Montenegro

Breasts by Marija PerovićMARKET ANALYSIS 2020

PODGORICA: The budget of the Film Centre of Montenegro has been increasing each year since its establishment at the end of 2016. In 2020 the budget of the Film Centre of Montenegro increased to 1.4 m EUR, which is less than the planned 40% increase compared to 2019’s budget of 1.2 m EUR and 950,000 EUR in 2018.

The Film Centre of Montenegro became a member of the European Association of National Film Agencies – EFAD in January 2020.

All four planned national premieres of feature films have been postponed for 2021: Elegy of Laurel directed by Dusan Kasalica, Supermarket directed by Nemanja Becanovic, The Stork by award-winning Isa Qosja, and the debut feature After the Winter directed by Ivan Bakrac.

PRODUCTION

One feature film, The Face of Honour directed by Nikola Vukčević and produced by Galileo Production, and one long documentary, The Last Nomad by directors Petar Glomazić and Biljana Tutorov, produced by Cut-Up, were shot in 2020.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic's harsh conditions and tough government measures, many film projects in development have been suspended or cancelled in Montenegro, and the postproduction of some films stopped.

After the Winter by Ivan BakračAmong the affected films there were two titles produced by Artikulacija and ABHO Film: the debut feature After the Winter by Ivan Bakrač, and The Stork / Roda by Isa Qosja, which is produced by Montenegro’s Artikulacija Film in coproduction with ABHO Film and Aba Film from Montenegro, One Draft LLC from Kosovo and Tunnel Film from Albania. Pigmento Film from North Macedonia is expected to join as a coproducer.

Artikulacija production’s head Ivan Djurovic estimates the losses of his company, which is also engaged in production services and advertising, at between 45,000 and 50,000 EUR.

Elegy of Laurel directed by Dušan Kasalica and produced by Meander Film (Montenegro) in coproduction with Non Aligned Films (Serbia), had been set to wrap by the end of April 2020, but was stopped in its sound-mixing stage. The premiere and distribution were, thus, delayed indefinitely.

The Face of Honour / Djeca directed by Nikola Vukčević and produced by Montenegro's Galileo production in coproduction with Serbia's Cinnamon films was stopped in its development phase after filming its teaser in the first quarter of 2020.

Ivan Marinovic’s second feature Forever Hold Your Peace, coproduced by Adriatic Western (Montenegro), Sense Production (Serbia), Analog Vision, (Czech Republic), Kinorama (Croatia) and Krug Film (Northern Macedonia), had to delay its casting planned for the spring of 2020, as well as the location scouting planned for June 2020.

The short film Everything Went Smoothly / Sve je teklo svojim tokom, directed by Anja Jovanovic and produced by Videa production, completed its filming in 2020 and is now in postproduction.

The shooting of another short film, Boiling / Kljucanje directed by Luka Djurovic as an MA diploma work at FAMU Prague, began in 2020. The project is a coproduction between FAMU and the Montenegrin CUT-UP production production and will be entirely filmed in Montenegro.

There are several production companies in Montenegro experienced in working with international productions. Among them are production companies which can help on different stages of production, from preliminary location scouting, through putting international producers in touch with tax and legal advice services, shooting permits, The Elegy of Laurel by Dušan Kasalicaaccommodation, travel and catering arrangements, to casting, facilities and equipment rental, marketing, etc. More information is available HERE.

COVID GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

In order to compensate for the negative consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic in the cultural sector, the Ministry of Culture launched in cooperation with the Film Centre of Montenegro a public call for emergency support in the amount of 500,000 EUR in the field of creativity, for the cultural workers most affected by the crisis. This public call addressed co-financing activities in the field of cultural and artistic creativity that served the public interest, and the protection of the socio-economic interest of unemployed artists and culture professionals, culture entrepreneurs, freelance artists, and cinemas/businesses whose activity had been suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It applied to film production companies, cinemas and individuals, along with others in the creative sector.

Additionally, on 24 March 2020 the Film Centre of Montenegro announced a public call for co-financing of film works, for script development and project development, ahead of the planned calendar of the competition and with larger commitments. The deadline for submitting the applications for both calls was 24 April 2020.

“The Ministry of Culture and the Film Centre of Montenegro immediately launched the first measures in order to help, above all, those film workers and companies most affected by the current situation: freelancers and cinemas. We also announced public calls for film script and project development, applications which can be completed online from homes. Many obligations of the Film Centre within the national and international frameworks are delayed or transformed, so we are in a highly challenging situation, in which we must continue our regular work and be ready for the return of regular conditions”, said the Director of Film Centre of Montenegro Sehad Čekić in April 2020.

In March 2020 the Agency for Electronic Media of Montenegro decided to exempt commercial and public broadcasters (both radio and television) from the obligation to pay broadcasting fees in the next three months. These obligations were reduced by approximately 80,000 EUR.

The Face of Honour by Nikola VukcevicDISTRIBUTION

The main local film distributors in Montenegro are MCF MNE and Taramount film d.o.o. Since 2013 Montenegro has been submitting a candidate for the Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category, which contributes to the increasing visibility of Montenegrin films on the international scene.

In 2020 the popular TV series turned into a feature film Breasts directed by Marija Perovic was selected by the selection committee of the Montenegrin Ministry of Culture as Montenegro’s official entry for the Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category. The film was produced by Montenegro's Open Box Studio in association with Montenegro's Meander film and in coproduction with Croatia’s Mitropa and Serbia’s Visionary Thinking.

The Otter directed by Srdjan Vuletic and produced by Artikulacija received the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award at the 2020 CineLink Co-Production Market, the industry platform of the Sarajevo FF. The project Valley of Monuments (working title) directed by Srdjan Vuletic and produced by Artikulacija Film was awarded Best Pitch at the 10th edition of the Coproduction Forum of the When East Meets West, the industry segment of the Trieste Film Festival.

Planet 7693 directed by Gojko Berkuljan and produced by A Production received a development grant from the SEE Cinema Network. The project also received an award at Kids Kino Industry in Warsaw, consisting in an invitation to the next edition of Kids Kino Lab, and it also won Best Pitch at the 2020 Pitch Balkan within the Balkan Film Market in Tirana.

The Montenegrin feature film project Scarab directed by Mladen Vujačić and produced by Far Production, received a six-month mentorship of a script doctor at the workshop My First Screenplay within the Industry section of the 18th Zagreb FF. Earlier, the project had been awarded a special jury prize at the Best Pitch – PriForum, within the PriFilmFest.

The Film Centre of Montenegro participated for the 4th time in the Marché du Film, held within the Cannes Film Festival. In 2020 the market was held online.

Forever Hold Your Peace by Ivan MarinovićThe Film Centre of Montenegro also promoted film locations in Montenegro at the 2020 FOCUS Digital in London, held online from 15 to 17 December 2020.

The first cycle of contemporary Montenegrin films was organised online in Argentina in August 2020, supported by the Film Centre of Montenegro and Gestion Cultural in Buenos Aires, Cine Club Nucleo, and Cine Arte. Six films were screened free of charge on the streaming platform of Arte Lumiere Cinema.

The Cinematheque of Uruguay screened, with the support of Film Centre of Montenegro and at the initiative of the Montenegrin community in Uruguay, five contemporary Montenegrin films within the 4th edition of the Balkan Film Festival in Montevideo, from 6 to 12 December 2020.

In 2020 Underhillfest was held slightly later than its regular dates (16-23 June); the Herceg Novi FF, usually held in the first week of August, was cancelled altogether; the 2020 edition of the young Seanema FF, usually held during four days in September in Ulcinj on the Adriatic Coast, took on a hybrid form, combining online and in-person activities from 1 to 4 October 2020; the Podgorica FF usually held in December, had its 6th edition online from 15 to 20 December; the Green Montenegro IFF, usually held in the first week of August, moved its dates to 18-21 December 2020 and was held online. The Fast Forward Human Rights FF also went online on its fixed traditional dates of 10-14 December 2020.

Camera Lucida, the first and only film magazine in Montenegro, founded in 2010, is published on a quarterly basis in its multilingual editions, providing film reviews, homages to the greatest world film authors, festival reports and interviews with both established film figures and newcomers. In 2020 Camera Lucida published six new issues (48 altogether), including the special 45th issue marking its 10th anniversary in June 2020.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

There are two multiplexes, with 10 screens, and eight other one-screen cinemas in Montenegro.

In 2020 the Film Centre of Montenegro signed contracts with several cities and with the Ministry of Culture for the digitalisation of cinemas in the towns of Ulcinj, Bar, Kotor and Cetinje.

The Montenegrin Cinematheque and the Music Centre of Montenegro officially moved to a new building on 3 November 2020, after two decades of waiting. In the new building, the Cinematheque has a small cinema, a big concert hall, which will be equipped with DCP for film screenings, a summer stage for open-air screenings and a mediatheque including a space for various events.

The Otter by Srđan VuletićThe Montenegrin Cinematheque is engaged in a documentary film project financed by the Ministry of Culture within the programme of protection and preservation of cultural heritage. The film Paths of Doclea Heritage / Putevima dukljanske bastine, directed by veteran film author Branko Baletić, focuses on the presentation of the preserved and newly-discovered artifacts of the most important antique location in Montenegro.

The total admissions were 92,510 and box office was 333,017 EUR in 2020.

In 2019 total admissions were 307,324 and box office was 1,175,315 EUR.

Cineplexx Podgorica, which was closed from 13 March to 3 September 2020, reported total admissions of 71,118 in 2020, compared to 285,359 in 2019. Its total box office was 257,848,70 EUR, compared to 1,082,157 EUR in 2019.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The Film Centre of Montenegro was established in the last days of 2016 and it is headed by producer Sehad Čekić, who was approved for a four-year mandate in 2017.

The film industry of Montenegro is governed by the Law on Cinematography from 2015, which received enormous support from decision makers, the film community and the international community.

The Law on Culture approved in 2018 governs the area of culture and the establishment of public institutions in Montenegro.

The Film Centre of Montenegro is administered by a Council composed of five members. The Government appoints four members of the Council from the rank of experts in film and culture, and the fifth one is appointed from among the employees of the Centre. The Centre is financed from both the budget of Montenegro and the Film Fund, generating revenues on the basis of fees paid by entities that, directly or indirectly, exploit cinematographic works.

Valley of Monuments by Srdan Vuletic, photo: Artikulacija FilmThe following entities are obliged to pay the levy to the Film Fund:

  • public service - 5% of the total annual revenues generated from marketing;
  • commercial broadcasters with national coverage – 0.8% of annual revenues;
  • operators providing cable, satellite and internet distribution services, radio and television programmes (KDS/MMDS/IPTV/DTH platforms), representing their core activity - 2% of realised annual revenues;
  • cinemas - 3% of every sold cinema ticket, of which 1.5% shall be borne by the exhibitor, and 1.5% shall be borne by the distributor of the cinematographic work;
  • public communications network operators, including internet access operators - 0.9% of annual revenue generated from Internet services, distribution of TV programmes and rental of cinematographic works;
  • providers of video-on-demand rental services, representing their core activity - 3% of realised annual revenues.

In 2020 the Film Centre of Montenegro granted 825,000 EUR for production (domestic and minority coproductions), films for children and youth, short films, animated films, as well as for script development, project development and complementary activities.

The Film Centre of Montenegro offers incentives to foreign and national producers shooting in Montenegro. Producers have the possibility to obtain a cash rebate on the invested funds for a film/TV project. The refund can cover up to 25% of eligible expenditures incurred in Montenegro for the making of an audiovisual work. The right to a cash rebate may be granted to the producer, a coproducer, or a production company that performs services. The right to a cash rebate for part of the funds spent on film production can be acquired by a producer for the production of live-action, animated and documentary films, TV films and series which are fully or partially produced in Montenegro and which are intended for public presentation.

Two TV series completed the shoot of their second seasons in Montenegro in 2020 -  Debt To The Sea / Dug moru produced by Monte Royal International, and Besa produced by Telekom Serbia, Adrenaline, Red Planet Pictures (UK) and Montenegrin Natenane. Both productions applied for and were granted a cash rebate.

The Film Centre of Montenegro became a member of the European Association of National Film Agencies – EFAD in January 2020.

Besa series, credit: AdrenalinTV

When the Coronavirus pandemic broke out, actions were undertaken to keep film and culture in the public eye. Beginning on 23 March 2020, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, the public broadcaster TVCG dedicated its second channel's TVCG 2 evening programme to exclusively culture related content, including feature and documentary films. The special focus of this programme was Contemporary Montenegrin Cinema, broadcasting one recently produced Montenegrin film each evening.

In May 2020, the Film Centre of Montenegro gave urgent aid grants for complementary film activities, in the total amount of 71,000 EUR, to three TV channels for their film education programmes: TV Vijesti (25,000 EUR), TV Nova M (24,000 EUR) and TV Prva (22,000 EUR).

There are 18 TV channels operating in Montenegro, including three public channels TVCG 1TVCG 2 and TVCG Sat (for the Montenegrin diaspora) and local public channels TV NikšićTV Budva and TV Pljevlja. The most popular commercial TV channels are TV Nova MTV Vijesti and TV Prva. Other commercial channels are TV Rožaje, Srpska TV, TV 777TV Corona, TV Boin, TV Novi, TV Sun and TV HN.

According to the Article 15 of the Law on public broadcasting services in Montenegro, the Radio Television in Montenegro (RTCG) is funded from: the general revenue of the budget of Montenegro in the amount of approximately 1.2% of the current budget, advertisement production and broadcast, the production and sales of audiovisual services; programme endorsements and also the organisation of concerts and other events.

CONTACTS:

FILM CENTRE OF MONTENEGRO
Bulevar Džordža Vašingtona 98, Podgorica
Phone: +382 (0)20 675 238
www.fccg.me
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MEDIA DESK MONTENEGROBreasts by Marija Perović
13. Jula, bb, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 (0)20 675 238
www.kreativnaevropa.me
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MINISTRY OF CULTURE OF MONTENEGRO - Directorate for Cultural and Artistic Production
Ulica Njegoševa bb, 81250 Cetinje, Crna Gora
Phone: +382 (0)41 232 571
www.mku.gov.me
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MONTENEGRIN CINEMATHEQUE
Miljana Vukova 59, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 (0)20 232 016
www.kinoteka.me
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ASSOCIATION OF FILM PRODUCERS AND DIRECTORS OF MONTENEGRO
Novaka Miloševa 42, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 67 568 110
www.afpd.me

CAMERA LUCIDA
Crnogorskih serdara 31, 81000 Podgorica
www.cameralucida.net
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Report by Maja Bogojevic (2021)
Sources: Film Centre of Montenegro, Montenegrin Cinématheque, Cineplexx Podgorica