COUNTRY REPORT 2016
In 2016 Slovenia’s film production remained stable, but the audience’s interest in domestic films increased. There were no major changes in the distribution and exhibition sectors, and the number of completed domestic feature films generally remained the same.
In 2016 the Slovenian Film Centre awarded grants totaling around 4 m EUR. A new cash rebate scheme for foreign productions was introduced in 2016 and the first international projects arrived, but a new film law is still pending.
Slovenian producers are still keeping the same pace, producing around ten feature films and documentaries per year and continually focusing on participating in international productions as majority and minority coproducers, especially for films made together with ex-Yugoslavia countries.
In 2016 thirteen full-length films were completed (nine feature films and four documentaries) and also three minority coproductions. Most of them were screened at the annual showcase of Slovenian film, the Slovenian Film Festival in Portorož, and half of them were already shown in Slovenian cinemas until the end of the year. Most of the titles were supported by the Slovenian Film Centre (SFC).
The completed feature films are: Žiga Virc’s long documentary Houston, We Have a Problem! / Houston, imamo problem!, Marko Sosič's Comedy of Tears / Komedija solz, Vlado Škafar's Mother / Mama, Slobodan Maksimović's Nika, Damjan Kozole’s Nightlife / Nočno življenje, Igor Šterk’s Come Along / Pojdi z mano, Klemen Dvornik's Buoyancy / Pod gladino, Igor Šmid's Ana / Anina provizija (Arkadena) and Luka Marčetić's independent comedy At Hostar / Pr’ Hostar (Kerlc Film), that unexpectedly became the most viewed domestic title in 2016.
The completed documentaries in 2016 are: Home Sweet Home / Dom ljubi dom by Maja Prettner, The Young Lions: The Fullness of Time / Mladi levi: polnost časa by Dejan Batoćanin, My World Is Upside Down / Moj narobe svet by Petra Seliškar and Deckument / Deckument: Od rolke do skejta by by Matej Lavka, Andro Kajzer, Miha Brodarič, Nina Vrhovec, produced by Zavod Multipraktik.
The most significant awards for Slovenian films in 2016 were: best director at Karlovy Vary, four Vesna awards (best director, best actress, best supporting actor, best production design) at the Slovenian Film Festival and best director at Avantura Film Festival Zadar for Nightlife ; three Vesna awards (best film, best actor, best editing) at the Slovenian Film Festival for Houston, We Have a Problem!, and Vesna award for best supporting actress at the Slovenian Film Festival for Nika.
Notable feature films that started production or preproduction in 2016 are: Erased, directed by Miha Mazzini and produced by Gustav Film; Stories from Chestnut Woods, directed by Gregor Božič and produced by Nosorogi; Wake, directed by Matjaž Ivanišin and produced by Staragara; Posledice, directed by Darko Štante and produced by Temporama; Krvno maščevanje, directed by Marija Zidar and produced by Vertigo; Greva v partizane, directed by Metod Pevec and produced by Vertigo; Košarkar naj bo, directed by Boris Petkovič and produced by Gustav Film; Miner, directed by Hanna A.W. Slak and produced by Nukleus Film Slovenia.
The following projects started production in 2016 and are expected to be completed in 2017: Our Family, directed by Jan Cvitkovič and produced by Perfo Production; My Last Year as a Looser, directed by Urša Menart and produced by Vertigo; History of Love, directed by Sonja Prosenc and produced by MonoO; Slovenia, Australia and Tomorrow the World, directed by Marko Naberšnik and produced by Perfo Production; Man With the Shadow, directed by Ema Kugler and produced by Zavod ZANK, and the documentary Victoria, directed by Nina Blažin and produced by Sever&Sever.
The introduction of a 25% cash rebate scheme is expected to increase the interest of foreign productions in Slovenia but since it was introduced in Autumn of 2016, no project applied until the end of the year. In 2016 a few ex-Yugoslavian coproductions and Indian films were shot in Slovenia such as Our Family / Družinica, directed by Jan Cvitkovič and produced by Slovenia's Perfo in coproduction with Serbia's Pilon Media, and Slovenia, Australia and Tomorrow the World / Slovenija, Avstralija in jutri ves svet, directed by Marko Naberšnik and produced by Slovenia's Perfo in coproduction with Macedonia's KinoOko.
In 2016 approximately 180 films were distributed in Slovenian cinemas. Around 50% of these were US productions, 45% were European and from other countries, while domestic productions and coproductions represented approximately 5%.
In 2016 the leading distribution companies in Slovenia were again Blitz Film & Video Distribution and Karantanija Cinemas d.o.o. Both of them distribute mostly commercial films from major Hollywood studios such as Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Universal and Paramount. The official representatives for two other major US distribution companies are located in Croatia (for example, Walt Disney distribution in Slovenia is represented by 2i Film and Sony Columbia by Croatian Continental Film).
Additionally, some smaller distribution companies distribute independent, domestic and European films such as Cinemania Group d.o.o., Cenex d.o.o., Demiurg, Fivia and Cankarjev dom.
EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE
Most of the Slovenian attendance is generated by multiplexes in Ljubljana, Maribor, Celje, Kranj, Koper and Murska Sobota, owned by two major multiplex chains: Kolosej Kinematografi and Cineplexx, while other cinema theatres try to balance commercial and art house films. In 2016 the cineplex in Maribor, previously operated by Kolosej kinematografi, became independent.
According to official statistics, there are 48 operating cinemas with 106 screens, most of them successfully digitalised in 2015.
Slovenian cinema admissions are usually around 2m per year.
According to unofficial statistics, Slovenian admissions in 2016 were approximately 2.15 m (compared to 2.09 m in 2015) and total box office was approximately 10.8 m EUR (compared to 10.3 m EUR in 2015). The absolute winner is the independent Slovenian comedy At Hostar / Pr’ Hostar by Luka Marčetić (produced by Kerlc Film in coproduction with Iridum Film) with approximately 180,000 admissions. The film also became the second most viewed domestic title after 1991, when Slovenia reclaimed its independence.
The domestic film with most admissions is still Going Our Way / Gremo mi po svoje (Miha Hočevar, Vertigo/Emotionfilm, 2010) with 205,439 admissions.
In 2016 Slovenian box office was up by approximately five percent thanks to the domestic hit At Hostar. This independent comedy, together with the rest of Slovenian films, generated around 10% of total admissions.
Only two of all 180 titles released in Slovenian cinemas in 2016 crossed the line of 100,000 admissions (there were three in 2015). They were: At Hostar (with 180,000 admissions) and The Secret Life of Pets (102,800 admissions).
The rest of the top ten includes: Ice Age: Collision Course (93,000 admissions), Planet Single / Planeta singli (60,000 admissions), Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (60,000 admissions), Kung Fu Panda 3 (58,000 admissions), Bridget Jones’ Baby (53,000 admissions), Dirty Grandpa (52,000 admissions), Trolls (49,000 admissions) and Sing (48,000 admissions).
Planet Single, a Polish/Slovenian coproduction produced by Gigant Films, holds a special place in the Slovenian box office. Usually, Polish or any other Eastern European films are not released in commercial cinemas, but this romantic comedy was directed by Slovenian Mitja Okorn, known for his hit Letters to Santa (TVN, 2011).
Six domestic titles were released in 2016: At Hostar (180,000 admissiosn), Houston, We Have a Problem! (18,000 admissions), Come Along (11,000 admissions), Nika (8,000 admissions), Nightlife (3,200 admissions) and Matej Nahtigal’s Case Osterberg / Psi brezčasja (Lignit Film; with approximately 700 admissions).
Slovenian films released in 2016 had around 223,000 admissions altogether, representing 10 percent of the total attendance. In 2015 domestic films generated 48,369 admissions, representing a little more than 2% of total attendance.
GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION
The main film institution in Slovenia is the Slovenian Film Centre (SFC), a public agency established in 2011, when it replaced the Slovenian Film Fund. Its goal is to encourage creativity by providing suitable conditions for audiovisual activities.
The SFC supports national film production, postproduction, distribution and film festivals. In theory, its funding sources should be varied and come from the state budget, the agency’s own income, colaboration with international organisations, donations and sponsorships. In practice, the majority of its funding is in the form of a subsidy from the Ministry of Culture, with the amount depending on the annual budget of the country, which makes the agency highly dependent on the current political and economic situation.
Since its launch, SFC has been involved in the production of 80% of domestic films with an average funding support of over 50% per project.
After SFC director Jožko Rutar's re-appointment was rejected in June 2016, Nerina Kocjančič was appointed as acting director for five months. In December 2016 Nataša Bučar was appointed as the new SFC director.
A new film law is still pending, however in September 2016 the new 25% cash rebate scheme for foreign production was introduced and some changes to the legislation governing the funding of the SFC were made.
In 2016 the Slovenian Film Centre announced eleven public tenders and awarded grants totaling 3.95 m EUR (a significant increase compared to 3.3 m EUR in 2015).
2.8 m EUR went for film production (production, debut features, coproductions); 630,000 EUR went for audiovisual projects; 100,000 EUR for student films and 180,000 EUR for script and project development. A total of 70,000 EUR was allotted to festivals, 140,000 EUR for film education and 30,000 EUR for professional education. All of them have already been closed, but the results for four of them have not been announced through January 2017.
Other sources of support originate from coproductions, services backed by the state and provided by FS Viba film studio in form of technical assistance, international film funds and institutions.
In the last few years, according to the Law on Slovenian Film Centre, the public broadcaster RTV Slovenia is obliged to invest in independent projects.
In 2016 leading commercial TV Pro plus with its five channels (POP TV, KANAL A, KINO, BRIO and OTO) kept its leading position, followed by the national television RTV Slovenija with its three channels and another commercial television, Planet TV.
Other significant players are foreign cable TV channels Fox Group, HBO Europe and several ex-Yugoslavia TV channels.
Prime time on Slovenian television is generally held by news (Dnevnik, 24 ur, Planet Danes), reality and entertainment shows (Slovenia Got Talent, Your Voice Sounds Familiar, Masterchef, Gostilna išče šefa, Farm, Vse je mogoče) and domestic fiction (Ena žlahnta štorija, Usodno vino), most of them produced by Pro plus and Planet TV.
No new TV series was produced in 2016. The fourth season of the TV series Ena žlahtna štorija, directed by Aleš Žemlja, Boris Petkovič and Jaka Šuligoj, which started on Planet TV in 2015, was also shot in 2016.
Report by Damijan Vinter (2017)Sources: SFC, the Ministry of Culture
COUNTRY REPORT 2015
Slovenia’s film production has remained fairly stable in 2015, although the difficult economic situation has not improved. Changes in the distribution sector are expected to have a significant positive impact on admissions in future. In spite of an overall record number of film projects submitted for the Slovenian Film Festival 2015, the number of completed domestic feature films has remained the same.
Digitalisation is almost completed and a new film law is pending. Slovenian producers continue to focus on participating in international productions as coproducers and minority coproducers, especially for films from the ex-Yugoslavia countries.
Film production is comparable to 2014 in terms of completed projects, but due to economic problems many projects have been delayed as in 2013.
The output of the completed full-length films has remained approximately the same: in 2015 nine full-length films were completed (seven feature films, two documentaries), in addition to six coproductions; all of them screened at the annual showcase of Slovenian film the Slovenian Film Festival in Portorož.
The feature films are: Siska Deluxe by Jan Cvitkovič, produced by Perfo Production; Girls Don't Cry by Matevž Luzar, produced by RTV Slovenija; Idyll by Tomaž Gorkič, produced by Blade production; Case: Osterberg by Matej Nahtigal, produced by Lignit Film; The Beat of Love by Boris Petković, produced by Gustav Film; Four Things I Wanted To Do With You by Miha Knific, produced by RTV Slovenija; Juliet and Alfa Romeo by Blaž Završnik, produced by Perfo Production.
The documentaries are: Home by Metod Pevec, produced by Vertigo; Partisan Priest by Bojan Labovič, produced by Studio Legen.
The most significant awards for Slovenian films in 2015 were the Golden Reel Award at Tiburon Film Festival and the Spirit Award at Brooklyn Film Festival for Inferno (Vinko Möderndorfer, Forum Ljubljana, 2014), the LUX audience award for Class Enemy (Rok Biček, Triglav Film, 2013) and the Audience Award at Cottbus Film Festival for Siska DeLuxe (Jan Cvitkovič, Perfo Production, 2015).
Notable feature film projects which started preproduction or production in 2015 are: Nika by Slobodan Maksimović, produced by Nora Production Gorup; Come Wih Me by Igor Štrrk, produced by AAC Production, Comedy Of Tears by Marko Sosič, produced by Arsmedia, Ivan by Janez Burger, produced by Staragara and Miner by Hanna A.W. Slak, produced by Nukleus Film Slovenia.
In beginning of 2016 in the projects slated to go into production are: Slovenia, Australia and Tomorrow The World by Marko Naberšnik, produced by Perfo Production; Ana by Igor Šmid, produced by Arkadena, Erased by Miha Mazzini, produced by Gustav Film, Yellow Boogie by Karpo Godina, produced by Nora Production Gorup and Stories from Chestnut Woods by Gregor Božič, produced by Nosorogi.
In the last 2 years the production of animated films increased significantly. Series of short animated films like Koyaa by Kolja Saksida, produced by ZVVIKS, Princ Kikido by Gregor Mastnak, produced by Ozor as well as new author films by Špela Čadež, Leon Vidmar and Dušan Kastelic are highly anticipated.
The number of titles from the US and from European/other countries are still equally balanced on the market, with the share of domestic titles slightly dropping.
The leading distribution companies in Slovenia in 2015 were still Blitz Film & Video Distribution and Karantanija Cinamas d.o.o.. The main change in the Slovenian distribution sector is the loss of official representatives for some major US distribution companies such as Walt Disney (previously distributed by Cenex d.o.o., now by Croatian 2i Film) and Sony Columbia (previously distributed by Slovenian Continental film d.o.o., now by Croatian Continental Film).
All of these primarily distribute commercial films from major Hollywood studios. Additionally, there are some smaller distribution companies that distribute independent, domestic and European films: Cinemania Group d.o.o., Cenex d.o.o., Demiurg, Fivia, and Cankarjev dom.
The digitalisation process across the country has been mainly completed in most of the cinemas still operating. According to official statistics 84 out of 106 cinemas have been successfully digitalised.
In 2014 a total of 431 films were distributed in Slovenia. Of these, 193 films (45%) were US productions with an admissions share of 75%, 192 titles (45%) were European productions (excluding Slovenia) and productions of other countries with an admissions share of 18%, and 31 titles (7%) were domestic productions and coproductions representing a 6% share of total admissions.
An increase of approximately ten percent in admissions is expected for 2015, with growing interest in US titles and diminished interest in domestic titles. Minions, Fifty Shades of Grey and Fast and Furious 7 are expected to exceed 100,000 admissions each. Minions is topping the charts and is expected to cross over 150,000 admissions. Spectre, Hotel Transylvania 2 and Jurassic World follow, each of them crossing 60,000 admissions.
Šiška De Luxe by Jan Cvitković produced by Perfo Production topped the domestic charts and is expected to have approximately 15,000 admissions in 2015. It is followed by Idyll with approximately 5,000 admissions.
Most of the Slovenian attendance is shared between two major cineplex chains. In 2014 Cineplexx covered 43.41% of total admissions, Kolosej kinematografi 36,76%, Kinodvor 5,90%, Cankarjev dom 1,73% and others 12,20%. The new player on the exhibition map is Kino Bežigrad, a one-screen cinema in the center of Ljubljana.
In 2014 the average ticket price was 4.95 EUR for a 2D and 6.33 EUR for a 3D screening. Total attendance was 1,929,161 and total box office was 9,543,871 EUR in 2014, according to FSF. Not a single title crossed 100,000 admissions in 2014.
Two comedies topped the box office in 2014: the animated film Rio 2 with 344,328 EUR gross and 66,142 admissions, followed by Dumb and Dumber Two with 313,819 EUR gross and 63,877 admissions. The third in line is Wolf of Wall Street with 365,553 EUR gross and 62,744 admissions. Top Ten includes other three animated films (Maya the Bee Movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Frozen), the final chapter of Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies and two young-audience comedies (Neighbors and 22 Jump Street).
In 2014 the interest in new domestic titles was low. The top Slovenian movie was Changing Emma (Almedia) with 29,444 admissions and 117,572 gross, closely followed by Panic (RTV Slovenija) with 21,746 admissions. The other three top titles were Sailing to Paradise (Sever&Sever d.o.o.) with 4,782 admissions, The Woods are Still Green an Austrian/Slovenian coproduction, (Artdeluxe, Perfo) with 3,902 admissions and Inferno (Forum Ljubljana) with 3,096 admissions. However, two domestic top titles from 2014 were still highly ranked in the chart, Going Our Way 2 by Vertigo/Emotionfilm with additional 13,125 admissions (in total 128,270) and Class Enemy (Triglav Film) with 12,266 admissions (in total 57,809).
The main film institution in Slovenia is the Slovenian Film Centre (SFC), a public agency established in 2011 when it replaced the Slovenian Film Fund. Its goal is to encourage creativity by providing suitable conditions for audiovisual activities.
The Slovenian Film Centre supports national film production, postproduction, distribution and film festivals. It is the main source of film funding covering production, project development, script development and educational activities. Since its launch, SFC has been involved in the production of 80% of domestic films with average funding support of over 50% per project.
In 2014 and 2015 Slovenian Film Centre co-financed the production of ten feature films (with an amount of 1,352,000 EUR), six documentaries (281,000 EUR) and three animated films (45,000 EUR). For debut features 350,000 EUR (one title) was spent, 95,000 EUR for minority coproductions (two titles) and 596,000 EUR for audiovisual projects (15 projects).
The film industry in Slovenia is generally dependent on the Slovenian Film Centre. In theory, its funding sources should be varied and come from the state budget, the agency’s own income, collaboration with international organizations, donations and sponsorships; but in practice the majority of its funding is in the form of a subsidy from the Ministry of Culture with the amount depending on the annual budget of the country, which makes the agency highly dependent on the current political and economic situation.
Four public tenders for film production were announced in 2015, and two of them were completed by the end of 2015. The other two - for short, medium and feature films production, and for debut features production, are expected to be concluded in the first third of 2016.
Six minority coproductions (four feature films, one short documentary and one long documentary) received 320,000 EUR.
In 2014 the SFC awarded grants totalling 3.3m EUR which is 5% less than in 2013. 2.17 m went for the funding of film production (production, debut features, coproductions); 596,000 EUR went for audiovisual projects; 102,000 EUR for student films and 126,620 EUR for script and project development. 56,000 EUR were allotted for festivals, 151,000 EUR for film education, 24,350 EUR for professional education and 78,000 EUR for digitalisation.
Other sources of funding originate from coproductions, services backed by the state provided by FS Viba film studio in form of technical assistance, international film funds and institutions and foreign taxes. The main business activity of Viba film is to maintain the fulfillment of the Slovenian national film programme. Technical completion covers production (sound and image recording and processing) of feature films and short films, documentaries and animated films of all genres.
In 2015 Viba film was involved in the production of 17 feature films, five short films and seven coproductions from the national film programme of the Slovenian Film Centre. It was also technically involved in the production of five student films and in a film workshop which was organized together with AGRFT, the Slovenian Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television.
Scope of proposition of the law that was supposed to bring several major changes to film and television industry in 2015 has been narrowed. The main topic of the current proposition is the introduction of fiscal incentives for film and other AV production. The forthcoming fiscal incentive is set at 25% of eligible production costs incurred on the Slovenian territory. The current proposition is being processed in inter-ministerial coordination.
In the last few years according to the Law on Slovenian Film Centre public broadcaster RTV Slovenia is obliged to invest financial sources into cinematographic production of independent producers. Approximately 1.7 m EUR annually has been invested in each of last three years into production of shorts, animation, documentaries and feature films. The most anticipated film production in 2015 was The Beat Of Love by Boris Petković, produced by Gustav film with many titles in production.
TV market is in a period of transition. Leading commercial TV Pro plus with its five channels (POP TV, KANAL A, KINO, BRIO and OTO) is losing its dominant position to Planet TV.
Planet TV is continues to strengthen its position on the market in competition with the leading commercial TV channel Pro plus, while the national television RTV Slovenija is losing a part of its share in the domestic market.
Other key players are RTV Slovenija national television with three channels and TV3 Medias, followed by the international Fox Group.
Prime Time is focused on news (Dnevnik, 24 ur, Planet Danes), reality shows (Farm, Your Voice Sounds Familiar, Masterchef, Gostilna išče šefa, Bar) and domestic fiction (Ena žlahnta štorija, Usodno vino).
Report by Damijan Vinter (18 Dec 2015)
Sources: Slovenian Film Agency, Cenex d.o.o., Ministry of Culture
Jožko Rutar, (former) Director Slovenian Film Centre Click HERE to see full interview
Population: 2.064 m (2016 estimated)GDP per capita in USD: 22,220 (2017 estimated)Admissions: 2.1 m (2016 estimated)Admissions per capita: 1.01 (2016 estimated)Box office: 10.8 m EUR (2016 estimated)Feature film production: 13 (2016) (Feature films including coproductions)Number of screens: 106 (2016 estimated)Digital screens: 85 (2016 estimated)Average ticket price in Euro: 4.9 (2016 estimated)Annual state support for film industry: 3.95 m EUR (2016 estimated)
Source: Slovenian Film Centre, Cenex, Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, International Monetary Fund
Admissions Top Ten 2016
Source Slovenian Film Agency
Top 10 in Europa Cinemas Network cinemas 2015(15 towns, 16 cinemas, 20 screens)
1. Shaun the Sheep Movie (UK), by Mark Burton, Richard Starzack2. Amy (UK), by Asif Kapadia3. Fifty Shades of Grey (USA), by Sam Taylor-Johnson4. Minions (USA), by Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin5. Force majeure (Sweden), by Ruben Östlund6. The Imitation Game (USA), Morten Tyldum7. 45 Years (UK), by Andrew Haigh8. Hotel Transylvania 2 (USA), by Genndy Tartakovsky9. Youth (Italy), by Paolo Sorrentino10. O Menino e o Mundo (Brazil), by Alê Abreu
Source Europa Cinemas
Slovenian Film in the Domestic Theatrical Distribution 2014
*only admissions for 2014Source Slovenian Film Agency
Check OLFFI for Film Funding opportunities
Slovenian Film Centre- http://www.film-sklad.si
Slovenian Cinematheque - www.kinoteka.si
Slovenian Film Archive - www.arhiv.gov.si/
Association of Slovenian Filmmakers - www.drustvo-dsfu.si
Media Desk Slovenia - http://www.mediadesk.si/
Ministry of Culture - http://www.mk.gov.si
Radiotelevision Slovenia archives - http://www.rtvslo.si/