Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Croatian Company Nanobit Develops Game for Netflix Reality Dating Show

June the 15th, 2022 - The Croatian company Nanobit has been busy developing the game for the Netflix reality dating show, which will certainly put the international spotlight on this quite remarkable Croatian company.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the Croatian company Nanobit and the massive Netflix platform are jointly developing a mobile game for fans of the reality dating show ''Too Hot To Handle'', which will be shown on Netflix in 2023.

To speak more precisely, ''Too Hot to Handle'' is a lifestyle simulation game based on the popular Netflix series, it's a game developed by no less than the Croatian company Nanobit, and next year it will arrive on mobile platforms and will be available for play to Netflix users around the world.

Thanks to Nanobit's vast expertise with narrative games, players are provided with a unique experience and they can participate in the virtual season of Netflix's popular dating show.

“We will be presenting the game during Netflix’s virtual fan festival, Geeked Week. It's a game that will show the spirit of the TV series with exciting drama and events,'' explained Alan Sumina, the CEO of Nanobit.

There are an array of highly successful Croatian companies popping up left, right and centre, but some of them have really stood out from the crowd and we'd be more than correct in saying that the wildly successful Nanobit is one of them. The Croatian company Nanobit is the leading domestic studio for the development and publishing of mobile games. It is based in the City of Zagreb, it has 29 titles released, with 10 applications and 19 games and more than 220 million downloads to its name.

Since September 2020, it has been part of the large Swedish group, Stillfront. The fact that a Croatian-made game will be showcased on a platform as massive as Netflix will do wonders for not only the exposure of this particular enterprise, but for Croatia as a whole.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 16 April 2022

Captains: Luka Modrić to Feature in New FIFA+ TV Series, Netflix Also Interested

April 16, 2022 - Croatia national team captain will feature in a new FIFA+ series called Captains, which has also caught the attention of Netflix. 

Fifa has launched the FIFA + digital platform, which allows free viewing of rich content to football fans around the world, reports 24 Sata.

The series "Captains" will soon be available on the platform, which follows six captains behind the scenes as they lead their countries through the qualifications for the World Cup in Qatar, including Croatia's fierce leader Luka Modrić.

The series explores the leadership qualities of each individual but also the different roles of captains, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Brian Kaltak (Vanuatu), Andre Blake (Jamaica), Hassan Maatouk (Lebanon), and Thiago Silva (Brazil) in addition to Modrić.

At the age of 36, Modrić remains the engine of Real Madrid and the Croatia national team, and one of the main reasons why Netflix, one of the world's largest streaming services, showed interest in the FIFA documentary. As 24 Sata has learned, they are in advanced negotiations with FIFA, and the mentioned series will probably be found on that popular streaming platform as well.

The Netflix streaming service has already released super-successful documentaries about Michael Jordan, Michael Schumacher, and Formula 1, to name a few.

The series will, among other things, feature never-before-released footage from Luka's childhood, details from his private life, and viewers will be able to see first-hand the atmosphere within the national team during their hunt for the World Cup in Qatar.

According to 24 Sata, Luka expressed regret that the cameras did not film Croatia's path to the silver medal at the World Cup in Russia. Still, this series should also arouse great interest among viewers.

Equally, FIFA+ will soon release a feature-length documentary, "Croatia: Defining the Nation," by acclaimed director Louis Myles, which talks about how football unites and connects the Croatian people and a group of friends who have gained global recognition in the face of extreme hardships. Each of them became a legend and painted their country around the world.

The film tells many stories of Croatia's bronze national team in 1998, such as Davor Šuker's Golden Boot at the 1998 World Cup, and the captain of the national team at that time, Zvonimir Boban. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

New Season of The Witcher to Film in Croatia?

March 1st, 2022 - The exact locations remain unknown for now, but it's rumoured that Netflix is filming the next season of its hit fantasy series in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia

The third season of the Netflix fantasy series The Witcher might film in Croatia, reports ‘Might’ being the key word, as the streaming giant hasn’t yet made any official statements regarding the film locations for the upcoming season of its hit series.

The announcement comes from Redanian Intelligence, a fansite specialising in news concerning The Witcher on Netflix.

‘We have learned that Season 3 of The Witcher will film in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. Filming is to start at the beginning of March in the Italian province of South Tyrol (Province of Bolzano), then move further east to Slovenia. Finally, filming will move to Croatia for about 10 days at the very end of March until early April’, the article reads.

The exact locations remain unknown for now. In support of the theory, it’s been pointed out that the lead actress Freya Allan had already arrived in Italy, where she recently attended a Versace fashion show in Milan. Who knows? She might be heading to a film set next.

Speculations aside, the Croatian Audio-Visual Centre (HAVC) didn’t have any information to share in regards to The Witcher joining the ranks of TV hits filmed in Croatia.

They have, however, confirmed that there’s great interest in Croatia as a film location.

‘We’re expecting many productions this year, but I can’t speak of titles. What I can say is that we’ve had over 200 million kuna brought in by foreign productions last year, and this year we’re already expecting 300 million. The outlook is great, we’re rated high as a film location’, said Tanja Ladović Blažević of the HAVC.

As things stand, Netflix filming its hit series in Croatia is a rumour at best. But let us indulge in a bit of wishful thinking: if it were to happen, it could bring on a new wave of film tourism in Croatia now that the Game of Thrones craze has died down.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Toni Kukoc Opens Up about Michael Jordan Documentary 'The Last Dance'

May 22, 2020 - ‘The Last Dance’ documentary about Michael Jordan and the legendary generation of the Chicago Bulls broke all rating records, but at the same time provoked fierce reactions. A lot of 'dirty' and hitherto unknown details have come to light, and among them, there are many related to Croatia's Toni Kukoc.

T.portal reports that 'The Last Dance' revealed how difficult it was for Toni Kukoc to fight for a place in that team, and it was even harder for him to fit into that 'chosen society' and earn their respect. First of all, this applies to the main star, the inimitable Michael Jordan, but also others, especially Scottie Pippen.

Now, Toni Kukoc has given an interview to Greek Sport24 in which he revealed that he heard from Michael Jordan a few days ago.

"We talked a few days ago and I told him I was happy the documentary was coming to an end. You know why? Because in the last three weeks, I have received more phone calls than in the previous 20 years," said Kukoc and looked back on his years with the Chicago Bulls. The fact is that not everyone could stand what Jordan did to his teammates...

"He was no different to me and he treated us all the same. He simply pushes you to the extremes. There was a good reason for that because our team had the highest expectations. It wasn’t easy and sure not everyone could handle it all. There was a hierarchy and everyone knew their place in the team and that was always the case," Kukoc recalled and revealed what Drazen Petrovic advised him to do. Namely, it was strange to everyone why Kukoc did not go to the Bulls when he was drafted in 1990, but signed for Benetton and stayed there for two years.

"Drazen Petrovic advised me to do that and I think it was a good decision," Kukoc revealed.

Kukoc recalled meeting Jordan and Pippen at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

"I knew it was a matter of time before we met and that was in Barcelona and it was twice, in the group stage and the final. I didn’t play well the first game because I was guarded by Jordan and Pippen, the two best defensive players in the world. I don't think many people would survive that," said Kukoc, who arrived in the Bulls after Michael Jordan temporarily retired from basketball.

"The fact that he wasn't there for a year and a half made it a lot easier for me because I got more minutes. As soon as Jordan returned, I realized how much it helped me to grow without him because I already played in three different positions," explained Toni Kukoc, who was asked by Greek journalists to name who he thinks is the best basketball player of all time.

"It is very easy for me to answer that question," said Kukoc.

"Michael Jordan has made basketball a global sport. It’s hard to compare LeBron James and this era when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird ruled. It's hard to choose the biggest, but I prefer Jordan because I think he would be the best in every era."

The read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Croatian Director of Netflix 'The Paper' on Final Season: Dalibor Matanić

Art or culture must reflect society and the moment in which we live, according to Dalibor Matanić, talented Croatian director of the world-acclaimed series “The Paper” (Novine). The series, based in Rijeka, can be streamed worldwide on Netflix and is available with English subtitles.

Every form of culture, including provocation, must be aimed at establishing dialogue. Creating a culture of dialogue is extremely important, to get out of the divisions and move away from where you were in '91. I want the most important question to be where you will be in 2020. It is a much more important question for today and for the society in which we live. Lots of noise and negative reactions are fueled by those who would like to control culture, and we know that this is not turning out very well, the director reveals to Danijela Bauk/Novi List January 21, 2020.

Third Final Season of ‘The Paper’ Premieres in Rijeka January 25

Dalibor Matanić has his hands full these days. He and his team for the acclaimed series "The Paper", are looking forward to the Rijeka premiere of the third and final season, will take place on Friday, January 25 at Art-Kino. And then another completely new challenge awaits him - directing the main opening program for Rijeka 2020 - the European Capital of Culture at the port of Rijeka, or the "Opera Industrial" program which will include more than 120 performers. There is also the recent premiere of "Zora" (Dawn), the sequel to the award-winning "Zvizdan" (High Sun), or the second part of the trilogy "Sunce" (Sun). He is also preparing a play "Berlin" for the Croatian National Theater. Recently, for the third time, he became a father. He and wife, actress Helena Minić, welcomed a son, who they named Neo.

But let's start at the beginning. The premiere of the first two episodes of the final season of "The Paper" will take place on January 25 at Art-Kino in Rijeka.

“We will show the first two episodes of the final and third season of ‘The Paper’. Everything is ready to go. I anticipate that this third season will be a very interesting and unexpected for our audience, as we probe deeper into the characters, their inner world, and deal with this final account of corruption and transition which we introduced during the first season. The main theme of the third season is the judiciary, in the first season we covered the media, in the second politics. But this time we are focusing on the characters, they are the ones who judge things, who carry us forward. This third season is focused mostly on characters, and less on action, the characters move into confrontations with their opponents, and with themselves. We go into the depths of the characters, and analyze them from the inside,” Matanić reveals.

This way of working, the in-depth character analyses was first made possible by a great acting team, but also by screenwriter Ivica Đikić, who upgraded and expanded the script.

Film Productions Like Jazz Sessions or Improvisations

“Our film productions sometimes seem like jazz sessions, or music improvisations during which just about everyone, including those in front and behind the cameras, give everything they have. Above everything else, Rijeka has enjoyed a place in the spotlight, as the city plays an important role in all three seasons of the series. I can truly say that we have had optimal conditions, a great cast with up to 90 actors per season, a city with a special vibe, the right atmosphere which resembled a music session. We also have a great production crew. It has been an ideal work culture and one of mutual respect. We felt the progress from season to season and were constantly discovering new ‘languages’”.

“That’s why I think the series is so successful too. We did not work according to an established format and did not strictly adhere to what was written in the script but were open letting the scenes evolve. It all coincided, with the script by Ivica Đikić, the producers from Drugi plan (The Second Plan), and fantastic actors led by Branka Katić and Dragan Despot. Ivica Đikić 's flexible scriptwriting allowed us to work this way and allowed us to improvise.”

‘The Paper’ Storyline Reflects Real World Croatian Situations

“There are screenwriters who don't allow interventions and stick to their script like a Bible. We did things differently and constantly updated both the story and the characters. That's why I believe we have had such a positive audience response. And that is why the audience discovered similarities to the real world during our second season. This is our reality, and some of the motives and characters remind the audience of real events and people. In the third season, we completely delve into the characters, discover their various layers, inner emotions, and I hope that the audience will find this approach interesting too. Especially since they are already familiar with the characters; we will give insight into some of their inner, hidden ‘worlds’. We’ll allow them to discover that all the characters are made of flesh and blood, and that nothing is black and white. We also find that humans often act like animals. I directed the third season, or the season of characters, as a kind of western – a modern western with skirmishes between characters along with the internal struggles of characters,” says the award-winning Croatian director.

And audiences have been responding to this high-caliber work. Rarely has any Croatian series sparked such widespread interest, with audiences eagerly expecting each new season. And the bar has been set high, as the first two successful seasons significantly raised expectations. After all, the increased competition of world series productions has raised their overall quality, so the audience is more educated, has higher expectations and recognizes quality output.

Croatian Corruption Rarely Portrayed in Bold Courageous Manner

“We really have an army of fans, not just casual viewers, but loyal fans who closely follow each detail of every episode of every season of the series. Our domestic audience, as well as those who watch the series from abroad, recognize that there are not very many brave series out there like ‘The Paper’, and foreign critics have often pointed this out. There are few attempts so courageous to portray corruption and transition in this manner. After all, ‘The Paper’ is not an easy series to watch, you could go to the bathroom and lose a story line which is critical for understanding the entire series. The audience is not stupid or simple-minded. They expect more, especially because they also follow foreign series productions. They see what is being filmed worldwide and compare us to foreign productions even though we are not on an equal footing with them. We are proud of our consistency ever since our very first season.”

“We have said that this series was a trilogy and we sticking to that plan. There won’t be any sequels after this season, although I personally believe that the whole team wouldn’t mind working on this set until they retire. This way of working, the everyday creative energy, which has filled us all with pleasure and happiness, is not common scenario as far as I know. We have worked together for four years and have spent about a year together. This must be sustainable, because it is also a kind of creative madness, like an amusement park or children's playground. But this set, vibe and atmosphere allowed us to shoot this series. After we finished filming, I said that I hope to have another opportunity to direct this kind of project, God willing.”

Overseeing Rijeka European Capital of Culture Program

Matanić will also oversee the opening of the ECOC (European Capital of Culture) at Rijeka's port on February 1.

“Directing the main program for the opening of the European Capital of Culture is actually a kind of continuation of the story we began with the promotional movie ‘Port of Diversity’. They asked me to give them a hand, and after all, these are friends and people I have already worked with. That moment, that collective awareness that Croatia is getting the European Capital of Culture recognition is very important. I think that Rijeka's ECOC is being managed by a great team of professionals who are not only working on an opening program, but also one that will run through the entire year.”

“Yes, I cheered for Rijeka, although some of other candidate cities were great too. And I'm glad that Rijeka won. Now we need to capitalize on this victory, and awaken awareness that culture is for everyone. We need build a bridge to the audience, so that they perceive that something truly important is happening. We must educate and open minds, because culture must not be self-sacrificing or incomprehensible. After all, the basis of the ECOC's philosophy is to bring culture from institutions to the streets and bring it closer an audience who might not otherwise be reached. One needs to find a key, a code for how to bring people to the message behind a work of art.

Art or Culture Must Reflect the Society We Live In

That key, or that code is important. Lately, a lot of ruckus has been raised about the erection of Kožarić's "Therefore Hay" and the announcement of the placement of a star on top of the Rijeka Skyscraper, as a temporary art installation by Nemanja Cvijanović. Matanić himself knows a lot about this kind of ruckus. At one time, his video for the ECOC’s "Port of Diversity" provoked strong negative reactions. So, does he believe that art must be just beautiful and enjoyable, or does it still have to question society and the present, especially in projects for the ECOC?

“I am the wrong person to ask if the culture should be just comfortable or cultivated. Art or culture must above all reflect the society and the moment in which we live. Every form of culture, including provocation, must be aimed at establishing a dialogue. Safe culture doesn’t accomplish anything, modern art must respond to all good and bad in society, and to every anomaly. But again, what is extremely important is that dialogue respects on both sides; then that dialogue will accomplish something good. Creating a culture of dialogue is extremely important, to escape the divisions and move away from where you were in '91. I want the most important question to be where you will be in 2020. It is a much more important question for today and for the society in which we live. Lots of shouting and negative reactions are fueled by those who would like to control culture, and we know that this is not turning out very well.”

Film ‘Zora’ Premiere and Fall Debut at Croatian National Theatre

After the premiere of "The Paper" and the opening of the ECOC; Matanić is also set to premiere the movie "Zora" (Dawn), the sequel to "Zvizdan" (High Sun), which won the jury award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival in the competition "Izvjestan pogled” (Un Certain Regard).

 “’Zora’, the second part of the ‘Sunce’ trilogy, will premiere this summer. Personally, I can say that ‘Zvizdan’ was a more accessible film, much more than ‘Zora’ will be. ‘Zora’ is a more avantgarde and moves radically forward. We deal with all the obstacles that can destroy love, and love must be strengthened to defeat cynicism and negative social movements. We are also concerned with people, individuals and society. The work is set in a bland future, a few years ahead of the present and ‘anticipates’ some things that might happen if we didn't respect human postulates,” says Matanić.

But that's not all. At the end of the year, his first theatre production will premiere at the HNK (Croatian National Theatre) in Zagreb, where he will stage the play "Berlin" by Ivor Martinić.

“It is also a sequel to the play ‘The Damned’ after the cult film of the same name by Luchino Visconti produced at SNG Maribor, whose dramatization was also written by Ivor Martinić. In this play we will point out that fascism is dangerous and that we must not dance around this issue in contemporary culture. Croatian fascism is the greatest evil that impacted our country and I find such ideas unacceptable today. It is our responsibility to make this country better, to make Croatian society better. Artists and culturalists are not businessmen, economists or politicians. We do not have a lot of power, but we can point out problems and anomalies, and I think that is our responsibility. And the audience responds well to these efforts. I believe that we all desire deep within ourselves to live in a more normal and peaceful place, rather than in an atmosphere of constant tension, or Balkan cauldron where something is constantly cooking and boiling,” Matanić concludes.

‘The Paper’ Has Promoted Rijeka As Filming Location

“The Paper” series has done a great deal, not only for Croatia, but also for the worldwide promotion of Rijeka. The series is currently available worldwide through Netflix's streaming service and locations in Rijeka and surrounding areas are presented not only to audiences, but to worldwide production companies and filmmakers, who are increasingly interested in filming in and around the city.

“A lot of foreigners and journalists have come to Rijeka after watching ‘The Paper’ and we know this firsthand. We have filmed and showcased Rijeka like no one ever has before. Therefore, it has become a unique and attractive location for foreign productions, which are increasingly being filmed in the city and surrounding locations. Rarely does a city or region have proximity to the sea and mountains, unusual city vistas and attractive natural sites. If we were to film for ten more seasons, we would still not be able show all the locations and views that Rijeka has to offer. It is very interesting that a city that is not very large offers so much diversity, and that makes it quite fascinating. I think it's simply a well-deserved compliment to the city.”

“Recently, Mercedes was shooting an advertisement at the same location we used for ‘The Paper’. But beyond the fantastic micro-locations and different vistas, there is this warmth of the city and its residents who accept everyone with open arms. We have always felt more than welcome, and that is very important. We never felt that we were disturbing anyone. But this is Rijeka, it's always been like that. Yet it is a multicultural city that accepts difference and that means everything. We have really felt this in the best possible way. I know what I'm talking about, because I've shot in several other Croatian cities and towns.”

Follow our Lifestyle page for more information and updates on talented Croatian directors and artists. For more information on Dalibor Matanić, check out his YouTube page.

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.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Netflix in Croatia Offers Less Value for Money Than in Many Countries

The CompariTech website analyzed price differences and the offer of films, TV series and documentaries on Netflix in September and found great disparities which prompted them to conduct a wider survey, which added 54 new countries, giving a total of 78 countries. The survey showed that Netflix in Croatia offers substantially less to subscribers than in some other countries, reports Večernji List November 27, 2018.

During the research, they took several factors into account. First, they looked at the figures related to the number of episodes and films available in 78 countries. This gave them the total number of titles available which they then divided with the monthly subscription price to get to the price of a single title. They then estimated the standard cost per month in each country and the results showed interesting differences.

American subscribers have the largest selection of titles available but do not get the best value for money. CompariTech's research has shown great inconsistencies when it comes to the potential rental price of a single title. Netflix is the most affordable in Canada if you look at the price and number of titles available. Subscribers in the United States and the United Kingdom pay 10 to 13 percent more than Canadian subscribers.

According to the research, the difference between the least cost-effective and the most cost-effective country is almost 100 percent.

As mentioned, Netflix is the most cost-effective in Canada, with nearly 5,500 titles available, each title being around 10 percent cheaper than in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Other countries are in a much worse situation. For example, Denmark has available only half the number of titles available in Canada. This means that Danish subscribers pay 100 percent more per title than Canadian subscribers.

The average price of a title is 0.00222 dollars, which means that the average customer in the world pays 57 percent more per title than the Canadian customer.

Canada is followed by Colombia, India, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, USA, Australia, the United Kingdom and Pakistan. Netflix is the least cost-effective in Denmark, Iran, Egypt, Norway, Taiwan, Qatar, Lebanon, Sweden, Tunisia and Iraq.

Croatia is located somewhere around the middle of the global rankings. At the time when the survey was conducted, Croatian subscribers had available 1,183 TV shows, 2,617 films, for a total of 3,800 titles. The monthly price for Netflix in Croatia was 9.01 dollars, which gives the average price of 0.00237 dollars, or 53% more than for the US subscribers.

CompariTech noted that European countries generally pay more than the rest of the world and assumes that might be due to higher taxes.

For more on the media in Croatia, click here.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Could Ibiza Sue Netflix Over Movie Filmed in Croatia?

The local government in Ibiza, an island located off of Spain's coast, could sue the US company Netflix after a promotional movie filmed in Croatia simulates the Mediterranean island.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Croatian TV Series "The Paper" Sold to Netflix

ZAGREB, April 3, 2018 - The management of Croatian Radio and Television (HRT) on Tuesday confirmed that the drama series The Paper (originally: Novine), produced by the Drugi Plan production company, has been sold to the American global provider of streaming films and television series Netflix, which will make it available to a market of almost half a billion viewers in close to 190 countries.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Bačvice and Central Club to Star in New Netflix Film?

Could it be?

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