The Law on Culture was approved in 2018 in Montenegro for the area of culture and the establishment of public institutions.
The budget of the Film Centre of Montenegro increased from 540,000 EUR in 2017 to approximately 950,000 EUR in 2018 and it is expected to amount to approximately 1.2 m EUR in 2019.
Domestic films saw a substantial decrease from 27,191 admissions and 100,897 EUR gross in 2017 to 996 admissions and 3,348 EUR gross in 2018.
Gojko Berkuljan’s debut feature Iskra was chosen by the selection committee of the Montenegrin Ministry of Culture as Montenegro’s official entry for the US Academy Awards in the Foreign Language Film category.
Five feature films and long documentaries were shot in Montenegro in 2018 (minority coproductions included): You Have the Night / Ti imaš noć directed by Ivan Salatić, produced by Montenegro’s Meander Film in coproduction with Serbia’s Non-Aligned Films and in association with Gustav Film from Slovenia; Neverending Past / Između dana i noći directed by Andro Martinović and produced by Montenegro’s Artikulacija Film in coproduction with Serbia’s Zillion Films; Lazy Guy / Lijenština directed by Aleksa Stefan Radunović and produced by Andisheh Namvari; Borders, Raindrops / Granice, kiše directed by Vlastimir Sudar and Nikola Mijović, a coproduction from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro between All Inclusive Films, Balkan Film, Balkan Kino, Drina film, Media Plus, MediaPlus Belgrade and Montenegro Max Films; All Alone / Sam samcat directed by Bobo Jelčić and produced by Croatia’s Spiritus Movens in coproduction with De Productie (the Netherlands), Serbia’s Dart Film, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Dokument and Montenegro’s Adriatic Western.
Six short films were filmed in Montenegro in 2018: Peloid / Peliod directed by Bojan Stijović and produced by Artikulacija Film; The Road / Put directed by Senad Šahmanović and produced by the Radio Television of Montenegro (RTCG); A Head Full of Joy / Glava puna radosti directed by Branislav Milatović and produced by Bitter Frames Production; the documentary TAM 4500 directed by Momir Matović and produced by Matfilm; We Are the Sons of Your Rocks / Sinovi smo tvog stijenja directed by Ivan Salatić and produced by Montenegro’s Meander Film in coproduction with Serbia’s Non-Aligned Films, and Separation, Vivid Dreams directed by Bojana Radulović and produced by Code Blue Production in coproduction with Nameless Productions.
No project applied for the incentives provided by the Film Centre of Montenegro in 2018.
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, accommodation, travel and catering arrangements, to casting, facilities and equipment rental, marketing, etc. More information is available HERE.
A total of 280 films were distributed in Montenegro in 2018, including three domestic films: Lazy Guy / Lijenština by Aleksa Stefan Radunović (with 534 admissions), Iskra directed by Gojko Berkuljan and produced by Montenegro’s Trust Agency in coproduction with Serbia’s Cinamon Production (194 admissions), Mirsada directed by Danilo Marunović and produced by Koala Production (264 admissions).
Hozentarus, a TV film directed by Draško Đurović and produced by the Radio Television of Montenegro (RTCG) had a special screening in 2018.
The main local film distributors are MCF MNE and Taramount film d.o.o.
In 2018 Montenegrin films received several accolades. You Have the Night by Ivan Salatić was selected for the Critics’ Week programme at the Venice Film Festival 2018 and was awarded the Grand Prix - „Aleksandar Saša Petrović“ Award for best film at the 24th Author Film Festival in Belgrade.
Borders, Raindrops by Vlastimir Sudar and Nikola Mijović was awarded for best actress (Kristina Obradović), best supporting actor (Momčilo Pićurić) and got a Special Mention (Nedjeljko Milović) at the Mojkovac Film Autumn.
Lazy Guy by Aleksa Stefan Radunović received the Jury’s Special Mention at the 2018 CINEDAYS – CineBalkan in Sjopje and the Special Jury Prize at the Montenegro Film Festival.
Peloid directed by Bojan Stijović was awarded best film at the Film Front International Short Film Festival in Novi Sad.
Since 2013 Montenegro has been submitting a film to vie for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, which contributes to the increasing visibility of Montenegrin films on the international scene.
In 2018 Gojko Berkuljan’s debut feature Iskra was chosen by the selection committee of the Montenegrin Ministry of Culture as Montenegro’s official entry for the US Academy Awards in the Foreign Language Film category. This political thriller is an independent Montenegrin/Serbian coproduction between Trust Agency and Cinnamon Films.
EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE
There are two multiplexes, with 10 screens, in Montenegro and eight other one-screen cinemas.
In 2018 total admissions were 285,359 and total box office was 1,082,157 EUR, compared to 281,487 total admissions and 1,056,749 EUR total gross in 2017.
In 2017 there were only two two domestic films theatrically released, but both had more than 12,000 admissions each. The contemporary romantic comedy Diamond of Boyana / Biser Bojane directed by Milan Karažić and produced by MM Production Montenegro in coproduction with Serbia’s Visionteam, had 14,612 admissions, and the comedy/drama The Books of Knjige: Cases of Justice / The Books of knjige: Slučajevi pravde directed by Zoran Marković and produced by TBOK Production, had 12,622 admissions.
Total admissions top ten 2018 is topped by the Serbian coproduction South Wind / Južni vetar directed by Miloš Avramović and produced by Režim, Art Vista and Archangel Studios, with 33,874 admissions, followed by Fifty Shades Freed (9,030), Johnny English Strikes Again (7,059), Ferdinand (6,818), Venom (6,457), Avengers: Infinity War (6,443), Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (6,182), The Grinch (6,128), Ice (5,657), Aquaman (4,554).
GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION
The Film Centre of Montenegro was established in the last days of 2016 and it is currently 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 cinematography 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.
The following entities are obliged to pay the levy to the Film Fund:
In 2018 the budget of the Centre amounted to approximately 950,000 EUR, compared to 540,000 EUR in 2017.
The budgetary funds were allocated from the state budget and the procedure of collecting the first funds for the Film Fund started. The forecast inflow is estimated at around 500,000 EUR, which means that the total envisaged budget of the Centre will amount to approximately 1.2 m EUR in 2019.
A certain amount of funds is allocated in the budget of the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro (around 250,000 EUR), earmarked for film festivals and payment of membership dues in certain international organisations.
By the second half of 2017, film production in Montenegro was co-financed through the funds of the Ministry of Culture through an annual public competition, and the decision was made by a commission composed of three members. The scope of funding varied over the years, but it has been stable in recent years and, given the investments in other cinematographic areas, there is a standard progress.
In addition to supporting film production, the Ministry of Culture also financed other film activities by supporting film festivals, education in this field, participation in international organisations, as well as through the support to the film sector in the area of improving its technical and other capacities.
As of the second half of 2017, the Centre assumed the obligation of organising a competition to support film production. The competition is intended to co-finance the production of cinematographic works in the following categories: feature films, documentaries, short films, animated and experimental films, minority coproductions, script development and project development.
The Centre may launch special competitions to co-finance the production of films intended for children and youth, as well as films capturing a topic of national importance.
In September 2018 the Centre allotted 762,000 EUR as script development, project development, feature and short film production grants. Six feature films received production funding. Click HERE to see the grants chart.
In October 2018, the Centre gave out 137,000 EUR for the production of three minority coproductions directed by Srđan Dragojević, Marija Zidar and Srđan Vuletić. Click HERE to see the grants chart.
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 20% 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.
There are 18 TV channels operating in Montenegro, including three public channels TVCG 1, TVCG 2 and TVCG Sat (for the Montenegrin diaspora) and local public channels TV Nikšić, TV Budva and TV Pljevlja.
The most popular commercial TV channels are TV Nova M, TV Vijesti and TV Prva. Other commercial channels are: TV Rožaje, Srpska TV, TV 777, TV Corona, TV Boin, TV Novi, TV Sun and TV Teuta.
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.
In 2017 the ATLAS TV channel was closed and instead of it A1 TV opened in 2018.
The second season of the successful comedy series Dojc Caffe (launched in 2015) was produced in 2017 and 2018. The first season of the series directed by Milorad Milinkovic was produced in 2015 and 2016.
In 2018, Radio Television of Montenegro (RTCG) produced the short film The Road directed by Senad Šahmanović, as well as the TV mini-series Grudi directed by Marija Perović.
ASSOCIATION OF FILM PRODUCERS AND DIRECTORS OF MONTENEGRO Novaka Miloševa 42, 81000 Podgorica Phone: +382 67 568 110 www.afpd.me
Report by Iulia Blaga (2019) Sources: Film Centre of Montenegro