibility would cross Croatian borders due to the fact that films had English subtitles and the accompanying texts had been translated to English.

"Although we have been working on the project for more than a year, we are only just beginning today. In the short term, we want to publish an even larger number of films and secure the platform's sustainability, and in due time we want it to become a referential and relevant basis of the whole of Croatian short, mid-length, and full-length film production. We hope that we could make it happen by the end of summer," stated Laurenta.

Except for films, the platform contains data bases on films themselves, film professionals and productions, and news, columns, interviews with "filmmakers of the week", a list of film festivals, and it also provides for the possibility to sign in and comment on the content.

The croatian.film online platform is co-funded by the Ministry of Culture.

More film news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Officials Express Condolences After Passing of Branko Lustig

ZAGREB, November 15, 2019 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Thursday expressed condolences to the family of film producer Branko Lustig, who died on Wednesday at the age of 87, stressing that the artistic work of Croatia's most successful film producer and associate of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was marked by the tragedy of the Jewish people and his suffering as a former inmate of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen as well as the suffering of his family.

"I was deeply saddened to learn about the passing of the great Branko Lustig, the most successful Croatian film producer, actor, prominent collaborator of the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, collaborator of the world's biggest film directors, president of the film Festival of Tolerance, Croatia's only two-time Academy Award winner, winner of the Golden Globe award and an honorary citizen of Zagreb.

"His entire artistic work was marked by the tragedy of the Jewish people, his suffering as a former inmate of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen and the suffering of his family, killed in concentration camps.

"The life mission of Branko Lustig, as he said, was defined forever by the last words of his fellow sufferers - to tell the world how they lived and how they died. And he did it in the best possible way, with his impressive work on Schindler's List, one of the greatest Holocaust films of all time for which he deservedly won his first Academy Award as well as a Golden Globe award," Plenković said in his letter of condolence to the Lustig family.

He recalled that Lustig gave his Academy Award to the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Israel and initiated the establishment of a foundation dedicated to collecting recordings of interviews with Holocaust survivors.

"Branko Lustig tirelessly made movies and he also held lectures at Croatian and international universities and schools for decades, focusing on the education of young people. One of his messages that we must remember is that weapons of mass destruction are not bombs but hate among people, intolerance and blindness and if one forgets that, it would mean that evil has won.

"The truth is that Branko Lustig has won with his artistic and human mission," Plenković said in the letter of condolence.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović on Thursday extended her condolences to the family of film producer Branko Lustig, her special advisor on the Holocaust, who died on Wednesday at the age of 87, stressing that he had dedicated his life to spreading the truth about the past and teaching new generations that respect for the dignity of every person was the only right way to live.

Lustig was born to a Jewish family in Osijek in 1932. During WWII he was detained in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Most of his family were killed in concentration camps all over Europe.

"It was with deep sadness that I learned of the death of Mr Branko Lustig, a world-renowned film producer, two-time Academy Award winner, president of the Festival of Tolerance, a man who dedicated his life to the mission of spreading the truth about the past and teaching the new generations that respect for the dignity of every person is the only right way to live."

Grabar-Kitarović recalled in her letter Schindler's List, an Academy Award-winning film about the fate of the Jewish people during Nazism and individuals who had the courage to oppose it, which Lustig produced.

"It was his way of addressing the issue of those who during the Holocaust perished before his eyes, of protecting them from oblivion, a testimony and warning to all that hate is a tragedy of humanity," Grabar-Kitarović said in her letter.

"He was a convinced humanist... as my special advisor on Holocaust issues, he was a valuable associate, notably in joint projects such as one to erect a monument to victims of the Holocaust, to be implemented in cooperation with the City of Zagreb," the president said in the letter of condolence.

Croatian Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek on Thursday expressed her condolences to the family of film producer Branko Lustig, stressing that his role in the Croatian society was great and that his death was a huge loss.

The prominent film producer and two-time Academy Award winner Branko Lustig died in Zagreb at the age of 87 on Wednesday.

Lustig was born to a Jewish family in Osijek in 1932. During WWII he was detained in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Most of his family were killed in concentration camps all over Europe.

Lustig was a great name in the Croatian and international cinematography, an Academy Award winner and much more than that, Obuljen Koržinek told reporters outside the government offices.

"He had an important role in society in recent years. He promoted the culture of remembrance, he launched the Jewish Film Festival and later the Festival of Tolerance, testifying with his life about the importance of never forgetting the horrible crimes that he survived, but he also sent a message of inclusiveness and tolerance, saying that he had forgiven but not forgotten."

More news about Branko Lustig can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Serbian Film About Jasenovac Causing Tensions

ZAGREB, November 12, 2019 - The letter sent by a US official to Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek, which was published by the Serbian Kurir newspaper and concerned the shooting of a film about Jasenovac, was not an official request forwarded to the Croatian government but the diplomat's private e-mail correspondence, the Croatian Culture Ministry said on Monday.

Minister Obuljen Koržinek has already explained that the ministry is not the address to which the film director should forward his requests about the film shooting, the ministry said.

The pro-government tabloid Kurir recently ran a copy of an email which the State Department envoy for Holocaust issues, Thomas K. Yazdgerdi, had sent to Minister Obuljen Koržinek in March this year, asking her to support the film project "Dara from Jasenovac", the filming of which has already begun with the support of the Serbian government.

"The letter a copy of which was run by the Serbian media is not an official request by the U.S. Administration to the Croatian government. It is private e-correspondence of the U.S. diplomat who paid several visits to Croatia in connection with the culture of remembrance and the Holocaust," the Croatian ministry said in its response to Hina's query.

Minister Obuljen Koržinek said she explained to Mr. Yazdgerdi that her ministry was not the address to send requests regarding the shooting of the film. The filmmaker should probably contact the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) for such requests, if the crew needs permissions to film scenes at locations in Croatia, the minister said.

Furthermore, the right address to obtain information and facts about the past of Jasenovac is the public institute that runs the Jasenovac Memorial Site (JUSP Jasenovac). Jasenovac was the WW2 concentration camp run by the Ustasha regime from 1941 to 1945.

"According to information available to us, neither the director nor the producer have ever contacted HAVC or JUSP Jasenovac, and the film will be shot only in Serbia," the ministry said.

Considering frequent attempts in the Serbian public to manipulate the topic of Jasenovac and the number of the victims as well as attempts to deny crimes committed against Croats during the (1991-1995) Homeland War and continuous attempts to link the democratic Croatia and the 1941-1945 Independent State of Croatia (NDH), Minister Obuljen Koržinek conveyed her doubts to the U.S. special envoy for Holocaust issues regarding the film project.

"Following recent media comments in Serbia and also a part of the Croatian media scene, it is evident that this is one more attempt to abuse the topic of Jasenovac, which should always be condemned," reads the statement issued by the ministry.

The film crew said on November 2 that the project was expected to be finished by the end of the year and that the premiere was planned for May 2020 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Jasenovac concentration camp.

The film was financially supported by the Serbian government and the Serbian Film Centre with 2.3 million euro.

More news about Jasenovac can be found in the Politics section.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Festival of Polish Films to Be Held in Zagreb

ZAGREB, November 1, 2019 - The second edition of the Festival of Polish Films in Croatia, which takes place under the name "Visla (Vistula)" is set for 5-9 November in Zagreb's Kaptol Boutique Cinema.

The programme includes ten films, and the event will be ushered in by the screening of "The Messenger" by filmmaker Wladyslaw Pasikowski.

Also a few thrillers are offered to the audience, including "Werewolf" by Adrian Panek about eight children liberated from a Nazi concentration camp who have to overcome hunger, thirst and vicious dogs in an abandoned mansion surrounded by the forest, and the film titled "Tower. A Bright Day" by Jagoda Szelc.

"A Coach's Daughter" by Lukasz Grzegorzek is also in the programme.

The film titled " The Butler (Kamerdyner)" by Filip Bajon is the last one in this programme which is organised under the auspices of the Polish Embassy in Croatia.

More film news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Zagreb's Tuškanac Cinema to Present Orson Welles Retrospective

ZAGREB, September 22, 2019 - Zagreb's Tuškanac Cinema is presenting an Orson Welles retrospective on September 23-28, featuring ten films of this charismatic US director, actor, screenwriter and producer.

On show will be his early masterpieces (Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons), the adaptations of Shakespeare's dramas (Othello, Macbeth and Chimes at Midnight (Falstaff)), films close to the crime film genre (The Stranger, The Lady from Shanghai and Mr Arkadin (also known as Confidential Report)), the film-noir thriller Touch of Evil and the adaptation of Kafka's novel The Trial.

The retrospective opens on Monday September 23 with Citizen Kane, which is regarded as the most successful directorial debut in film history.

More film news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Rendez-Vous Au Cinema Programme Coming to Croatia from 12 September

ZAGREB, September 7, 2019 - The fifth edition of the Rendez-vous au cinema programme that promotes the French cinematography will be conducted in more than a score of cinema theatres throughout Croatia from 11 to 22 September, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) has recently reported.

This year, there will be six films, and two of them are the works of Louis Marie Malle: Elevator to the Gallows and Zazie in the Metro. Also, two are contemporary films with Mediterranean topics: Corniche Kennedy by Dominique Cabrera and Catch the Wind by Gael Morel. There is also is animated film and a documentary, Makala by Emmanuel Gras, in this programme.

Filmmaker Cabrera will arrive in Croatia for this event.

Rendez-vous au cinema is being organised by the French Institute in Croatia, HAVC and the Kino Mreža network.

More film news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

"Mali" by Antonio Nuić Croatian Candidate for Oscar

ZAGREB, September 3, 2019 - A film titled "Mali" by director Antonio Nuić is this year's Croatian candidate for best foreign film at the 92nd Oscars.

The film is about a drug dealer who is ready to do anything to keep custody of his son after having spent four years in prison.

Mali is a teenager who is about to finish primary school. His mother, Martina, is dying of cancer in hospital and his father, Frenki, has come back from jail a changed man – not exactly leaving his criminal ways behind, but becoming savvier about them. The trouble is that the maternal grandparents will sue Frenki to gain custody of Mali and probably win the case, even though the boy has been doing much better in life since his father got back, improving his grades, behaving better and nurturing his chess skills.

Presenting the nomination, the director Nuić said on Tuesday that making a film is a collective endeavour. However, he highlighted actor Vito Dijak who has the lead role of Mali.

The film's producer, Boris Matiž, recalled that ten years ago they also represented Croatia in the category of Academy Award for Best International Feature Film (Best Foreign Language Film prior to 2020).

It was Nuić's film "Kenjac (Donkey)".

The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony is set for 9 February in Los Angeles.

More film news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

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