Friday, 1 July 2022

Ukrainian Films to Be Screened in Croatian Independent Cinemas in July

ZAGREB, 1 July 2022 - At the beginning of July, the Croatian Independent Cinemas Network and Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) will start screening Ukrainian films in independent cinemas throughout Croatia, where visitors will have the opportunity to see three Ukrainian classics and three contemporary productions.

The program will be held until September in more than 20 cinemas. The screenings have been organised in cooperation with the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre.

The three Ukrainian classics that will be shown to the Croatian audience are: "Man with a Movie Camera" from 1929, "Operation Dowry" from 1961 and "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" from 1965. HAVC noted that these masterpieces of Ukrainian cinema are excellent starting points to get to know Ukrainian film culture.

A special partner of the Film Borscht programme is the Ukrainian Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre, and the programme also has a humanitarian character with a fundraising campaign for the centre.

The programme begins in July and in some cinemas it will run through August and September. 

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Sunday, 6 March 2022

Croatian Video Game Industry Receives First State Incentives

March 6th, 2022 - All submitted projects were required to feature elements of artistic, educational or cultural significance

Following a public tender announced in 2021, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) recently came out with a list of video game development projects that will receive state incentives in a total amount of 595,000 kuna. It’s the first time that the Croatian video game industry is being subsidised by the state.

The tender featured two subcategories: twenty six submissions were received in the category of project development, while the game production subcategory saw twenty submitted projects. The HAVC selected a total of eight projects to co-finance this year, writes tportal.

Six winning projects were announced in the project development category: Vučedol (Andrija Zorić), Professor Balthasar (Aleksandar Gavrilović), Ancient Tales (Mirinda Paraman), The Flight of the Bumblebee (Marko Hrenović and Ivan Turković-Hrnjak), One on One, Boys and Girls (Frano Petruša) and Path of View (Vanja Čulek).

In the category of game production, the HAVC selected Go Home Annie (Mladen Bošnjak) and Kiddoland (Mateja Vedrina) to receive funding.

The tender concept was similar to that seen in the film industry, explained Andrej Kovačević, creative consultant for video games at the HAVC. Every audiovisual project starts with an idea, a script - that kicks off the project development stage - and goes on to the production and post-production stages.

This is applicable to the video game industry as well. Some companies applied for funding for game development, not in terms of actually producing the game, but the initial stage that involves drawing up a detailed design plan and potentially creating a demo. They’re given 12 months to complete this stage. The other group, which applied for incentives for game production, already has the first part completed and will receive funding to produce the game, with 24 months given to finish the project.

All submissions were required to feature elements of artistic, educational or cultural significance. According to Kovačević, some projects featured established video game concepts where the required cultural component seemed to have been slapped on as an afterthought, but since this was the first tender of its kind, it was to be expected.

‘It’s an unusual financing model, one which requires documentation that these people may not be used to. In the video game industry, it’s customary for the publisher or investor to fund the entire project, whereas we have a co-financing model here. This is why we held workshops for anyone interested before the tender was announced, where we taught them how to create a project, how to budget, and the whole time while the tender was open we had guidelines published on our web pages, along with examples of best practices, available to all potential applicants’, said Kovačević.

The criteria were clearly outlined in the tender, including the relevant experience required of applicants, especially game designers and producers. Kovačević said there were applicants whose ideas were good but not well defined, and it was apparent they simply lacked experience.

‘They all received feedback and will be able to apply to the next tender with a more elaborate plan. The budget for video games is to be increased to 1.5 million kuna this year, which will create opportunities for bigger projects as well’, said Kovačević.

Other European countries have already developed the practice of subsidising the video game industry, with the sector most commonly financed through state film institutes. Spain, Romania, Austria and Switzerland have established models for co-financing video game production, same as Scandinavian countries; Croatia is the first in the region to introduce the practice.

Asked about what makes a video game successful, Kovačević referred to his experience in the industry.

‘I’ve been working in video game development for almost 10 years, and our company has launched dozens of games on the global market. One reached 500,000 users, another reached 20 million. We pivoted a lot: we made console games, educational games, and we’re now exploring the field of blockchain games. Based on all that experience, if I had to sum up the formula for success in one sentence, I’d say you need to have a game that stands out. In any way possible. In terms of visuals, mechanics… The competition is fierce, thousands of games are launched every day. You need to stand out in some way, but also have a business model which is acceptable in this day and age’, he said.


Sunday, 17 October 2021

Children’s Film “My Grandpa Is an Alien” Wins Two Awards at Film Festival in Iran

ZAGREB, 17 Oct, 2021 - The children's film "My Grandpa is an Alien" ("Moj dida je pao s Marsa") by Dražen Žarković and Marina Andree Škop won two awards at the 34th International Film Festival for Children and Youth, which took place in the Iranian city of Isfahan.

The film won two Golden Butterfly awards, as the best film chosen by the young jury members and as the best artistic achievement of directing, the Croatian Audio Visual Centre (HAVC) reported on Thursday.

To date, the film has been screened at over 50 international festivals and it has won 16 awards.

In addition to being distributed in all seven co-production countries, "My Grandpa is an Alien" has been internationally distributed in a total of 26 countries, including the US, Russia, Japan, Spain and Ukraine.

The film was produced by Zagreb's Studio Dim in cooperation with the Croatian Radio-Television, Luxembourg's Wady Films, Norway's Filmbin, Czech MasterFilm and MagicLab, Slovakia's Artileria, Slovenia's Senca Studio and Art Rebel 9, and Bosnia and Herzegovina's Fabrika.

The screenplay was written by Pavlica Bajsić Brazzoduro and Branko Ružić, based on motifs of the story by Irena Krčelić.

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Sunday, 3 October 2021

Dalibor Matanić’s The Dawn to Premiere on HBO

ZAGREB, 3 Oct, 2021 - The Dawn, an award-winning film directed and written by Dalibor Matanić, will premiere on HBO GO and the HBO channel on 7 October, the Croatian Audio Visual Centre (HAVC) announced earlier this week.

The second part of Matanić's trilogy (The High Sun, The Dawn and Sunset) traces Matija whose family is confronted with unresolved trauma, as their neighbours flee from the radicalism that divides them into the chosen ones and the undesirables. As Matija loses his faith and struggles to find his true self, the dawn breaks over the valley, revealing that the only way to deal with trauma and evil is to face them head-on, HAVC says on its website.

Tihana Lazović, Krešimir Mikić, Lara Vladović, Maks Kleončić, Nataša Matjašec Rošker and Marko Mandić make up the cast.

After its world premiere at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in the autumn of 2020, the film was shown at the International Film Festival Karlovy Vary this summer, in the category of the most important films shown in the previous year.

At the Pula Film Festival, The Dawn won four Golden Arenas - for the best camera, editing, music and sound.

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Monday, 5 October 2020

Shooting of "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent" Starts in Dubrovnik

ZAGREB, October 5, 2020 - The shooting of the film titled "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent", starring Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal, starts in Dubrovnik on Monday, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) has said.

This is the ninth project to apply for the incentive programme for filming in Croatia in a year when film production in the entire world has come to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The shooting of the film, directed by Tom Gormican and produced by Lionsgate, will last for 15 days. In the Croatian part of the project, 412 film workers are involved, including 97 Croatian citizens, and there will be about 300 Croatian extras.

The planned spending of foreign investors for 10 projects this year exceeds HRK 100 million, said HAVC director Chris Marcich.

He recalled that audiovisual industry in Croatia had resumed its activities in May, under epidemiological measures, and primarily for domestic productions.

Croatia has thus been recognised in the world as a safe location for filming. With the borders reopening, intensive preparations have started for the return of foreign productions, said Marcich.

The service production company for "The Unbearable Weigth of Massive Talent" is the Dubrovnik-based Ambasada Studio company of producer Erika Milutin Diller (Embassy Films).


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