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.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Croatia Earned 134.5 Million EUR from Foreign Film Productions

Since 2012, Croatia has received 1 billion Kuna (134.5 Million EUR) from foreign production companies which have filmed at our locations, said Krešimir Partl, State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, at the MAKK 2019 International Authors/Creators’ Conference on Friday.

More Interest in Croatia Locations

According to PoslovniDnevnik on November 30, 2019; Partl added that he expects even more interest in Croatia from foreign film producers, not only because of an array of attractive locations, but because of the advancement of the Croatian film industry.

"They come here because the locations suite them, and because of our incentive system for creative industries. We’ve raised incentives to 25 percent. When foreign producers film in Croatia, they employ our production services, and receive a 25 percent of the return on their local consumption," Partl noted.

He added that foreign producers are very interested in filming in our locations, which significantly contributes to the development of our local communities and tourism and has an interesting effect on some of our competing countries.


Plitvice Lakes | Pascal Habermann | Unsplash

Tourism Increased at Film Locations

"Specifically, because of the sequel to 'Mamma Mia', which was filmed in Vis, the Greek culture minister resigned because Greece had lost that opportunity. But we should also note that we have had an increase in tourists visiting locations where 'Robin Hood', 'Star Wars', 'Mamma Mia' were filmed", Partl revealed.

"Currently, there is so much filming in Croatia that there is not enough local set staff to cover production needs," Partl said, highlighting the benefits of incentives in other sectors of the creative industry, including video (computer) games, which were included for the first time in the law on audiovisual activities.

Croatia Video Game Sector

"The video game sector is also very important in the transition period, with about 18 per cent of audiovisual specialists working in the video game industry at the EU level. The video game industry has grown 50 per cent in Croatia annually and is currently generating income of around HRK 400 million a year (54 Million EUR)," Partl added.

He mentioned the video game "Scum" which was developed by Croatian gamers and was at one time the best-selling game in the world. He announced possible incentives for further stimulating this industry which are modeled after the film industry similar industries in the incentive system.

"Within the contemporary financial perspective and national development strategy, the Ministry of Culture is placing a great emphasis of the on the creative sector. The position of the Ministry of Culture is that culture is not an expense. Rather culture, especially the creative sector, is an extremely important factor which plays a significant role in the national GDP and small investments which can also create many jobs”, said Partl.

Creatives 7.5 Percent of EU Workforce

He also pointed out that nearly 11.2 percent of all EU businesses are in the cultural and creative industries, which accounts for between 4 and 6.9 percent of the EU's GDP and employing between 3.8 and 7.5 percent of the total workforce.

Partl cited additional his involvement in the Ministry of Culture, which has adopted new legislation related to the cultural and creative industries. He reiterated that the Electronic Media Act will soon be open to public debate and announced that the draft Act on Performing Art and Encouraging Art Creativity is in its final phase.

The 2019 MAKK (International Authors/Creators’ Conference) also hosted lectures on the impact of the Copyright and Related Rights Directive in the EU's digital single market for newspaper publishers and author’s rights for journalists and other "creatives".

For more information on the Croatian film industry, film productions and locations; follow our Made in Croatia page here or our Lifestyle page here.

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.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Zagreb Film Office to Promote Services to Film Productions

ZAGREB, May 8, 2019 - The newly-established Zagreb Film Office, which will provide comprehensive services to film productions in Zagreb and promote the city, was presented at a news conference on Wednesday.

Zagreb has a long film industry tradition and fantastic locations for film sets, and the city authorities have therefore decided to make yet another step forward in one of the most lucrative industries, said Office head Mia Pećina Drašković.

The purpose of the office is to make the job easier for numerous crews that are making or will be making films in Zagreb and to promote local tourism, she said, adding that the office currently employed three people.

Director Vinko Brešan, who heads Zagreb Film, the institution of which the Zagreb Film Office is part, said that Zagreb had functioned well so far in providing services to the film industry and that now it would function even better.

The establishment of the Zagreb Film Office was supported also by Mayor Milan Bandić and Croatian Audio Visual Centre (HAVC) head Chris Marcich.

Marcich said that there were five film offices in Croatia and that they operated successfully, which, he said, was largely owing to the HAVC's programme of incentives Filming in Croatia, which had been introduced in 2012 and which had yielded excellent results.

More news about filming in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds to Film in Zagreb?

If by any chance you stay in Zagreb for the 1 May holiday and decide to take a walk near the Mimara Museum or a high school athletics field in Klaićeva Street, you could easily find yourselves face to face with Hollywood stars like Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson or Ryan Reynolds. Although there is no official confirmation, you could also meet Hollywood great Morgan Freeman, reports Jutarnji List on March 27, 2019.

The Croatian capital will be one of the locations for the filming of a sequel to action thriller-comedy "The Hitman's Bodyguard 2", or "The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard", directed by Patrick Hughes.

The negotiations are in an advanced phase, the locations in Zagreb have been selected, and the shooting should last until May 12, mainly in the area around the Mimara Museum. It is expected that the traffic will be redirected in surrounding streets. The scenes with Hayek, Jackson and Reynolds should be filmed in the Mimara Museum itself. Additionally, the producers were interested in the location of the west train station, and it is almost certain that some scenes will be filmed in trams.

In the movie, Zagreb will play itself, unlike other parts of Croatia where the film will also be shot. Some of the scenes will be filmed in Rovinj, which is expected to play the Italian Amalfi coast. In addition to Rovinj and Zagreb, one of the locations is Rijeka.

There are no further details at this moment, including whether the rumours that the legendary actor Morgan Freeman will join the cast are true or not.

For now, it is certain that the filming caravan will arrive in Rovinj on 4 April and that they have requested location permits for the filming. Which actors will film in which town will not be known until the very start of the shoot.

Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Tomislav Mamić, Marija Lokas).

More news about filming in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.


Monday, 18 March 2019

Zagreb Featured in Latest Netflix Series

The Manduševac fountain at the main square in Zagreb at nine o'clock in the morning. Women sit at the tables around the fountain and drink coffee, while police officers with German insignia patrol around. Two blue parachutes drop down right in front of the fountain. A man and a woman with a helmet emerge, and from a nearby tent a man's voice can be heard: "Cut!" The scene was shot from the third attempt. What was it all about? Zagreb is the stage for the latest Netflix series called "Medical Police", in which two physicians, played by Erinn Hayes and Rob Huebel, uncover a deadly virus in Brazil and the US government recruits them to travel the world to find a cure, reports Večernji List on March 18, 2019.

Although it all sounds very serious, the series is actually a comedy that will be filmed in the Croatian capital for ten days. Producer and screenwriter Krister Johnson says they were looking for locations for a long time, and Zagreb has proven to be perfect due to its authentic architecture. “The people are extremely kind, and we are delighted with your local food,” says Johnson.

Ivan Petrušić, the producer at the Welcome Production, who is in charge of the filming in Croatia, explains that Zagreb will play Riga, Florence, and even an airport in Tampa, Florida. The state archive building has already pretended to be a college, while the scene shot at Ban Jelačić Square was supposed to take place in Berlin.

“We started the cooperation in October, and Zagreb was selected because it can play several cities,” says Petrušić.

Director of the Zagreb City Tourist Board Martina Bienenfeld is happy that Zagreb will play itself in some of the scenes as well since about five per cent of European tourists choose their vacation destinations according to their favourite TV series or film.

The project also involves Croatian extras, hairdressers, assistant directors of photography and other crew members.

Zagreb has already been featured in many international productions. The best-known film shot in Zagreb is probably "Sophie's Choice" in 1982. Since the producers have promised that their will tell their colleagues about the Croatian capital, perhaps there will be more such projects in the future as well.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Ana Tenžera).

More news about filming in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

HBO Finishes Production of TV Series Filmed in Zagreb

The story of "Success" has begun! It might sound like an invitation to a self-help course, and that is not completely off the mark, as you will be able to see soon when the first HBO TV-series filmed in the Croatian language is broadcast. The screenplay written by Marjan Alčevski is directed by Oscar-winning director Danis Tanović, and HBO is finishing the production of the TV series filmed in Zagreb, reports Večernji List on November 24, 2018.

“I often worked in countries of Central and Southeast Europe where we filmed screenplays written by famous screenwriters, but I noticed that we actually did nothing for the local authors. It was undeniable that there is raw talent here, and it was certainly possible that there were very good screenplays being written. We have therefore organized the First Draft competition, and now we have the first TV series from this language area, which has been selected among 400 applications,” said HBO Europe’s Steve Matthews.

Marjan Alčevski is understandably excited ahead of the launch. “First of all, it was hard to believe my screenplay would be filmed by Danis Tanović. I am happy with what has been done, I can see my story was made right, but the real excitement has only begun today because what the audience says is the only important thing,” said Alčevski.

The series filmed in Zagreb primarily deals with the life in the city through the stories of four characters that will be interwoven, but HBO expects that other cities from the neighboring countries will also be able to see themselves in Zagreb. According to Matthews, they did not look for a series that would deal with local political events, but an author who has something to say. For Tanović, this is the first TV series that he directed.

Ana Balentović of HBO Adria explained that they want to sell the series to other markets as well, adding that there is already interest in buying the rights for the United States. In addition to the casting that was extensive and thorough, the producers had other challenges as well.

“We had to change the shooting schedule a bit. When we started shooting, Zagreb looked more like Vladivostok, it was covered with snow and the temperature was extremely low. So we first filmed indoor scenes and then filmed all the night scenes outdoors in just ten days. We would like to thank the citizens of Zagreb who welcomed our production, but also the town and state authorities which allowed us to close the Youth Bridge for the shooting,” said Nebojša Taraba of the Drugi Plan production company.

For more on filming in Croatia, click here.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Zoran Vitas).

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Klis Fortress Unites Uskoks and HBO's Game of Thrones

The view from the Klis fortress towards Split and the central Dalmatian islands is something special indeed.

Monday, 24 September 2018

First Foreign Movie to be Filmed in Croatia Using New Incentives

ZAGREB, September 24, 2018 - The Master Butcher's Singing Club, a movie to be filmed at several locations in Croatia over a period of three months, is the first foreign production using incentives for filming in areas of special state concern.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Croatia to Star in “Mamma Mia 3”?

Unlike in Part 2, Croatia will this time “play” itself.

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