MARKET ANALYSIS 2018
In 2018 the Law on Culture was approved for the area of culture and the establishment of public institutions in Montenegro.
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
MARKET ANALYSIS 2017
Projects of young Montenegrin authors have been recognised by different international funds, workshops and training programmes in recent years. Montenegro had four selected participants, including two producers and two directors, at the Berlinale Talents in 2017.
The feature film project After the Winter by Ivan Bakrač was supported in 2017 by the MEDIA Programme with 30,000 EUR in the single project development category.
Also in 2017, the feature film project Sirin by Senad Šahmanović was selected for the MIDPOINT project development programme, while The Elegy of Laurel by writer/director Dušan Kasalica was among the 10 projects from around the world selected for the Berlin Film Festival’s Script Station.
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 on Montenegrin films on the international scene.
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, by 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.
Four feature films and long documentaries were shot in Montenegro in 2017: Neverending Past / Između dana I noći directed by Andro Martinović and produced by Artikulacija Film, Iskra directed by Gojko Berkuljan and produced by Trust Agency, The Books of Knjige: Cases of Justice directed by Zoran Marković and produced by TBOK Production and You Have the Night / Ti imaš noć directed by Ivan Salatić and produced by Meander Film.
Four shorts were filmed in 2017: A Head Full of Joy / Puna glava radosti directed by Branislav Milatović and produced by Bitter Frames Production, The Road / Put directed by Senad Šahmanović and produced by the Radio Television of Montenegro, Soa directed by Dušan Kasalica and produced by Meander Film and Martin directed by Bojan Stijović and produced by Artikulacija Film.
Although the Film Centre of Montenegro started offering incentives to foreign producers pursuing filmmaking in Montenegro, no international project benefited of the incentives in 2017.
A total of 251 films were distributed in Montenegro in 2017, including two domestic films – the contemporary romantic comedy Diamond of Boyana / Biser Bojane directed by Milan Karažić and produced by Montenegro’s MM Production Montenegro in coproduction with Serbia’s Visionteam, with 14,612 admissions, as well as 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, with 12,622 admissions.
In 2017 Montenegrin films received several accolades. Dušan Kasalica’s short film Soa received a Special Mention at the Sarajevo Film Festival, while the Montenegrin/Serbian coproduction The Black Pin by Ivan Marinović, produced by Adriatic Western and eed Production), was awarded for Best Art Design at the Balkan New Film Festival BaNeFF in Stockholm and received the Best Actor award for Nikola Ristanovski at the Valletta Film Festival, the Silver Lighthouse award at the Otranto Film Fund Festival (Italy) and Best Film award at the Balkan Film Festival in Uruguay.
There are two multiplexes, with 10 screens, in Montenegro and eight other one-screen cinemas. Two new cinemas opened in 2017- Cinema 213 in Nikšić and the Cultural Center in Tivat.
In 2017 total admissions were 281,487 and total box office was 1,056,749 EUR, compared to 277,171 admissions and 1,042,810 EUR in 2016.
In 2017 admissions for domestic films were 27,191 and box office for domestic films was 100,897 EUR, compared to 2,570 admissions and 8.415,18 EUR in 2016.
Total admissions top ten 2017 is topped by Diamond of Boyana by Milan Karažić with 14,612 admissions. The film was also number one of the 2017 box office top ten with 54,817 EUR.
The Books of Knjige by Zoran Marković is ranked second in the total admissions top ten as well as in the total box office top ten, with 12,622 admissions and 46,433 EUR respectively.
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.
Film Centre of Montenegro is a public institution with the objective of improving and developing Montenegrin cinematography by:
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, whereas the fifth member is appointed from among the employees of the Centre.
The funds generated on the basis of these payments shall be used for the implementation of the National Programme, in accordance with the state aid regulations.
The above-mentioned entities shall be obliged to submit to the Centre the data on realised annual income, representing the basis for allocation of funds to the film fund, by the end of April each year for the previous calendar year.
Pursuant to the data submitted, the Centre shall issue a Decision on the payment of funds by applying a prescribed rate. The Centre shall have the right to verify the submitted data through the competent state administration authorities and publicly published financial statements.
In 2017 the budget of the Centre amounted to 540,000 EUR and in 2018 to 640,000 EUR. The budgetary funds were allocated from the state budget and the procedure for collecting the first funds for the Film Fund started. The forecasted inflow is estimated at around 500,000 EUR, which means that the total envisaged budget of the Centre will amount to approximately 1.1 m EUR in 2018.
It is worth emphasising that a certain amount of funds is allocated in the budget of the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro (around 250,000 EUR), earmarked for the film festivals and payment of membership dues in certain international organisations.
By the second half of 2017, the 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.
As of the second half of 2017, the Centre assumed the obligation of organising a competition to support film production. Competitions are organised according to the Rules on the manner, procedure and criteria for inciting production of cinematographic works, which was adopted in October 2017. 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.
Pursuant to the Law on Cinematography, a national cinematographic work must, as a minimum, fulfil three of the following requirements:
The competition may not co-finance ordered or programme films, educational films, film marketing and advertising films.
The Commission consists of five members from the rank of reputable artists and experts in the cinematography area, who may come from the country or from abroad.
Each member of the Commission shall deliver to the Centre a signed and filled evaluation list with a brief explanation of each application, followed by the ranking list of projects based on the average of points assigned.
The Centre concludes a contract with the best ranked applicant, defining the mutual rights and obligations of the contracting parties in relation to the use of funds, project implementation dynamics, payment schedule, procedures in case of departing from contracted obligations, termination of the contract and other issues of importance for the implementation of the cinematographic work that is the contracts’ subject.
In addition to the director of the Centre, the signatories to the contract are also the producer and director of the cinematographic work. The contract for supporting films with a minority Montenegrin share is signed between the director of the Centre and the Montenegrin coproducer. The contract for the development of a film screenplay is concluded between the director of the Centre and the author of the script.
The recipient of the funds shall be obliged to emphasise the contribution of the Centre during the film presentation and promotion, by displaying in a visible place the Centre’s logo and the title in the opening and closing credits, subject to the prior consent of the Centre.
The recipient of the funds is also obliged to provide the Centre with the possibility to use the film or some of its parts for promotional and non-commercial purposes, without compensation.
The recipient of the funds shall be also obliged to submit to the Montenegrin Cinematheque (www.kinoteka.me) a copy of the cinematographic work and the material relating to it, within six months following the completion of the postproduction.
In 2017 the Centre launched grants contest in the following categories: script development, project development, short films, minority coproductions
The total number of projects submitted was 50 (16 for script development, nine for project development, eight short films and 17 minority coproductions) and a total of 21 projects received support in the amount of 347,000 EUR. Click HERE to see the grants chart.
Film Centre of Montenegro offers incentives to foreign and national producers shooting in Montenegro.
Productions have the option of obtaining a cash rebate on the invested funds for a film/TV project. The refund can cover up to 20% of eligible expenditures spent in Montenegro for the making of the audiovisual work. The right to a cash rebate may be granted to the producer, a coproducer or a production company that performs a service provided that:
The right to a cash rebate for a part of the funds spent in 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.
For full foreign productions, regardless of the number of producers and the countries from which they come, the foreign producer that is the project owner has to hire a film producer from Montenegro, who will start and participate in the proceedings regarding the return of funds as a production service.
The qualifying test includes cultural content, use of film crew and talents, use of production capacities, and applied production has to have minimum 15 points.
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.
In 2017 the ATLAS TV channel was closed and instead of it A1 TV has opened in 2018.
The first season of the historical/romantic drama series Christmas Uprising / Bozicni ustanak was produced in 2017. The series was produced by Dogma Studio and the Radio Television of Montenegro, and its nine episodes are directed by Zeljko Sosic.
ASSOCIATION OF FILM PRODUCERS AND DIRECTORS OF MONTENEGRONovaka Miloševa 42, 81000 PodgoricaPhone: +382 67 568 110www.afpd.me
Report by Iulia BlagaSources: Film Centre of Montenegro
New Festival Section: goEast Gurus // Competitions, Awards & Juries // OPPOSE OTHERING! // Registering for Accreditation
With the new section goEast Gurus, goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film (to take place in Wiesbaden, Germany, from April 26th to May 2nd 2017) is opening up a special platform to filmmakers whose pioneering work has been the object of particular admiration from audiences and festival organizers for years now. Independent of the premiere status of the works in question, goEast Gurus will present cinematic highlights from the international festival circuit, straight from Cannes, Venice, Toronto or beyond. The first edition of this unique section wouldn't be complete without the presence of an important contemporary director: Cristi Puiu. His most recent outing, SIERANEVADA, which was nominated for the Palme d'or, will be screened in goEast Gurus, alongside many other compelling films from treasured auteurs.
COMPETITIONS, AWARDS AND JURIES
The Competition for Fiction Features and Documentaries promises its share of surprises, discoveries and controversies. Already confirmed for inclusion in the program is the Croatian debut film QUIT STARING AT MY PLATE (NE GLEDAJ MI U PIJAT) by Hana Jušić, in which a young woman (Mia Petričević) attempts to break free from her family after her tyrannical father suffers a stroke. The program also features EXILED (PELNU SANATORIJA), a Latvian-Lithuanian co-production directed by Dāvis Sīmanis. Sīmanis' film is set in Latvia in the last year of the First World War and tells the story, based on historical fact, of a German surgeon who happens upon the sealed-off world-within-a-world inhabited by shell-shocked patients in a hospital. Lead actor Ulrich Matthes is expected to attend the festival.
In addition to vying for the right to take home the Golden Lily for Best Film (endowed with prize money of 10,000 euros), the featured productions, chosen by the goEast selection committee chaired by festival director Gaby Babić, will also be competing for the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director (7,500 euros) as well as the Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity (4,000 euros). In all, ten fiction features and six documentary films, together representing the diversity of Central and Eastern European auteur cinema and painting a nuanced emotional portrait of Central and Eastern Europe, are nominated to take part in the competition. The prize winners are determined by a five-member international jury and the awards ceremony at Caligari FilmBühne is the jubilant climax of the festival. A jury representing FIPRESCI also presents the International Film Critics' Award to one fiction feature and one documentary film respectively.
The Open Frame Award, worth 5,000 euros, is awarded in the framework of the Experimental Film and Video Art Competition. The award, endowed by BHF-BANK Foundation, honours the best work from young artists or filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe or from students from one of Hessen's film or art academies.
Further prizes, with a total value of 23,500 euros, are awarded in the festival's own dedicated projects for the fostering of young talent. In the East-West Talent Lab, the goEast Development Award, endowed with prize money in the amount of 3,500 euros by Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, goes to the best film project, while in OPPOSE OTHERING! five directorial duos are set to receive productions grants of 4,000 euros per team.
Brexit, the recent election campaign in the USA, radical Islamism, populism - all of these phenomena make it abundantly clear that the fight for solidarity and equality around the world is far from over. With the support of Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future”, goEast is making a contribution to the cause: The goEast project OPPOSE OTHERING!, along with the section of the same name, is devoted to the examination of various manifestations of othering - a term denoting focussed misanthropy directed at groups and the marginalisation of people of different social, religious or ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations and/or gender identities. The featured films treat solidarity and civil courage and portray individuals who have chosen to take a stand against discrimination. Five young directorial duo teams from Germany and Central and Eastern Europe are currently in the process of completing films that deal with othering, to be premiered at goEast. Ten new filmmaking tandems will participate in a workshop and film program at goEast 2017. Five of the nominated tandems will be awarded production grants in the amount of 4,000 euros each for the realisation of their project ideas. // www.oppose-othering.de
The complete program for the 17th edition of goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film will be announced at the beginning of April.
The first press release for goEast 2017, published in January (originally from 25.1.2017, with a thematic focus on women in film) can be found at here
goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film is hosted by Deutsches Filminstitut and supported by numerous partners. The festival is primarily funded by the Hessen State Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts, the State Capital Wiesbaden, Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ), Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland, BHF-BANK Foundation, the Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege, the Federal Foreign Office, Deutsch-Tschechische Zukunftsfonds, the municipality of Eschborn and Krušovice. Media partners include among others 3sat, the FAZ and hr-iNFO.
REGISTERING FOR ACCREDITATION
goEast offers representatives of the reporting press the opportunity to register for professional accreditation free of charge. We would like to extend a very warm invitation to join us in Wiesbaden from April 26th to May 2nd 2017 for the 17th edition of our festival and we look forward to your coverage.
The accreditation form and further details are available here
The press conference for this year's goEast Film Festival will take place on Thursday April 20th at 11 AM at Caligari FilmBühne in Wiesbaden.
For more information, please contact:
Macedonia saw a quieter year in 2018, but it was still a good year with international success of both feature films and documentaries, a film agency effectively supporting the development and production of numerous quality films, a growing number of coproductions and increased box office results.
Three domestic feature films were shot in Macedonia in 2018 with the support of the Macedonian Film Agency. Teona Strugar Mitevska shot her fifth feature God Exists, Her Name is Petrunija / Gospod postoi, nejzinoto ime e Petrunija, produced by Sisters and Brother Mitevski Production in coproduction with Belgium’s Entre Chien et Loup, Slovenia’s Vertigo, Croatia’s Spiritus Movens and France’s Deuxième Ligne Films, Milcho Manchevski shot his sixth feature film Willow / Vrba, produced by Banana Film and coproduced by the Tirana Film Institute (Albania), Saga Film (Belgium) and Pioneer Films (Hungary)), and Igor Aleksov shot his debut feature Lena and Vladimir (produced by Macedonia’s Mind Production).
One more independent low-budget feature was shot and already premiered in 2018 – Ema, a debut feature by 16-year old director Martin Chikovski, which was produced by Marvie Productions.
The Slovenian/Macedonian/Serbian/Croatian coproduction Half-Sister / Polsestra by Damjan Kozole began production in 2018. It is produced by Vertigo in coproduction with RTV Slovenia, Macedonian Sisters and Brother Mitevski, Serbian Baš Čelik and Croatian Propeler film.
The Croatian/Macedonian/Serbian coproduction God in a Shoe / Glas by Ognjen Svilicic also went into production in 2018. The film is produced by Croatian Maxima Film in coproduction with Macedonian Skopje Film Studio and Serbian Biberche productions.
Slovenian director Andrej Košak started shooting his fourth feature film All against All / Vsi proti vsem, a Macedonian minority coproduction produced by Blade Production in coproduction with Macedonia’s MIND Production and Slovenian Igralsko društvo Daiga. The Slovenian Film Centre is supporting, while Viba Film provided technical support.
Gjegj Xhuvani also completed the filming of Albanian/Kosovan/Italian/Croatian/Macedonian coproduction My Lake, produced by Albanian outfit On Film Production and coproduced by Macedonia Focus Pocus, Croatian Corvus Film and Italian Hermes Film S.r.l.. The project is supported by the National Cinematography Center of Albania and Kosovo, the Croatian Audiovisual Center (HAVC), Cineteca di Bologna, Macedonia Film Agency, Eurimages and the SEE Cinema Network.
Scenes from the Swiss/Belgian/French coproduction Beyond the Horizon / Le Milieu de l'horizon, directed by Delphine Lehericey and starring Laetitia Casta, Jalil Lespert and Clémence Poésy, were shot in Macedonia. The film is a coproduction between Box Productions from Switzerland, Entre chien et loup from Belgium and Elzévir Films from France, with Kino Oko servicing in Macedonia. The film is benefiting from the film incentives programme available as a 20% cash rebate on qualifying Macedonian spend.
MCF MK, Konstantin film MKD, Kt Film & Media, Cutaway and Uzengija remain the main distributors in Macedonia.
In 2018 Macedonian distributors applied for distribution support from the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme for the second time, with MCF MK and Kt Film & Media supported in the call for selective distribution, and MCF MK and Uzengija in the call for automatic distribution.
The Macedonian distribution company Cutaway introduced the first ever multiplatform day-and-date release in three Balkan countries (Croatia, Albania and Macedonia) on 3 May 2018. The dubbed version of the Danish film for children The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear was available for the first time in cinemas and on two Video on Demand platforms at once, Cinesquare.net and Pantaflix. This release pattern and multi-territory releases are being handled by the project CutAway online and offline - New digital forms of distribution of the film in the Balkans - Volume 2, coordinated by Cutaway in partnership with Croatia’s Radar and Albania’s Tirana Film Institute, supported by the MEDIA Programme.
The interest in domestic achievements and regional films increased with Macedonian/Greek coproduction The Secret Ingredient / Iscelitel by Gjorche Stavrevski screening in 27 Macedonian cities and becoming the most watched domestic film with 23,902 admissions by the end of December 2018, based on the statistics by the production company Fragment Film. Almost 8,000 people saw the film at the free open cinema screenings in the City Park in Skopje, organised by Cinema Milenium. The Secret Ingredient became the first Macedonian film that premiered in 14 European countries in prime time on HBOs Cinemax 2 channel. The film is also available on HBO GO. The Pay TV, VOD and SVOD rights were also sold to CinemaWorld Asia until 2020.
The Macedonian/Croatian/Finnish/British coproduction The Liberation of Skopje / Osloboduvanje na Skopje by Rade and Danilo Šerbedžija was sold to China. The film was produced by Macedonia's Partysans in coproduction with Croatia's Lijeni Film and MP Film Production, Finland's Art Films and UK’s F&ME. The Macedonian Film Agency, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the Finnish Film Fund, YLE and Eurimages supported the project.
The Serbian feature film South Wind / Južni vetar directed by Miloš Avramović, produced by Režim, Art Vista and Archangel Studios, is among the 10 most watched films in 2018 and ranks among the most watched regional films in recent years. It was released by Konstantin Film MKD.
More Macedonian titles were released in 2018, especially low-budget indie films. Of seven feature films released in 2018, four were indie low-budget films.
The domestic world premieres included the Macedonian/Serbian/Slovenian/Kosovan coproduction Year of the Monkey / Godina na majmunot by Vladimir Blazevski, produced by Pank Film Production and coproduced by Kiselo Dete, Strup Produkcija, at the opening of the 21st edition of the Skopje Film Festival; Jani Bojadzi`s debut feature Mocking of Christ / Ruganje so Hristos, produced by Orion production and coproduced with Macedonian Candela and Slovenian STVA, at the Kinenova Film Festival; the Macedonian/Kosovan coproduction The Return / Vrakjanje by Kastriot Abdyli, produced by Dardania Film Production from Skopje and Skupi Film Production from Kosovo, in Cineplexx cinemas; the independent indie production Digging / Kopanje by Martin Ivanov and Ivica Dimitrijevic, produced by MI Film, in Cinema Frosina; the independent erotic comedy Making Off by Kuzman Kuzmanovski, produced by Auripigment Production, in Cineplexx; the independent low-budget feature Hey / Ej by Vasil Hristov, produced by Diabolik Production, which premiered at the CINEDAYS Festival of European Film, and the teenage feature film Ema by Martin Chikovski, produced by Marvie Productions, in Cineplexx.
Two Macedonian minority coproductions premiered in cinemas in 2018 - The Serbian/Macedonian children film Hunters / Zloginje by Raško Miljković, produced by Akcija Production in coproduction with Macedonia’s Dream Factory, and Victor Bojinov’s debut feature, the historical drama Heights, produced by Bulgaria’s Bulfilm and Serpentine, Nu Boyana, the Bulgarian National Television and Macedonia’s Dream Factory as coproducers.
Macedonian documentaries also premiered in cinemas, including Igor Ivanov`s Cobra, produced by Black Cat Production, Skopje Film Studio, Ajdin Islami`s Local Heroes – World Talents, produced by Super Production, and Senad Abduli`s Why Me?, produced by Arnel Production.
Macedonia had one film selected for 2018 Cannes Film Festival, the minority coproduction The Wild Pear Tree directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, produced by Turkey’s Zeyno Film, France’s Memento Films Productions, Germany’s Detailfilm, Bulgaria’s RFF International, Macedonia’s Sisters and Brother Mitevski, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 2006 Produkcija Sarajevo and Sweden’s Film I Väst and Chimney Pot, in coproduction with ARTE France Cinéma, Imaj, Türkiye Radyo Televizyon Kurumu (TRT), the Doha Film Institute, Nu-Look Yapım and Kale Grubu.
Among the accolades received by Macedonian films in 2018 are: Best International Feature Film for Would You Look At Her / Vidi ja ti nea by Goran Stolevski in the short film programme of the 34th Sundance Film Festival, as well as the selection of the Macedonian documentary Honeyland / Medena Zemja by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska, produced by Trice Films in coproduction with Apolo Media, for the World Cinema Documentary Competition and of the Macedonian minority coproduction The Witch Hunters / Zloginje by Rasko Miljkovic (coproduction with Macedonia’s Dream Factory) for the KIDS section at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
The International Cinematographers’ Film Festival Manaki Brothers celebrated its 39th edition in 2018 and honoured the British cinematographer Roger Deakins with the Golden Camera 300 Lifetime Achievement Award and the Italian actress Claudia Cardinale with the Special Golden Camera 300 Award for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Art.
In 2018 the CINEDAYS Festival of European Film was recognised as a “Competitive film festival specialised in European first and second feature films” by the General Assembly of FIAPF.
Macedonian actor Blagoj Veselinov was selected for 2019 Shooting Stars within the 69th Berlin International Film Festival. Blagoj Veselinov starred in the Macedonian/Greek coproduction The Secret Ingredient / Iscelitel, the debut feature by Gjorce Stavreski, which was selected as Macedonia’s official entry for the US Academy Awards in the Foreign Language Film category.
Shorts TV bought the television rights for the Macedonian short film Fighting for Death / Borba za smrt directed by Eleonora Veninova. The film became available in Europe, Asia and North America.
Three commercial cinemas (one multiplex Cineplexx with nine cinema halls, Cinema Milenium and 3D Cinema Bitola) and two art house cinemas (Cinema Frosina and Macedonian Cinemateque) with a regular repertoire operate in Macedonia, while 18 cultural centres equipped by the Macedonian Film Agency with digital cinema projectors occasionally screen films. In 2018 not more than 10 cultural centres screened films, but the Macedonian Film Agency is still collecting the admissions data.
The Macedonian Cinemateque (Kinoteka na Makedonija) became a member of Europa Cinemas in 2018 and joined the three other cinemas in Macedonia that are members of this network: Cinema Milenium, Cinema Frosina and 3D Cinema Bitola.
The Government of the Republic of Macedonia appointed the Cinematheque of Macedonia in 2011 as the institution responsible for the digitalisation of the Macedonian film heritage. In 2018, the digitalised film opera and a DVD of the doyen of the Macedonian cinematography, Branko Gapo, were promoted, and also the digital restoration of the feature films of Kiril Cenevski was announced.
The list of the ten films with most admissions in 2018 are: Johnny English Strikes Again (distribution Premium Film), Fifty Shades Freed (distribution Premium Film), Deadpool 2 (distribution by MCF MK), Bohemian Rhapsody (distribution by MCF MK), Avengers: Infinity War (distribution by 2i Film), South Wind / Južni vetar (distribution by Konstantin film MKD), The Nun (distribution by Blitz Film and Video Distribution), Ocean’s Eight (distribution by Blitz Film and Video Distribution), Black Panther (distribution by 2i Film), Venom (distribution by Continental Film Doo), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (distribution by Continental Film Doo), according to the first multiplex in the country, Cineplexx.
Reforms had been foreseen for the film industry, as well as re-examination of the legal decision for financing of the Film Agency, but they were still pending by the end of 2018.
There is one call in January every year (with deadlines in March and August) for production support for feature films, documentaries, short films and animated films. The results are announced in April and October.
There is a separate call for support for Film Industry Projects of National Interest, which includes domestic festivals and other film events of international character, funding expert and professional education of individuals in film industry professions, supporting educational programmes which promote film culture, the membership of the Republic of Macedonia in international film organisations and associations, and publications related to film industry.
The Macedonian film budget saw cuts of almost 13% in 2018, compared to 2017, with a total of 5.2 m EUR for the film industry and the Macedonian Film Agency, but the Agency maintained its regular schedule of financial support calls.
The Macedonian Film Agency launched two grants contests in 2018, supporting a total of 35 films – 13 feature films (five with Macedonian majority contribution and eight minority coproductions); four long documentaries (three with Macedonian majority contribution and one minority coproduction); 15 short fiction films (14 with Macedonian majority contribution and one minority coproduction) and three short animated films with Macedonian majority contribution. The total support was 4,124,389 EUR / 253,650,000 MKD for the production of feature, short, animation and documentary films and TV series. Some of the supported films will start principal photography in 2019 and 2020 .
The Macedonian Film Agency announced grants for 21 films in May 2018 in the first round of production grants for feature films, short films, animated films and documentaries. The two majority feature films include Igor Ivanov’s third feature film Homo produced by Skopje Film Studio and the debut The Hidden One by Arsim Fazlija, produced by Sejvi Production.
The six minority feature films include From Heaven / Nebesa by Srdjan Dragojevic, produced by Delirium and coproduced by Maja.de.Fiction Gmbh, Sektor Film Dooel, Studio Dim, Forum Ljubljana, Montenegro Max Film; Half Sister by Damjan Kozole, produced by Vertigo in coproduction with RTV Slovenia, Macedonian Sisters and Brother Mitevski, Serbian Baš Čelik and Croatian Propeler film; Hana by Ujkan Hysaj, produced by AJO Pictures from Kosovo and coproduced by Bunker Film+ from Albania and Multimedia Center Domino Production from Macedonia; God in a Shoe by Ognjen Svilicic, produced by Croatian Maxima Film in coproduction with Macedonian Skopje Film Studio and Serbian Biberche Productions; Everyone Against Everyone by Andrej Košak, produced by Blade Production in coproduction with Macedonia’s MIND Production and Slovenian Igralsko društvo Daiga; and My Lake / Liqeni im by Gjergj Xhuvani, produced by On Film Production, Hermes Film from Italy and Focus Pocus from Macedonia. The total support for the films is 1,904,878 EUR / 117,150,000 MKD.
In December 2018 the Macedonian Film Agency announced grants for 14 films in the second round of production grants for feature films, short films, animated films and documentaries, distributing 1,694,308 EUR / 104,200,000 MKD to five films, including two feature films, one debut feature and two minority feature films. Director Darijan Pejovski’s feature film Mimi produced by Skopje Film Studio and Izer Aliu’s feature film Heritage produced by KT Film & Media received 569,105 EUR / 35 m MKD each. Director Eleonora Veninova received a grant of 292,682 EUR / 18 m MKD to shoot her first feature Overexposed, produced by DNF Films. The two minority coproductions receiving funding are Kaltrina Krasniqi`s Vera Dreams of the Sea, coproduced by Dream Factory, and Goran Paskaljević`s My Name is Mohammed, coproduced by Sektor Film.
The Macedonian Film Agency also announced the first public Call for support for international promotion and for promotion and distribution of domestic films and minority coproductions, given for participation in festivals and events and promotion and distribution of films in the Republic of Macedonia and abroad.
On 16 March 2018 the Macedonian Film Agency announced its decision to boost 16 festivals according to the announced Call for financing projects of national interest in the film industry, for organising domestic festivals and other film manifestations of international character in 2018. Established festivals such as the International Cinematographer’s Film Festival Manaki Brothers, Cinedays Festival of European Film, MakeDox International Creative Documentary Film Festival, Skopje Film Festival and Tetova International Film Festival ODA received the highest grants.
In 2018 the Macedonian applicants received a total support of 220,200 EUR in several different calls of the MEDIA Programme. MakeDox Creative Documentary Film Festival received support for the third year and the online platform Cinesquare, which is available in 13 countries in the region, got support in the call for online distribution.
In 2018 the coming-of-age fantasy-drama M directed by Vardan Tozija received the Co-Production Award from Greek postproduction company 2|35 at the 14th Crossroads Co-Production Forum in Thessaloniki. It is produced by Darko Popov (Focus Pocus), who also received a free accreditation for the Producers Network session at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
Also, the feature film Mimi by Darijan Pejovski, produced by Skopje Film Studio and coproduced with Art&Popcorn (RS) and Horme Pictures (GR), got support of 8,000 EUR from the SEE Cinema Network.
Starting from 2014 the Macedonian Film Agency has been encouraging the investment of funds in film or television projects through the right to investment return in the amount of 20% of the gross costs incurred in the country for the realisation of a film or television project, which is not less than 100,000 EUR. The Film Incentives programme was introduced as part of the new Film Law in 2014.
Macedonia started using the cash rebate scheme for film and TV projects in 2015. The first films that got investment return in the amount of 20% of the gross costs were the French road comedy A Fond by Nicolas Benamou, produced by French La Petite Reine and Chic Films and servicing provided by Macedonian Manufaktura Production, which spent about 2 m EUR in Macedonia, and Year of the Monkey / Godina na majmunot by Vladimir Blazevski, produced by Pank Film Production, in coproduction with Serbia’s Kiselo Dete, Kosovo’s Ikone Studio and Slovenia’s Strup Produkcija.
In 2018 the Swiss/Belgian/French coproduction Beyond the Horizon / Le Milieu de l'horizon, directed by Delphine Lehericey and starring Laetitia Casta, Jalil Lespert and Clémence Poésy, benefited from this scheme.
According to the film law, several sources add to the budget, such as levies from the TV (0.9% of the annual turnover), cable operators, internet providers and telecoms (1%), distributors (3%) and exhibitors (5%).
In 2018 the Macedonian Film Agency promoted a new strategy with an emphasis on developing and improving the promotion of Macedonia as a destination for filming, and the importance of coproductions with the countries of the region and wider, the attention to female filmmakers, as well as support for young authors.
The Agency also signed several regional and European co-operation agreements, with Bulgaria and Kosovo, as well as with the Macedonian Film Workers' Association, to strengthen joint efforts to improve Macedonian film production.
The Macedonian Film Agency also signed a one-year partnership with the training programme Less Is More , based on which it will organise a Pre-Writing Workshop for the local film professionals in 2019. It is the first workshop of this kind that will be organised in Macedonia.
At the end of 2018, Macedonia signed the revised Council of Europe Convention on Cinematographic Coproduction, updated for the digital age and welcoming non-European countries, which was adopted in 2017.
On 2 June 2018, Asaf Ademi was named the new Minister of Culture, following Robert Alagjozovski, who had been appointed Minister of Culture in June 2017.
TV production decreased in Macedonia in 2018, with only one TV series produced, compared to 10 series produced in 2017. Only the third season of the Macedonian TV Series Prespav went into production. The series is produced by OXO and it was aired on the Macedonian Radio Television in December 2018.
In April 2018, the Macedonian Film Agency announced the winners of its annual funding competition for TV series. A total of 525,203 EUR / 32.3 M MKD was split between one fiction and two documentary TV series. Kino Oko Production was granted 308,943 EUR for the TV adaptation of the popular children’s novel Zoki Poki, directed by Aleksandar Popovski. The two documentary TV series are European Stories, directed by Marko Gjokovikj and produced by DFP Euro Vision, and The Dynamics of the Macedonian Democracy 2006-2016, directed by multiple directors and produced by OXO.
Director Slobodan Unkovski and distinguished playwright and screenwriter Goran Stefanovski announced that they were working on the second part of the cult TV series Bushava Azbuka (which was originally produced 33 years ago), produced by the Macedonian Radio Television and 2BA Production from Skopje, with production beginning in 2019. Sadly, Goran Stefanovski passed away after a short illness on 27 November 2018 and screenwriter Marjan Alčevski continued to work on the screenplay for the series named Bushav Bukvar.
The filming of the TV series Success / Uspjeh also began in 2018. Success is a six-part series written by the Macedonian screenwriter Marjan Alčevski (one of the winners of the HBO Adria First Draft contest) and directed by Oscar winner Danis Tanović. HBO Europe and HBO Adria are producing.
The second season of the Serbian historical thriller TV series Black Sun aka Shadow over the Balkans started production in 2018 with Macedonian actors Toni Mihajlovski and Petar Arsovski again in the lead. The series is produced by Cobra Film Production in coproduction with United Media Group and Slovenian Perfo Production.
In 2018, the Macedonian Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services published the analysis of the market of audio and audiovisual media services for 2017. According to the report, in 2017 television generated the lowest revenues in the last five years. Since 2013, the growth rate of total industry incomes has been negative each year, but the revenues dropped most in 2017, by 10.35%.
During 2017, the total number of broadcasters decreased by six, from 134 programme broadcasters (63 televisions and 71 radio stations) to 128 (58 televisions and 70 radio stations). The total revenue generated in 2017 by all broadcasters (Macedonian Radio Television, 54 commercial television stations and 70 radio stations) was 42.4 m EUR / 2,608,840,000 MKD.
More than a half of this amount (54.48%) is the total income of the commercial TV stations. Revenues of MRT in the amount of 16.8 m EUR / 1,037,490,000 MKD represent 39.77%, while the total revenues of the radio stations, amounting to 2.4 m EUR / 150,030,000 MKD, represent 5.75% of the total revenues of all broadcasters.
Of the five televisions broadcasting at the state level through digital terrestrial multiplex, the most watched was TV Sitel, whose daily average reach was 38.24%. TV Kanal 5, as in 2016, was the second most watched television, with an average daily reach of 33.37% and an average weekly reach of 46.43%.
These TV channels remain highest on the list of the most watched televisions in 2018 as well, according to the Macedonian Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services’ report on daily and weekly references. Almost all TVs recorded a decline in viewing, and growth was registered only by TV21 and the 1st Channel of MRT. The 1st Channel of MRT registered the highest growth in recent years.
The most watched foreign television channels in Macedonia are Fox, Discovery, National Geographic and Sport Club. According to the report, the viewers watched mostly the news on all televisions, followed by informative programmes, educational and cultural programmes, sports in the fourth place and TV series in the fifth. Most television connections are available through cable television – 48.5% and IPTV – with 27.6%.
Report by Marina Lazarevska (2019) Sources: Macedonian Film Agency, Macedonian Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, Cineplexx, Milenium, 3D Cinema Bitola
Macedonian film production budget remained high in 2017 with an annual budget from the Macedonian Film Agency of around 6 m EUR.
Cinesquare.net, the first VOD based in Macedonia and available in 12 more Southeastern European countries was launched during the Cannes Film Festival 2017. In 2017 Macedonia had its first day-and-date release.
The Macedonian Association of Film Producers became a member of the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF). Also in May 2017, the Association of Macedonian Film Distributors (AFIDI) became a member of the International Federation of Film Distributors' Associations (FIAD).
MIDPOINT Intensive Macedonia, a professional training programme, opened to Macedonian creative teams of filmmakers in Ohrid.
Macedonia hosted the 148th Eurimages Board of Directors Meeting, which ran in October 2017 and was organised by the Macedonian Film Agency.
Researcher, cultural manager and culture critic Robert Alagjozovski was appointed Minister of Culture under the new Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at the end of June 2017. He succeeded Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska, who ran the Ministry of Culture since 2008.
The Macedonian Government named Gorjan Tozija as Acting Director of the Macedonian Film Agency on 10 August 2017. He replaced Mimi Gjorgoska Ilievska, who had been appointed in November 2015.
The Macedonian Film Agency announced a decision to annul the call for production support for feature films, documentaries, short films and animated films in February 2017 and announced a new call for production support in November 2017.
In 2017 Macedonia decided not to send any film to the Oscars.
Three domestic feature films were shot in Macedonia in 2017 and all were debut features: Ilija Piperkoski`s Macedonian/Romanian coproduction Grandpa and Grandson / Dedo i vnuk, produced by Pandora`s box production in coproduction with Dream Factory and Romania’s Alien film, Borjan Zafirovski`s Macedonian/Albanian/Kosovo coproduction The Happiness Effect / Efektot na srekata (a coproduction between the Macedonian companies New Macedonian Video, New Moment and Video House Animation, Albanian Lissus Media and Kosovo`s B2 – PR & Media Solutions) and Jani Bojadzi`s Angel’s Breath / Zdivot na angelot (coproduced by Orion Production, Icon Plus from Greece and Maku Production from Albania).
Scenes from the action thriller Vijay 61, directed by Atlee Kumar, were shot in Macedonia in 2017. This is the first Bollywood film that benefited from the film incentives programme available in the form of a cash rebate of 20% on qualifying Macedonian spend. The film is produced by the Indian production and distribution company Sri Thenandal Films.
Also, the Turkish children film Honey Cream / Bal Kaymak, directed by Onur Tan and produced by Big Play Entertainment, was filmed in Macedonia in 2017. This is the second film that applied for tax incentives in Macedonia.
The Croatian/Montenegrin/Macedonian coproduction Escape to the Sea / Bijeg do mora, directed by Veljko Bulajic, went into production in 2017. The film is a coproduction between Gral Film, Dogma Studio and Geyzer Film from Macedonia.
The Serbian/Croatian/Macedonian coproduction Leeches / Pijavice, by Serbian director Dragan Marinković, went into postproduction in 2017. The film is a coproduction between Zillion Film, InterFilm Produkcija and Pank Film.
The Serbian/Macedonian children film Hunters / Zloginje, directed by Raško Miljković, was also shot in 2017. It is produced by Akcija Production in coproduction with Dream Factory.
The first Georgian/Macedonian coproduction Neighbors, directed by Gigisha Abashidze, went into postproduction in 2017 and is set to be released in 2018. The film is a coproduction between Studio Artizm, Gemini and Small Moves Films.
MCF MK, Konstantin film, Kt Film & Media, Cutaway and Uzengija continue to be the main distributors in Macedonia.
Macedonian distributors received distribution support from the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme for the first time in 2017.
Cinesquare.net, the first VOD based in Macedonia and available in 12 more Southeastern European countries, was launched during the Cannes Film Festival 2017. The platform is a project of Cutaway and is supported by Eurimages, the Council of Europe and the Macedonian Film Agency.
In 2017 Macedonia also had its first day-and-date release with the Dutch children film Little Gangster, directed by Arne Toonen, which was simultaneously released by Cutaway in cinemas and on Cinesquare.net.
There is still little interest in domestic and regional films, but the Macedonian/Greek coproduction The Secret Ingredient / Iscelitel, directed by Gjorche Stavrevski, was released by Fragment Film in cinemas on 20 November 2017, becoming the most watched domestic film of the year with 9,000 admissions by the end of December 2017.
The list of films with the most admissions in 2017 includes: The Fate of the Furious, Fifty Shades Darker, Murder on the Orient Express, The Beauty and the Beast, Why Him?, Logan, Baywatch, It, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Kingsman: The Golden Circle and the Macedonian The Secret Ingredient.
The domestic films which opened in cinemas in 2017 are: the comedy Oh My Love / Ah ljubov moja, directed by Kole Angelovski, produced by Award Film&Video and distributed by Award Film&Video and KT Film & Media; the independent indie production Horse Riders / Javachi na konji, directed by Marjan Gavrilovski and produced & distributed by Emperor Production; the Macedonian/Belgian/Slovenian coproduction When the Day Had No Name by Teona Mitevska, produced by Sisters and Brother Mitevski in coproduction with Vertigo from Slovenia and Entre Chien et Loup from Belgium, and distributed by Sisters and Brother Mitevski, and The Secret Ingredient / Iscelitel by Gjorche Stavrevski, produced by Fragment Film in coproduction with GRAAL S.A from Greece, and distributed by Fragment Film.
The following domestic films had their premieres at domestic festivals: the Russian/Lithuanian/Macedonian coproduction Harms / Kharms, directed by Ivan Bolotnikov and produced by Russia’s Proline Film, Lithuania’s Tremora Uab and Macedonia’s Manufaktura Production; the Bosnian/Macedonian/Croatian/Serbian coproduction Frog, directed by Elmir Jukić (a coproduction between Rеfresh Production from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Skopje Film Studio from Macedonia, Living Pictures from Serbia and Propeler Film from Croatia) and the Bulgarian/Macedonian coproduction Heights, directed by Victor Bojinov and produced by Bulgaria’s Bulfilm, Serpentine, Nu Boyana, the Bulgarian National Television and Macedonia’s Dream Factory.
Macedonia had two films selected for the 2017 Berlin IFF: the Macedonian/Belgian/Slovenian coproduction When the Day Had No Name / Koga denot nemase ime directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska and the Bulgarian/German/Macedonian coproduction Requiem for Mrs. J / Rekvijem za gospodju J., directed by Bojan Vuletić and coproduced by Macedonia’s Skopje Film Studio.
Another minority coproduction, Directions / Posoki, directed by Stephan Komandarev and coproduced by Bulgaria’s Argo Film, Germany's Aktis Film Production and Macedonia’s Sector Film, premiered in Un Certain Regard at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. The film had its Macedonian premiere at the ICFF Manaki Brothers.
Macedonian short films were also screened at numerous festivals. Ambi, written and directed by Marija Apchevska, entered the official competition of the Holly Short FF in the U.S., while Would You Look at Her, directed by Goran Stolevski, entered the official selection of short films at the 34th Sundance FF. The documentary Avec l’Amour directed by Ilija Cvetkovski won the third audience prize at the 23rd Sarajevo Film Festival, where Honeyland (directed by Ljubo Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska, and produced by Apollo Media and Trice Films) won the work in progress award.
Eleven commercial cinemas and two art house cinemas with a regular repertoire operated in the Republic of Macedonia in 2017. Fourteen cultural centers also screen films occasionally.
In 2017, the first multiplex in the country, Cineplexx, celebrated its fifth anniversary with more than 340,000 visitors. This is an increase of 6.5% compared to 2016.
City Cinema Milenium, based in Skopje, also registered an increase in admissions of around 10% compared to 2016.
Digitalisation of cinemas continued in 2017 in four cultural centers. Since 2012, the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and the Macedonian Film Agency has been equipping cultural centers in all big cities with high quality digital projectors. Cinemas in those cultural centers function as art house cinemas, with programming based on occasional screenings.
Total admissions increased by 7.7 percent from 352,667 admissions in 2016 to approximately 380,000 admissions in 2017.
Most of the admissions (around 340,000) are from Cineplexx, followed by Cinema Milenium and 3D Cinema Bitola (around 13-15.000 each). The rest comes from the cultural centers that screen films occasionally.
There is one call in January every year (with two deadlines in March and August) for production support for feature films, documentaries, short films and animated films.
The Macedonian Film Agency announced grants for 22 films in February 2017. The Agency distributed 1,952,171 EUR / 120,250,000 MKD in production grants for feature, short, animated films and documentaries. The four majority feature films include The Hardest Thing directed by Serdar Akar and produced by Sektor Film, and three debut feature films – Stela, directed by Stojan Vujicic and produced by Dream Factory, Snezhana Dies In the End, directed by Kristijan Risteski and produced by Vertigo Visual, and Lena and Vladimir, directed by Igor Aleksov and produced by Mind Peoduction. The minority feature films are directed by Ivo Trajkov, Marycia Nikitiuk, Dragan Bjelogrlic, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Veljko Bulajic.
In November 2017 the Macedonian Film Agency decided to annul the call for production support for feature films, documentaries, short films and animated films, which was published on 10 February 2017. The call was canceled due to several irregularities. According to the decision, the call was legally due to be announced in January, and this was done in February 2017. Given that the Agency's obligation is to decide twice a year on the call (April and October), no grants were announced in 2017.
A new call for production support for feature films, documentaries, short films and animated films was announced on 22 November 2017.
There is a separate call for supporting film ‘industry projects of national interest’, which includes domestic festivals and international film events, professional education for film professionals, educational programmes which promote film culture, the membership of the Republic of Macedonia in international film organisations and associations, and also film publications.
A decision to distribute 507,000 EUR / 31 m MKD in 2017 as subsidies for production of domestic documentary and feature programmes on national TV stations and the public broadcaster Macedonian Radio Television was adopted by the Government in February 2017.
A total of 22 domestic film festivals were supported by the Macedonian Film Agency in 2017. Established festivals such as the Manaki Brothers International Cinematographers Film Festival, Cinedays Festival of European Film, Makedox Festival for Creative Documentaries, Giffoni Youth Film Festival, Asterfest Short Films Festival, Animax Animated Films Festival and Skopje Film Festival, as well as 15 other festivals, had successful editions in 2017.
The MEDIA Programme’s support for Macedonian filmmakers, festivals and distributors was 198,750 EUR in 2017.
In 2017 the Macedonian/Belgian/Croatian coproduction God Exists, Her Name is Petrunija, directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska, received support from Eurimages. The Albanian/Macedonian coproduction Open Door, directed by Florenc Papas and coproduced by Award Film & Video, was also supported by Eurimages.
The feature film Sister, directed by Dina Duma and produced by List Production, received support from the SEE Cinema Network.
Starting from 2014, the Macedonian Film Agency has been encouraging the investment of funds in film or television projects applying for an investment return in the amount of 20% of the gross costs incurred in the country for the realisation of a film or television project, which is not less than 100,000 EUR. The Film Incentive programme was introduced as part of the new Film Law in 2014.
Macedonia started using the cash rebate scheme for film and TV projects in 2015.
Two films applied for tax incentives in Macedonia in 2017: The Bollywood film Vijay 61, directed by Atlee Kumar and serviced by Mind Productions, and the Turkish children film Honey Cream / Bal Kaymak, directed by Onur Tan and serviced by Sektor Film.
In November 2017 the Macedonian Film Professionals Association and the Macedonian Film Agency organised a panel on the situation in the Macedonian film and the necessity for a change in the Film Law, that would be prepared in 2018.
TV production boosted in Macedonia in 2017 with a total of ten series produced. In accordance to the legal obligation for the national televisions to produce, shoot and broadcast a programme with elements of public interest every year, as stated in the Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services adopted in 2014, ten TV series premiered on Macedonian television channels in 2017.
The children TV series True Stories, written and directed by Kuzman Kuzmanovski, premiered on the Macedonian Radio Television. The series is a coproduction between Auripigment and the Macedonian Radio Television.
The second season of the Macedonian TV Series Prespav, directed by Igor Ivanov and produced by OXO, was aired on TV Telma in autumn 2017.
The first season of the Macedonian series In Treatment / Na terapija, directed by Vardan Tozija and produced by Macedonia’s Kino Oko, premiered on Sitel TV.
TV series Shadows over Balkans / Senke nad Balkanom, a three-season political thriller drama set in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the 1930s, premiered on Macedonian National Television in November 2017. It was directed and also produced by the Serbian actor and director Dragan Bjelogrić through Cobra Film alongside Skopje Film Studio.
In September 2017, the TV series Markovski Family / Familija Markovski, directed by Darijan Pejovski, premiered on TV Kanal 5. Markovski Family is an original 8-episode prime time series produced by Art Project Lab Production.
The original 26-episode socially engaged TV series Insider, directed by Igor Ivanov, premiered on TV Telma in 2017. The series is produced by TV Telma in collaboration with Sloboda Film.
In October 2017 another TV series premiered on TV Telma as well. TV Box, directed by Zlatko Slavenski, is the first project by the Independent Association for Affirmation Lumenetika Project, in coproduction with 3D Project Studio.
Other new TV series in 2017 are: the fourth season of children TV series 5+ Family, directed by Igor Ivanov and produced by OXO, which premiered on the Macedonian National Television, the second season of Neighborhood Gossip, directed by Dragan Veljanoski and produced by TV Alfa, and new episodes of the comedy series A Bag Full of Happiness, directed by Troika Studio and produced by TV Sitel.
In 2016 the Macedonian TV revenues reached their lowest point in the last five years, according to a report issued by the Macedonian Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services in 2017. Commercial and public broadcasters generated total revenues of approximately 25 m EUR / 1,540,190,000 MKD, representing a drop of 50 percent compared to 2015.
The financial result of all TV broadcasters marks a loss of 2.2 m EUR / 137,970,000 MKD.
Also in 2016 the advertising revenues in the TV broadcast sector represented 85.75% of the total revenues.
A total of 28 of the country’s 63 TV broadcasters generated positive financial results, mainly from advertising. TV Sitel had the highest overall revenues with 7.69 m EUR (which is a drop of 12.63% compared to 2015), followed by Kanal 5 (with 3.36 m EUR representing a drop of 29.1%) and Alsat-M TV (2.77 m EUR representing an increase of 2.86%).
In 2016 the public broadcaster Macedonian Radio Television generated the lowest figures in revenues in the last five years with 67.50% coming from the broadcasting fee. This is a drop of 7.35% compared to 2015.
As in 2015, TV Sitel was the most watched domestic TV station in 2016, while Discovery was the most watched foreign TV station.
Report: Marina Lazarevska (2018) Sources: the Macedonian Film Agency, the Macedonian Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, Cineplexx, Milenium
Film Center Serbia maintained its regular pattern of financial support contests for the third year in a row and at the end of 2018 the Goverment granted a total of 7,879,383 EUR / 933,180,000 RSD.
The cash rebate for film production increased from 20% to 25% in February 2018.
The Serbian/French/Croatian/Iranian/Qatar coproduction The Load / Teret directed by Ognjen Glavonić and produced by Non-Aligned Films in coproduction with Cinéma Defacto, Kinorama, Three Garden Films and Dart Film & Video, was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight programme at the Cannes IFF 2018. The film became the most awarded Serbian film abroad in 2018 and premiered in Serbia, at the Auteur Film Festival in Belgrade, in late autumn of 2018.
The Russian/Polish/Serbian coproduction Dovlatov directed by Aleksei German Jr., produced by SAGa film Metrafilms, Channel One Russia, Lenfilm film studio, Message Film and Art & Pocorn, was selected for the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival’s Competition and brought to its main actor, Serbian Milan Marić, the invitation to 2019 European Shooting Stars at the 69th Berlin IFF.
The Montenegrin/Serbian coproduction You Have the Night / Ti imaš noć directed by Ivan Salatić and produced by Meander Film in coproduction with Non-Aligned Films and in association with Gustav Film, premiered at the 2018 Venice Film Festival in the 33rd Sunday Critic section.
Eight Serbian films were shot in 2018: Father / Otac directed by Srdan Golubović and produced by Baš Čelik in coproduction with Propeler Film, Vertigo and SCCA/Pro.Ba; Strahnija / Strahinja directed by Stefan Arsenijević and produced by Art & Popcorn in coproduction with France’s Surprise, Luxembourg’s Les Films Fauves and Bulgaria’s Chouchkov Brothers; the debut feature Mamonga directed by Stefan Malešević and produced by Nana 143 in coproduction with Montenegro’s Code Blue Production and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Sarajevo Film Academy; Cutting Close / Grubi rez directed by Kosta Đorđević and produced by Kinematografska kuća and Platforma; A.S. (25) directed by Milena Grujić and produced by the Faculty of Dramatic Arts and High Media; Heroes / Heroji directed by Goran Nikolić and produced by the Faculty of Dramatic Arts and FAME Solutions; The King of the Forest / Kralj šume directed by Szabolcs Tolnai and produced by Atalanta; The Team / Ekipa directed by Marko Sopić and produced by Cinemašina.
Father and Strahinja, as well as the new projects by Srđan Dragojević Heavens / Nebesa produced by Delirium Film and coproduced by Studio DIM, Sektor Film, Forum Ljubljana,, Max Film, Film & Music Entertainment, and Mila Turajlić’s long documentary The Labudović Files / Dosije Labudović produced by Dribbling Pictures and coproduced by MD Cine, were supported by Eurimages in 2018.
The following films were in postproduction in 2018: Asymmetry / Asimeitrija directed by Maša Nešković and produced by This and That Production; Leeches / Pijavice, a Serbian/Croatian/Macedonian coproduction directed by Dragan Marinković and produced by Zillion Film in coproduction with Inter Film and Pank Film; the Serbian/Montenegrin coproduction Ajvar directed by Ana Maria Rossi and produced by Biberche and Artikulacija; Volja sinovljeva directed by Nemanja Ćeranić and produced by Salamander; Psi umiru sami directed by Nikola Petrović and produced by Red Productions; Working Class Heroes / Heroji radničke klase directed by Miloš Pušić and produced by Altertise; My Morning Laughter / Moj jutarnji smeh directed by Marko Đorđević and produced by Alterise; Aleksandra directed by Saša Radojević and produced by Eho produkcija; Operation Opera / Operaija Opera directed by Marina Radmilac and produced by Satibara and Stitches / Šavovi, a Serbian/Slovenian/Croatian/Bosnian coproduction directed by Miroslav Terzić and produced by West End Production, Nora Production Group, Spiritus Movens and SCCA/Pro.Ba, which was selected for 2019 Berlinale’s Panorama section.
It is estimated that 2019 will bring a slight increase in the number of domestic films completed and released.
In February 2018 Serbia increased its cash rebate for film production from 20% to 25%. The rebate applies to qualified Serbian spend for feature films, TV series, animated films and visual effects, TV commercials and documentaries. The tax rebate and incentive scheme proved to be very successful in the first years of its formal implementation. The tax rebate commenced in April 2016 and so far 88,5 million EUR has been spent in Serbia.
The list of international productions that were partly shot in Serbia in 2018 includes Ralph Fiennes’s The White Crow (with WiP Films servicing), Alexandre Aja’s Crawl (serviced by the Work in progress company), Jonathan English’s My Husband’s Double Life (serviced by RED Production)), the Chinese production Belgrade Escape (with Emote servicing), The Islander directed by Dom Mazuran and Zoran Lisinac and serviced by Art & Popcorn, as well as the Indian productions Uri: The Surgical Strike directed by Aditya Dhar and serviced by Clockwork Film, Chekka Chivantha Vaanam directed by Mani Ratnam and serviced by Clockwork Film, and Kotigobba 3 directed by Shiva Karthik, with Family Film servicing.
Ten Serbian feature films were released in 2018 – the same number as in 2017: Offenders / Izgrednici directed by Dejan Zečević, produced by Biberche, distributed by Taramount Film, Front Page Midgets / Patuljci sa naslovnih strana directed by Milorad Milković, produced by Bombona Film Production, Livada produkcija, Cineplexx Cinema and Taramount Film; Bugs and Heroes / O bubicama i herojima directed by Petar Pašić, produced by Doktor Fried, distributed by FAME Solutions, Witchhunters / Zlogonje directed by Raško Miljković, produced by Akcija produkcija and Dream Factory Macedonia, distributed by Taramount Film; South Wind / Južni vetar directed by Miloš Avramović, produced by Režim, Art Vista and Archangel Studios, and distributed by Art Vista; Soldier’s Lullaby / Zaspanka za vojnike directed by Predrag Antonijević, produced by Film Danas, Komuna, Contrast Studio, Direct Media, Avala Film, Concept Studio and distributed by Delius Film; Bandits in Search of Mom / Banditi u potrazi za mamom directed by Kosta Ristić, produced by the Faculty of Dramatic Arts and Cinnamon Production and distributed by Megacom Film MCF, King Petar / Kralj Petar Prvi directed by Petar Ristovski, produced by Zillion Film, coproduced by Greece’s Steficon and distributed by Megacom Film MCF; Horizons / Horizonti directed by Svetislav Dragomirović, produced by Cinnamon Films and Akedimija umetnosti and distributed by Megacom Film MCF; The Load / Teret directed by Ognjen Glavonić, distributed in Serbia by Five Star Film Distribution.
Another four feature films had a limited and/or national festival distribution: Lazar Bodroža’s Ederlezi Rising produced by MIR Media Group and BALKANIC, Inc, Momčilo Prerardović’s Sistem produced by Vertical Media, Vanja Hoven’s Grande Punto produced by Centar za razvoj vizuelne kulture, and Jelena Marković’s Pretpostavka nevinosti produced by Prvi koraci.
At least six more national premiers are expected in 2019 at the upcoming edition of FEST - International Film Festival in Belgrade, the oldest and the most popular film festival held end of February-beginning of March.
After its selection for the Directors’ Fortnight programme of the Cannes IFF 2018, The Load by Ognjen Glavonić was invited to several other prominent international film festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Viennale and the BFI London Film Festival, and recently it was included in the 2019 Rotterdam IFF’s official selection.
Raško Miljković’s Serbian/Macedonian coproduction Witchhunters / Zlogonje had its international premiere at the TIFF for Kids in Toronto, where it received the TIFF Young People’s Jury Awards. Later on it was screened at various film festivals in the Czech Republic, Brasil, Poland, the Ukraine. The film was also selected for the official programme of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
The first Serbian scifi Ederlezi Rising, directed by Lazar Bodroža, premiered domestically at the FEST 2018, winning three major awards in the national film selection. Soon afterwards, the film began its strong festival circuit and it was aquired by Archlight Films. On 14 March 2019 it will be released in the USA on VOD services via Lionsgate Films.
The short animated film Untravel / Neputovanja, directed by Ana Nedeljković and Nikola Majdak, was screened in the official programme of the 2018 Berlin Film Festival, in the Generation 14plus section. Afterwards, Untravel set off on a film festival tour worldwide, thus becoming eligible for an Oscar nomination.
It was a good year for Serbian documentaries, too. The long documentary Wongar, directed by Andrijana Stojković and produced by Art &Popcorn, had its international premiere within the 2019 IDFA competition programme, while 4 Years in 10 Minutes / 4 godine u 10 minuta directed by Mladen Kovačević and produced by Horopter Film Production, premiered internationally at the Visions du Réel in Nyon.
Želimir Žilnik’s long documentary The Most Beautiful Country in the World / Najlepša zemlja na svetu, produced by RTV and Factum, premiered at the Mar del Plata IFF and had its European premiere at the 2018 Doclisboa. Senka Domanović’s first long documentary Occupied Cinema / Okupirani bioskop had its regional premiere at the 2018 Sarajevo Film Festival, together with The Load / Teret and Kosta Ristić’s debut feature Bandits in Search of Mom / Banditi u potrazi za mamom.
In 2018 Mila Turajlić’s awarded documentary The Other Side of Everything / Druga strana svega, winner of the main prize at 2017 IDFA, received the award for best screenplay by IDA (International Documentary Association) and became one of the three finalists for the LUX Award.
The Yugoslav Cinematheque / Jugoslovenska kinoteka continued its process of restoration of Serbian film classics in cooperation with the VIP Mobile operator. The restoration schedule is based on the official voting for the Best Serbian films of all times, organised by Jugoslovenska kinoteka in December 2016.
Total admissions increased from 3,754,368 in 2017 to 4,193,755 in 2018, mostly due to the domestic blockbusters South Wind / Južni vetar directed by Miloš Avramović, with 605,010 admissions and Kralj Petar Prvi / King Petar directed by Petar Ristovski, with 168,447 admissions. Both films were still in distribution in January 2019.
Other successful domestic films in Serbi in 2018 were: Soldier’s Lullaby / Zaspanka za vojnika directed by Predrag Antonijević (42,037 admissions), Front Page Midgets / Patuljci sa naslovnih strana directed by Milorad Milinković (8,682) and Withchunters / Zlogonje directed by Raško Miljković (13,654 admissions).
The most sucessful international feature films in Serbian cinemas in 2018 were: Fifty Shades Freed (distributed by Taramount Film), Ice / Lyod (Dexin Film), Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (Con Film), Grinch (Taramount Film) and Avengers: Infity War (Taramount Film).
The most popular domestic film in Serbian cinemas in 2017 was Zona Zamfirova – Part Two / Zona Zamfirova – Drugi deo, directed by Jug Radivojević, produced by ZoneGrad Production and Pink International, and distributed by Art Vista, with 190,442 admissions.
In addition to its regular cinema distribution and two new cineplexes (Kombank dvorana in Belgrade and Promenada Cineplexx in Novi Sad), Serbia maintains several dozen of national and international film festivals in almost all the towns of the country, as well as numerous film weeks and themed film events.
GRANTS AND LEGISLATION
In 2018 Film Center Serbia suported 203 film projects or film-related projects (such as pre-digitalisation). In 2018 there were 15 contest categories for co-financing of feature and short fiction films, long and short documentaries, student films, experimental and video art films, genre-profiled and potentially commercial films.
Film Center Serbia decided at its sessions in July, August and December 2018 to distribute 3,935,160 EUR / 466 m RSD to feature film projects directed by Marko Đorđević, Darko Nikolić, Goran Paskaljević, Dušan Kovačević, Mirjana Karanović, Milica Tomović, Miloš Miša Radivojević, Radivoje Andrić, Ivan Stefanović, Ivan Živković, Stevan Filipović, Predrag Antonijević, Miroslav Lekić, Goran Radovanović and Rastko Petrović.
Serbia continued its successful cooperation with MEDIA Desk, which was launched in Serbia in 2016, leading to fresh MEDIA support for seven Serbian single film projects in 2018: Dušan Milić’s Darkling / Mrak produced by Film Deluxe, Pavle Vučković’s Frost / Mraz produced by Plan 9, Tamara Drakulić’s In Praise of Love produced by Monkey Production, Milica Filipovski’s The Myth of a Real Man produced by Dart Film & Video, Biljana Tutorov’s Aunts / Tetke produced by Wake up Films, Kosta Đorđević’s Regret / Žal produced by Kinematografska kuća and Vojin Vasović’s Twice Upon a King / Bio dvaput jedan kralj produced by Viktorija Film, which is the first Serbian animated film supported by MEDIA Desk Serbia
In 2018 MEDIA also supported the Belgrade-based production company Art & Popcorn, as well as Belgrade’s Beldocs Documentary FF, the European Film Festival Palić and the Free Zone / Slobodna zona Film Festival, as well as 11 cinemas screening European films.
In 2018 the Serbian National Broadcasting Company RTS maintained its dominance both in production and popularity for the fifth year in a row. According to a research commissioned by RTS itself, its first channel RTS1 was the most popular TV channel during 277 days in 2017, compared to 359 in 2017. The list of 100 most watched shows includes 95 programmes broadcast by RTS.
The most watched TV series in 2018 were coproduced and broadcast by RTS: Roots / Koreni, based on Dobrica Cosić’s literary classic, directed by Ivan Živković and coproduced by Eye to Eye film, Morning Changes Everything / Jutro će promeniti sve directed by Vladimir Tagić, Goran Stanković and Milica Tomović, produced by RTS and serviced by This and That Productions, Meso / Meat directed by Saša Hajduković, coproduced by RTRS and RTS, as well as the fourth season of Military Academy / Vojhna akedimija directed by Dejan Zečević, produced by RTS and coproduced by Nira Film.
Other popular TV shows in 2018 were: Top kanal’s two hit TV shows Hoop Dozen / Žigosani u reketu, produced by Top Kanal and coproduced by Cobra Film, the third season of My Father’s Killers / Ubice mog oca directed by Ivan Živković and Miroslav Lekić, and also the series Besa directed by Dušan Lazarević and produced by Adrenalin, aired on the newly founded cable channel Superstar, launched in late autumn of 2018.
In 2017 RTS worked on several new series to be broadcast in 2018, including the new RTS series The Nemanjics – Birth of the Kingdom / Nemanjići – Rađanje kraljevine, a 15-episode historical drama scripted by Gordan Mihić and directed by Marko Marinković, which started broadcasting on RTS on 31 December 2017.
In 2018 TV Prva continued airing two new series based on foreign content – Truth and Lies / Istine i laži (based on a TV show in Argentina) and Mamma’s Boys / Mamini sinovi (based on an Australian sitcom), together with older TV shows like ER / Urgentni centar and The Sinđelić Family / Sinđelićevi (the Serbian versions of ER and Los Serrano, produced by Emotion)
After several years of inactivity, Pink made a return with the TV comedy Codename: Despot / Šifra: Despot (50 episodes in its first season coproduced by Contrast Studio. Željko Mitrović, the owner and CEO of Pink, said that the company would focus on TV series’ production in 2019, starting with a period drama series.
MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND INFORMATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIAVlajkovićeva 3,11000 Belgrade, SerbiaPhone: +381 11 33 45 650 (Secretary of the Ministry)www.kultura.gov.rs
Report by Zoran Janković (2019)Sources: Film Center Serbia, the Serbia Film Commission
For the second year in a row Film Center Serbia maintained its regular schedule of financial support contests and at the end of 2017 the Goverment granted a total of 8,482,200 EUR / 1.005 m RSD.
The Serbian/Bulgarian/Macedonian coproductionRequiem for Mrs. J. / Rekvijem za gospođu J., directed by Bojan Vuletic, was selected for the Panorama Special programme at the Berlin IFF 2017, later becoming the most awarded domestic film in Serbia in 2017 and the Serbian Oscar bid in the Foreign Language category. The film also made it to the top 50 best European films of 2017, thus qualifying for the European Film Awards nominations.
A special programme Acid Trip # 01: Serbia in Cannes, consisting of two Serbian feature films and five shorts, was organised during the Cannes Film Festival 2017. A coproduction agreement between Film Center Serbia and the French Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC) was signed in Cannes. Its first chapter was a coproduction market that took place in Paris in December 2017. Five Serbian film projects in preproduction were pitched to potential French coproducers.
It was also a great year for Serbian documentaries. In Praise of Nothing / Slatko od ništa, directed by Boris Mitić, produced by Dribbling Pictures and narrated by Iggy Pop, premiered at the Locarno Film Festival. The Other Side of Everything / Druga strana svega directed by Mila Turajlić premiered within the official programme of the 2017 Toronto IFF and won the Best Feature-Length Documentary Award at the 2017 IDFA, which is the first big prize for a Serbian film at the IDFA. The Other Side of Everything is a Serbian/French/Qatar coproduction and also the first HBO Europe coproduction with Serbia.
The long documentariy In Praise of Nothing / Slatko od ništa directed by Boris Mitić and the short documentary The Same / Isti directed by Dejan Petrović were also selected for the IDFA in the Masters and the short competition sections, respectively. With 17 new long documentaries in various stages of production, all of them supported by Film Center Serbia, Serbian documentary is heading for its full return to the world documentary scene.
The end of 2017 saw the premiere of the restored version of Slobodan Šijan’s classic comedy Who’s Singing over There? / Ko to tamo peva (1980, produced by Centar Film). The film was voted best Serbian feature film of all times in December 2016. The premiere celebrated the official cooperation between the Serbian National Cinematheque and the Vip Mobile operator, who is supporting the restoration of ten Serbian classic films set to be returned to the audience in 2018.
More than a dozen feature films were shot, produced and postproduced in 2017.
The list of films undergoing postproduction in 2017 includes: Ederlezi Rising, directed by Stevan Bodroža and produced by Mir Media Group and BALKANIC, Inc.; the Serbian/Croatian/French coproduction Teret, directed by Ognjen Glavonić and produced by Non-Aligned Films; Banditi u potrazi za mamom, directed by Kosta Ristić and produced by the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, and Witch Hunters / Zlogonje, a Serbian/Macedonian coproduction produced by Akcija Production and directed by Raško Miljković.
The list of films shot in 2017 includes: Stitches / Šavovi, a Serbian/Slovenian coproduction directed by Miroslav Terzić and produced by West End Production; Asymmetry – Three Teritories / Asimitrija – tri teritorije, directed by Maša Nešković and produced by This and That Production; Leeches / Pijavice, a Serbian/Croatian/Macedonian coproduction directed by Dragan Marinković and produced by Zillion Film; the Serbian/Montenegrin coproduction Ajvar, directed by Ana Maria Rossi and produced by Biberche; Volja sinovljeva, directed by Nemanja Ćeranić and produced by Salamander; South Wind / Južni vetar, directed by Miloš Avramović and produced by Režim; Soldier’s Lullaby / Zaspanka za vojnike, directed by Predrag Antonijević and produced by Film Danas; Psi umiru sami, directed by Nikola Petrović and produced by Red Productions and Aleksandra, directed by Saša Radojević and produced by Eho produkcija.
It is thus expected that 2018 will bring an increase in the number of domestic films completed and released.
In autumn 2017 Boban Jevtić, the Director of Film Center Serbia, announced a plan to increase the percentage of cash rebate for film production, from the present 20% on qualified expenditure for feature films, TV series, animated films and visual effects, TV commercials and documentaries. Since the implementation of the cash rebate scheme in April 2016 until autumn 2017, international productions spent approximately 58.5 m EUR in Serbia, of which approximately 35 m EUR came from feature films.
The list of international productions that were partly shot in Serbia in 2017 includes Luc Besson’s Anna (with WiP Films servicing), Enzo Monteleone’s Italian production Duisburg (with Intrigo d.o.o. servicing), Ralph Fiennes’s The White Crow (with WiP Films servicing) and the Slovenian TV show Good Neighbours / Dobro sosedje (with Met Ro productions servicing).
The list of the international productions shot in Serbia in 2017 and benefitting from the cash rebate scheme also includes the TV show pilot Krypton (directed by Colm McCarthy, with Work in progress servicing), Papillon (directed by Michael Noer, with Work in progress servicing) and Extiction (directed by Ben Young, with Extinction d.o.o. servicing).
Serbian VFX and postproduction companies continued to work on international productions in 2017. Dreamdust did the postproduction on several international films, such as: The Nanny (2017) directed by Joel Novoa, Truth or Dare (2017) directed by Nick Simon, Bullet Head (2017) directed by Paul Solet, and Incoming (2018) directed by Eric Zaragoza, the last two being coproduced and produced by Miloš Đukelić of the Belgrade-based Red Production, respectively.
Only ten Serbian feature films had a wider theatrical distribution in 2017. According to the official data, these films are: Virgin Boys / Saga o tri nevina muškarca, directed by S. Shridhar, produced by Telic Studios and distributed by Delius Film; Zona Zamfirova – Part Two / Zona Zamfirova – drugi deo, directed by Jug Radivojević, produced by Zonegrad Production and RTV Pink, and distributed by Art Vista; Diamond of the Boyana / Biser Bojane, directed by Milan Karadžić, produced by Vision Team and distributed by Art Vista; On the Milky Road / Na mlečnom putu, directed by Emir Kusturica, produced by Rasta International and distributed by FILMSTAR d.o.o.; Afterparty / Afterparti, directed by Luka Bursać, produced by Ljuti bicikl and Mashina&Zec, and distributed by Fame Solutions; Requiem for Mrs J. / Rekvijem za gospođu J., directed by Bojan Vuletić and distributed by Megacom Film MCF; Out of the Woods / Kozje uši, directed by Marko Kostić, produced by Luks Film and distributed by Art Vista; The Fucking Dog / Prokleti pas, directed by Dragan Peškian, produced by 3K Production and distributed by Art Vista; Wind / Vetar, directed by Tamara Drakulić, produced by Monkey Production and distributed by Fame Solutions and The Other Side of Everything / Druga strana svega, directed by Mila Turajlić, produced and distributed by Dribbling Pictures.
Six more feature films had a limited and/or national festival distribution: Goran Paskaljević’s Land of the Gods / Zemlja Bogova Dev Bhoomi (the first Indian/Serbian coproduction, coproduced by Nova Film and Zepter International), Goran Marković’s A Free Rider on the Ship of the Crazy Ones / Slepi putnik na brodu ludaka (a shortened cinema version of the two-part TV film produced by RTS), Predrag Jakšić’s The Return / Povratak (produced by Arte), Predrag Velinović’s Nowhere / Nigde (produced by Sirius Production), Zoltan Bicskei’s Snow of the Dream / Snevani snegovi (a Serbian/Hungarian coproduction between Arbos d.o.o. and Lumiere Kft.) and Sanja Savić’s Our Fathers, Mothers and Their Children / Naši očevi, majke i njihova djeca produced by Pankerica.
Two more Serbian films, which had their premieres at international film festivals, are still waiting to meet the domestic audience - Dejan Zečević’s Offenders / Izgrednici (produced by Biberche), which premiered at the 2017 Chicago IFF, and Svetislav Dragomirović’s Horizonti / Horizons (produced by Cinnamon Production Production), which had its first screening at the 2017 Cairo IFF.
Other films such as Petar Pašić’s Of Bugs and Heroes / O bubicama i herojima (produced by Doktor Production) and Momčilo Prerardović’s System / Sistem (produced by Vertical Media) have been trapped in postproduction for years and are expected to be finished in 2018.
Another film finished in 2017 and hoping for commercial success is Front Page Dwarfs / Patuljci sa naslovnih strana, a comedy directed by Milorad Milinković and produced by Livada Produkcija. The film was supported by Film Center Serbia in its grant contest for genre and potentially commercial films, and opened domestically on 18 January 2018. At least five more national premiers are expected at the FEST - International Film Festival in Belgrade, a major film festival held each year at the end of February and the beginning of March.
Two new multiplexes were opened in Belgrade in 2017. The biggest multiplex chain in Serbia Cineplexx opened its third venue with eight digital screens in the BIG Shopping Mall in Belgrade. Cineplexx had already had two venues in Belgrade (with 17 screens altogether), one in Kragujevac (with six screens) and another in Niš (with five screens).
Also in 2017 Megacom Film MCF opened its first cineplex, Cine Grand in Belgrade. Megacom Film MCF also started the renovation of Dvorana Doma sindikata, located in one of the major squares in Belgrade. Soon the cinema will have one big hall and five small screening halls compared to one big hall and three smaller halls before the renovation.
In December 2017, Film Center Serbia announced the results of the cinema pre-digitalisation and digitalisation contest. A total of 230,175 EUR / 25.7 m RSD went for pre-digitalisation and digitalisation in Serbian towns of Mladenovac, Požarevac, Ruma, Čačak, Kraljevo, Vrnjačka Banja, Lazarevac, Smederevo, Šabac, Smederevo, Novi Pazar, Kruševac, Vrbas and Prijepolje.
Total admissions continued to steadily increase to 3,754,368 in 2017 compared to 3,249,097 in 2016 and 3,161,658 in 2015.
The most sucessful international feature films in 2017 were: Boss Baby (distributed by MCF-MegaCom Film) with 156,150 admissions, Beauty and the Beast (Taramount Film) with 141,168 admissions, Fifty Shades Darker (Taramount Film) with 135,894 admissions, Despicable Me 3 (Taramount Film) with 8126,404 admissions and Fast & Furious 8 (Taramount Film) with 111,301 admissions.
The most successful domestic films in 2017 were: Zona Zamfirova – Part Two / Zona Zamfirova – Drugi deo, directed by Jug Radivojević and distributed by Art Vista with 190,442 admissions, Biser Bojane directed by Milan Karadžić and distributed by Art Vista with 122,182 admissions, and Emir Kusturica’s On the Milky Way / Na Mlečnom putu, distributed by FILMSTAR, d.o.o. with 64,466 admissions. Zdravko Šotra’s Santa Maria della Salute had a cumulative 137,742 admissions in 2016 and 2017, as it was released by Art Vista in December 2016.
In 2016, the most popular domestic film in Serbian cinemas was The Flock / Stado (K12, distributed by CON FILM) with 163,395 admissions.
Apart from regular cinema distribution, Serbia has several dozen of national and international film festivals in almost all the towns of the country, which, aided by numerous film weeks and themed film events, greatly contribute to the cultural life of the country.
Film Center Serbia decided at its sessions in May and December 2017 to distribute 2,363,200 EUR / 280 m RSD to feature film projects directed by Dušan Milić, Nenad Pavlović, Vuk Ršumović, Nemanja Ćipranić, Boriša Simović, Ivan Ikić, Oleg Novković, Sabolcs Tolnai, Kosta Đorđević and Ognjen Glavonić.
In 2017 Film Center Serbia suported 157 film projects or film-related projects (such as pre-digitalisation). In 2017 there were 24 contest for co-financing of feature and short fiction films, long and short documentaries, student films, experimental and video art films, genre-profiled and potentially commercial films, compared to 16 in 2016 and nine in 2015.
Serbia continued its already fruitful cooperation with MEDIA Desk, which was launched in Serbia in 2016, resulting in MEDIA support for several Serbian films: Mirjana Karanović’s Mara (produced by Film Deluks), Radivoje Andrić’s The Summer When I Learned to Fly / Leto kad sam naučila da letim (produced by Sense Production), Ivan Jović’s Shadows of the Mediterranean / Senoviti Mediteran (produced by Produkcija Terirerm) and Vanja Kovačević’s long documentary Supernova, produced by All Inclusive Films.
MEDIA has also supported the Belgrade-based production company Art & Popcorn, as well as the Belgrade’s Beldocs Documentary FF and also four distribution companies distributing European films.
During the Sarajevo Film Festival 2017, Film Center Serbia and the Greek Film Centre signed a cooperation agreement focusing on the distribution of Serbian and Greek films. Film Center Serbia also sponsored the award for best new drama series at the CineLink Drama in 2017.
In September 2017 Film Center Serbia and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China signed a memorandum focusing on future cooperation in several areas including film production and film distribution. A partnership agreement with the When East Meets West coproduction market within the Trieste Film Festival was also signed in 2017.
Two Serbian feature films were supported by Eurimages in 2017 - Miroslav Terzić’s Stiches / Šavovi and Srdan Golubović’s Father / Otac (produced by Baš Čelik). Alongside Stefan Arsenijević’s Strahinja (produced by Art & Popcorn), Father was also supported by the French CNC. Arsenijević’s Strahinja was granted 200,000 EUR from the Film Fund of Luxembourg, as it is the first coproduction between Serbia and Luxembourg.
In 2017 the newly founded Film Centre of Montenegro supported three projects by Serbian directors Slobodan Šijan, Gordan Kičić and Stefan Malešević. Dušan Milić’s fourth film Darkling / Mrak (produced by Film Deluks) was officialy supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center..
In 2017 the Serbian National Broadcasting Company RTS kept its dominance both in production and popularity. Furthermore, it fully implemented the part of the agreement it had previously reached with Film Center Serbia as to covering the broadcast of Serbian documentary films and programmes. Thursday’s prime time slot has been reserved for such content. For the first time in the history of Serbian documentary filmmaking, RTS bought the broadcasting rights for 20 praised documentaries.
According to a research announced by RTS, its first channel RTS1 was the most popular TV channel during 359 days in 2017, compared to 342 in 2016. The list of 100 most watched shows has 93 programmes broadcast by RTS.
In November 2017, RTS (which celebrated 60 years of broadcasting in 2017) had 4.8 % rating and 20.3 % market share. The most important TV channels in Serbia in 2017 were, again, RTS , TV Pink, TV Prva, 02 TV (formerly known as B92) and TV Happy.
The most watched TV series in 2017 were coproduced and broadcast by RTS: the 10-episode retro-chic crime mystery Black Sun / Senke nad Balkanom (for the most part directed by Dragan Bjelogrlić, who starred and coproduced through Cobra Film), Selo gori, baba se češlja (coproduced by Contrast Studio) with its farewell season, Psi laju, vetar nosi (helmed by Jelena Bajić Jočić and also coproduced by Contrast Studio), and the biopic about Serbian poet Laza Kostić Santa Maria della Salute (directed by Zdravko Šotra and coproduced by Vision Team).
Also in 2017 RTS produced and aired two of its sitcoms initialised in 2016 – Neighbours / Komšije (coproduced by Vision Team) and Suspects / Sumnjiva lica (with Film Deluks as executive producer). At the very end of 2017, the second season of My Father’s Killers / Ubice mog oca, which was originally produced and aired by RTS, became part of the offer of the newly founded cable channel Top.
In 2017 RTS worked on several new series to be broadcast in 2018, such as The Nemanjics – Birth of the Kingdom / Nemanjići – Rađanje kraljevine (the 15-episode historical drama scripted by Gordan Mihić and directed by Marko Marinković, with the first episode aired on RTS on 31 December 2017) and Roots / Koreni (based on Dobrica Cosić’s literary classic, directed by Ivan Živković and coproduced by Eye to Eye film).
At the beginning of 2018, RTS aired the first episode of its new original crime mystery TV series Pet, that will be fully broadcast in spring 2018. Viewers can also expect the return of the TV series Military Academy / Vojna akademija (coproduced by Nira), that will reach its fourth season.
In 2017 TV Prva presented two new series based on foreign content – Truth and Lies / Istine i laži (originally a TV show in Argentina) and Mamma’s Boys / Mamini sinovi (deriving from an Australian sitcom). The production of TV Prva’s older hit TV series, ER / Urgentni centar and The Sinđelić Family / Sinđelićevi (the Serbian versions of ER and Los Serrano, produced by Emotion ) continued in 2017.
After several years of inactivity, Pink returned to TV production with the comedy Codename: Despot / Šifra: Despot (50 episodes during its first season coproduced by Contrast Studio). Željko Mitrović, the owner and CEO of Pink, announced that the company will significantly continue the TV series production in the years to come.
MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND INFORMATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA Vlajkovićeva 3, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia Phone: +381 11 33 45 650 (Secretary of the Ministry) www.kultura.gov.rs
Report by Zoran Janković (2018)Sources: Film Center Serbia, the Serbia Film Commission
Systematic neglect of film industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina, combined with strong political influences, is starting to show its ugly head, despite the tireless efforts of film professionals. Cinema Law hasn’t been adopted yet, which means that there is still no public body responsible for forming policies and the promotion of Bosnian and Herzegovinian film, and the Film Fund has cut the funds allocated for projects of the Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the third year in a row.
As the Association is filling the gap left by the non-existent film centre and has been taking over more and more responsibilities for the development and promotion of film industry in the whole country, this move will put the industry in even greater jeopardy in the future.
Despite the difficulties, the Association managed to put up the BH Film Programme, which is organised under the umbrella of the Sarajevo Film Festival and shows the complete yearly production of Bosnia and Herzegovina, maintains the Database of BH Films and keeps working on the international promotion of BH films.
Film Centre Sarajevo has announced several projects that could be of interest both to the local audience and to tourists. But the opening of the “Drive-in Cinema Dolly Bell”, named after Kusturica’s Do You Remember Dolly Bell?, 1981, produced by Sutjeska Film and Kinema Sarajevo, was postponed last summer and is expected to take place in 2019, while the Museum “Walter Defends Sarajevo”, which will focus on the legacy of the famous film Walter Defends Sarajevo (1972), directed by Hajrudin Šiba Krvavac and produced by Bosna film, is planned for February 2019.
Five feature films were shot in 2018 and are expected to premiere in 2019.
Son / Sin by Ines Tanović, is the only film of eight feature films supported by the Film Fund since 2015 that has gone into production. Son is produced by Dokument from Bosnia and Herzegovina in coproduction with Croatia’s Spiritus Movens, Slovenia’s Monoo, Macedonia’s Cut-up and Romania’s Luna Film. The project is supported by Eurimages.
Also in 2018 Faruk Lončarević shot his third feature film The Woods / Šuma. It is a micro-budget film that was shot in five days with a minimal financial support from the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Sarajevo Canton, and from the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo.
Full Moon / Pun mjesec, a debut feature by Nermin Hamzagić, is the third film of 2018. It was supported by the Film Fund with postproduction funding and produced by SCCA/pro.ba.
Second debut of the year was Emina Kujundžić’s micro-budget A Perfect Love Story produced by SCCA/pro.ba, that was shot without any public support.
Timur Makarević decided to go into shooting with his second feature The Lake / Jezero, also produced by SCCA/pro.ba in coproduction with Barka Media (AT) and Bussines Club Royal (SE), with only minimal support of Jajce Municipality.
Two more films were shot in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018: Sympathy for the Devil by Guillaume de Fontenay (coproduced by SCCA/pro.ba) and The Heroes Die Last / Les héros ne meurent jamais by Aude Léa Rapin (serviced by SCCA/pro.ba).
Six domestic films were distributed in cinemas in 2018.
The highest grossing domestic film of the year was the documentary Scream for Me Sarajevo directed by Tarik Hodžić and produced by Prime Time, with 3,620 EUR / 7,080 KM gross and 1,367 admissions.
It was followed by Elmir Jukić‘s debut feature The Frog / Žaba (produced by Refresh Production in coproduction with Macedonia’s Skopje Film Studio, Serbia’s Living Pictures, Croatia’s Propeler Film and Iridium Film) with 3,041 EUR / 5,948 KM gross and 999 admissions.
Never Leave Me / Ne ostavljaj me, directed by Aida Begić and produced by Film House Sarajevo and Turkey’s Beşir Derneği, had the second largest attendance with 1,387 admissions, but it ranked 3rd in the box office with 2,338 EUR / 4,572.5 KM gross.
Good Days Work / Dobar dan za posao, directed by Martin Turk and produced by Obala Art Center, topped the admission charts with 1,389 admissions and 839 EUR / 1,641.5 KM gross. It might seem odd that the film with the highest admissions ended so low in the charts, but this is mostly due to the fact that Good Days Work was shown throughout the country as part of the travelling cinema Operacija Kino, which as one of many Sarajevo Film Festival’s projects aimed at audience development, doesn’t charge for tickets.
Two more domestic films were theatrically released in 2018. Nothing but a Wind / Ništa, samo vjetar, a debut feature directed by Timur Makarević and produced by SCCA/pro.ba in coproduction with Slovenia’s Chinema Film, Romania’s Digital Cube and Poland’s Madants, had 110 admissions and 301 EUR / 588,5 KM gross, while the documentary Tifa, directed by Bakir Hadžiomerović and produced by Fist, had 150 admissions and 272 EUR / 532 KM gross.
A total of 217 films premiered in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018 and another 15 from 2017 continued distribution. There is a decrease in titles from 237 films that premiered in 2017 plus another 17 that continued distribution from 2016, but this didn’t reflect negatively on the total box office and admissions in 2018.
Blitz Film & Video Distribution dominated the market with 53% market share. The situation changed from 2017 when Una Film and 2iFilm, together with Blitz, dominated the market with 83.8% market share.
In 2018, Una Film had 16.97% of market share and Continental Film, 2i Film and Oskar Film all came close with 10.26%, 9.86% and 9.10% market share respectively.
In 2018 Bosnia and Herzegovina hosted the 24th Sarajevo Film Festival, as well as a number of smaller film festivals.
In 2018 Bosnia and Herzegovina lost one more art house cinema, when Kriterion closed in Sarajevo. There is still a possibility that the cinema will continue its work in 2019, but no information has been released yet.
The most important art house cinema with a predominantly European programme is still Cinema Meeting Point, a member of the Europa Cinemas Network. The cinema is run by the Obala Art Center, the organisation behind the Sarajevo Film Festival.
Three more cinemas are part of Europa Cinemas Network: Multiplex Ekran in Zenica, Cineplexx Palas in Banja Luka and Multiplex Cinema City in Sarajevo.
Most films in Bosnia and Herzegovina are screened in those three multiplexes and also in CineStar Cinemas, located in Mostar, Bihać and Tuzla. Operation Kino is also part of the Europa Cinemas Network.
The big cinema hit from neighbouring Serbia, South Wind directed by Miloš Avramović and produced by Režim and Eye to Eye, shook the general box office in 2018, ending at the top of the charts. However, American films still dominate with 79.76% share.
The highest grossing films in 2018 were: South Wind / Južni Vetar (with 228,155 EUR / 446,232 KM gross), Fifty Shades Freed (with 98,235 EUR / 192,131 KM gross), Avengers: Infinity War (with 95,111 EUR / 186,021 KM gross), Venom (with 79,896 EUR / 156,262 KM gross), Deadpool 2 (with 75,273 EUR / 147,911 KM gross), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (with 72,584 EUR / 141,961 KM gross), Bohemian Rhapsody (with 71,694 EUR / 140,221 KM gross), Aquaman (with 65,673 EUR / 128,446 KM gross), Hotel Transylvania 3 (with 63,569 EUR / 124,331 KM gross), The Meg (with 62,863 EUR / 122,949 KM gross).
Total admissions increased by 7.85 percent from 1,082,708 admissions in 2017 to 1,167,786 admissions in 2018. Total box office increased by 7.07 percent from 2,897,107 EUR / 5,666,249 KM in 2017 to 3,102,097 EUR / 6,067,174 KM in 2018.
All in all, admissions to domestic films increased by 124 percent from 2,410 admissions in 2017 to 5,402 admissions in 2018. General box office shows a 46.9 percent rise from 6,708 EUR / 13,121.5 KM in 2017 to 10,411.18 EUR / 20,362.5 KM in 2018.
Because of the rise, the data might look very optimistic, but it is obvious that the lack of an adequate film policy is harming this part of the industry greatly, too.
The Film Fund announced the recipients of grants for development, coproduction and production of feature films and production of short fiction, animated and documentary films in October 2018.
The Film Fund allocated 654,453 EUR / 1,280,000 KM in 2018. The production of two feature films and one documentary was supported, as well as the postproduction of one feature film. The production of seven short films and four minority coproductions (with Canada, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia) received support.
In 2018, the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Sarajevo Canton decided to support films through its own scheme for the production of cultural projects.
Once again the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska allocated a shockingly small amount of 30,677 EUR / 60,000 KM for film projects by filmmakers from Republika Srpska. To make the situation even worse, the Government of Republika Srpska decided to allocate 99,702 EUR / 195,000 KM for the Serbian film Kralj Petar I / King Peter the First, directed by Petar Ristovski and produced by Zillion Film, outside of any call for film production financing.
No new legislation was adopted in 2018 and filmmakers are still left on their own to organise the industry, which they mostly do through professional associations, film festivals and the organisation of different conferences and film forums.
Television stations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially the three main public channels, the Radio Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Radio Television of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Radio Television of Republika Srpska, produce short and long documentaries, but none of them funds feature films.
Al Jazeera Balkans is still involved in documentary film production, supporting further development of documentary filmmaking in the country on a big scale. In 2018 Al Jazeera Balkans organised the first international AJB DOC Film Festival.
There is still no support for the development of TV series, so they are mostly produced independently and then sold to the television.
Report by: Tina Šmalcelj (2019)Sources: Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo Film Festival’s Statistics and Analysis Department, Zoran Galić (VizArt production)
MARKET ANALYSIS 2017
Despite the fact that Cinema Law still hasn’t been adopted, which means that Bosnia and Herzegovina still doesn’t have an audiovisual centre, there was a slight stabilisation of the film industry in 2017.
Domestic films released in 2017 reached a record number with six feature films, one minority coproduction, one long animated film and 10 long documentaries. This is the first time since 2001 that more than 13 long films had their premieres in cinemas or at festivals.
Film Center Sarajevo, a public institution founded as the successor of Sutjeska film (the famous public film studio from the Communist era), has finally been unblocked after years of stalemate caused by mismanagement, and a new acting director Jasmin Duraković has been appointed.
The Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina still fills the gap left by the lack of film infrastructure and in 2017, beside its annual activities, which include for example organising the BH Film Programme as part of the Sarajevo Film Festival, it came out with two new projects - Filmmakers’ Location Guide and Base of BH Film. These two projects present the country as a possible filming location, offer industry information (including statistics and an industry address book) and provide information on Bosnian and Herzegovinian films since 1996, with plans to expand in 2018.
Several films were produced in 2017 and can be expected to premiere in 2018.
A Good Day for Work by Martin Turk, a character-driven social drama telling the story of an ordinary man struggling to find his place in life, was produced by Obala Art Centar as part of the Sarajevo City of Film for Global Screens initiative.
In 2017 VizArt Film completed the shooting on Marko Šipka’s long documentary Earth / Zemlja, which was included in Berlinale Doc Station in 2017.
Sarajevo-born Ena Sendijarević finished the photography for her debut feature Somewhere Nice, produced by Dutch company Pupkin with SCCA/pro.ba servicing.
Principal photography on Stitches / Šavovi directed by Miroslav Terzić and coproduced by Kombajn Film and Pakt Media with West End Production, Nora Production and SCCA/pro.ba, was also completed in 2017.
The biggest success of 2017 was Men Don’t Cry / Muškarci ne plaču, the debut film by Alen Drljević, produced by Deblokada in coproduction with Iridium Film, Produkcija Živa, Manderley Films, This and That and CinePlanet. This film about a group of war veterans attending group therapy in an isolated mountain hotel premiered at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award and the Europa Cinemas Label Award.
Men Don’t Cry was the only domestic film theatrically released in 2017 alongside the Croatian/Bosnian and Herzegovinian coproduction Dead Fish / Mrtve ribe directed by Kristijan Milić and produced by Eurofilm and Oktavijan.
With 2,366 admissions and 6,584.16 EUR / 12,877.5 KM gross in regular cinema distribution, Men Don’t Cry proved to be more popular in cinemas than both Dead Fish with 44 admissions and 119.64 EUR / 234 KM gross and Danis Tanović’s Death in Sarajevo / Smrt u Sarajevu (SCCA/pro.ba, Margo Films), that was the only domestic film in cinemas in 2016 and had 1,641 admissions and 4,204 EUR / 8,222 KM gross.
In 2017 the premiere of the first BH long animated film Birds like Us / Ptice kao mi, directed by Faruk Šabanović and Amela Ćuhara, and produced by Prime Time Production, was a real success. With three short animated films to accompany this success, it seems that things are looking up for Bosnian animation.
Three more debut films had their premieres at festivals in 2017: Frog / Žaba, directed by Elmir Jukić and produced by Refresh in coproduction with Skopje Film Studio, Living Pictures and Propeler film; Nothing But a Wind / Ništa, samo vjetar, directed by Timur Makarević and produced by SCCA/pro.ba with Chinema Film, Skorpion Arte, Digital Cube, and 3 Women or (Waking up From My Bosnian Dream), directed by Sergio Flores Thorija and produced by Lucia Film and the Sarajevo Film Academy. These films have not been released in domestic cinemas yet.
Aida Begić’s new film about Syrian refugees in Turkey, Never Leave Me / Birakma Beni, opened at the Antalya Film Festival. It was produced by Film House.
Jasmin Duraković’s The Final Barrier / Posljednja barijera, produced by Artdelux, Depo Production and Media Acquisitions, also premiered at festivals in 2017.
A total of 237 films premiered in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2017 and another 17 from 2016 continued distribution. With a total of 158 films released in 2015 and 194 in 2016, this shows a constant rise in distribution.
Three distribution companies, Blitz Film & Video Distribution, Una Film and 2iFilm, dominated the market in 2017, with 83.8% market share, compared to 71% in 2016.
Bosnia and Herzegovina hosted the 23rd Sarajevo Film Festival in 2017, as well as a number of smaller film festivals.
There were no significant changes in 2017. Most films in Bosnia and Herzegovina are still screened in five multiplexes: Cinema City in Sarajevo, Cineplexx Palas in Banja Luka, CineStar Mostar in Mostar, Multiplex Ekran in Zenica and CineStar Bihać in Bihać.
Cinema City, Cineplexx Palas and Multiplex Ekran are part of the Europa Cinemas Network..
The most important art house cinema, with a predominantly European programme, is Cinema Meeting Point, that is also a member of the Europa Cinemas Network. The cinema is run by the Obala Art Center, the organisation behind the Sarajevo Film Festival.
Operation Kino, a cinema-on-wheels project organised by the Sarajevo Film Festival, is still operational, bringing high quality cinema to all parts of the country, with the accent on communities that have no infrastructure for regular film screenings.
In 2017 the biggest box office hits, as well as the films with the biggest attendance in cinemas in Bosnia and Herzegovina, were produced in the US. Slight differences can only be visible in the box office top ten, as tickets vary from cinema to cinema and depend on the type of screening.
The highest grossing films in 2017 were: Fast and Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious (with 108,353 EUR / 211,921 KM gross), Beauty and the Beast (92,783 EUR / 181,468 KM gross), Fifty Shades Darker (86,944 EUR / 170,048 KM gross), Murder on the Orient Express (76,914 EUR / 150,431 KM gross), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (74,576 EUR / 145,858 KM gross), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (69,814 EUR / 136,545 KM gross), Despicable Me 3 (69,665 EUR / 136,233 KM gross), The Boss Baby (68,193 EUR / 133,374 KM gross), Smurfs: The Lost Village (60,170 EUR / 117,684 KM gross) and Thor: Ragnarok (58,971 EUR / 115,338 KM gross).
Total admissions increased by 17.81 percent from 919,016 admissions in 2016 to 1,082,708 admissions in 2017. Total box office increased by 21 percent from 2,395,166 EUR / 4,684,479 KM in 2016 to 2,897,107 EUR / 5,666,249 KM in 2017.
Admissions to domestic films increased by 46.9 percent from 1,641 admissions in 2016 to 2,410 admissions in 2017. Domestic films’ gross increased by 59.5 percent from 4,204 EUR / 8,222 KM in 2016 to 6,708 EUR / 13,121.5 KM in 2017.
Trying to adapt to the needs of the industry, the Film Fund opened the call for applications for development, coproduction and production of feature films and short fiction films, animated and documentary films, earlier in 2017, so the list of supported projects was announced in November 2017.
The production of two feature films and three documentaries was supported, as well as the production of seven short films. Once again, the Film Fund supported the production of four minority coproductions from Croatia (two of them), Serbia and Macedonia.
The negative trend of cutting funds available for film production stopped this year, as the Film Fund allocated the same amount as in 2016 (651,374 EUR) to production companies from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
However, in 2017 the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska allocated a shockingly small amount of 30,677 EUR for filmmakers from the smaller entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
No new legislation was adopted in 2017, leaving the film industry in the same complicated situation it has been in for years.
Television stations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially three main public channels, Radio Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Radio Television of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Radio Television of Republika Srpska, produce short and long documentaries, but none of them funds feature films.
Al Jazeera Balkans is still involved in documentary film production, supporting further development of documentary filmmaking in the country on a big scale.
Although there is no support for the development of TV series and they are still mostly produced independently and then sold to television, TV stations decide to get involved in production from time to time. In 2017 the Radio Television of Republika Srpska coproduced nine episodes of The Meat / Meso by Saša Hajduković, that should eventually be turned into a film.
Report by: Tina Šmalcelj (2018)Sources: Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo Film Festival Industry Office, Zoran Galić (VizArt production)
HELSINKI: The Finnish Film Foundation (www.ses.fi) awarded over 1.6 million euros in funding for six feature films in the May 2012 grants round, and an additional 675,000 euros funding for one feature film in the April grants round.
The following films received funding:
ABOVE DARK WATERS (TUMMAN VEDEN PÄÄLLÄ)
The movie, based on the novel with the same title by actor Peter Franzén, is a touching and sensitive story of growin up in Northern Finland. A small boy opens his eyes in the morning, astonished by the sunlight. The family life is as usual; meals together, playing with siblings and other kids. Everything appears to be familiar, almost idyllic. But the boy starts to hear noises during the nights; arguments and crying. The father disappears, the mother takes the kids to the grandparents' house. The child trusts his parents, unconditionally, admiring their wisdom and experience, full of hope and faith in the future. But what happens to the child when this image breaks? When the threats and fear become a daily routine?
Above Dark Waters is a sensitive but simultaneously hilarious story. Franzén captures the view of the world of a child with great detail; the story consists of small observations and eventually evolves to a great drama where childhood is no longer what it was supposed to be.
Director: Peter Franzén Script: Peter Franzén Producers: Markus Selin, Jukka Helle Cinematography: Hena Bolmberg Shooting schedule: August 2012, January 2013 Distribution in Finland: Oy Nordisk Film AB Budget: 1 490 000,00 € Total support of the Finnish Film Foundation: 630 000 EUR Production company: Solar Films Inc (www.solarfilms.com)
THE ONLY ONES (NE AINOAT OIKEAT)
The Only Ones is a romantic comedy about a woman who finally finds her "Only One", but then the man mysteriously disappears. Her next great love appears, but happens to also be the Prime Minister of Finland. Director: Saara Cantell Script: Outi Keskevaari Producer: Jarkko Hentula Shooting schedule: 09-10/2012 and 12/2012 Premiere: 25.12.2013 Distribution in Finland: Oy Nordisk Film AB Financing TV company: MTV 3 Budget: 1 490 000,00 € Total support of the Finnish Film Foundation: 700 000,00 € Production company: Yellow Film & TV (www.yellowfilm.fi)
CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN MEN (MIESTEN VÄLISIÄ KESKUSTELUJA)
After eight successful satiric novels about Finnish politicians and cultural life Kari Mairisaari quit writing his ninth novel about the True Finns party members. Instead he starts writing a book about a bus mechanic. Not just about an average handyman, either. Vlatkosta, a 36-year-old Croat from Espoo, who is one day picked up to answer to war crimes charges.
Mairisaari has been following a Rwanda genocide trial at Porvoo city court and he's concerned about the questions, "Doesn't 15 years deacent life pay anything back?", " What does a young man feel after taking another person's life?"
Writing a novel is a serious challenge to Mairisaari. Could he walk the path where he has to relearn how to navigate through and to put at risk all that he has so far achieved? Does he have courage to create art that has a real meaning - for himself and for the reader?
Director: Jarmo Lampela Shooting schedule: 10.3.2010-3.3.2011 Premiere: Autumn 2012 Distribution in Finland: Pirkanmaa Film Centre Total support of the Finnish Film Foundation: 25 900,00 € Production company: Vegetarian Films
The country gains confidence as it fights to secure its riches. Professional diver Peder is obsessed about reaching the bottom of the Norwegian Sea. Along with his brother Knut, he has the discipline, strength and courage necessary for the world's most dangerous job. A test dive to below 500 meters is compared to Norway's moon landing, and is meant to convince sceptics that laying a pipeline to the mainland is possible. For Peder, the question isn't whether it's feasible, but who'll take part. Then a tragic accident changes everything, and sends Peder on a journey, where he gradually loses sight of who's pulling which strings.
Director: Erik Skjoldbjærg Script: Hans Gunnarsson, Cathinka Nicolaysen, Kathrine Valen Zeiner Shooting schedule: 1.9.-15.12.2012 Premiere: 10/2013 Distribution in Finland: Oy Nordisk Film AB Financing TV companies: NRK, SVT, ZDF World sales: TrustNordisk Budget: 5 555 559,00 € Total support of the Finnish Film Foundation: 150 000,00 € Production company: Friland Produksjon AS (Norway) Co-production company: Matila Röhr Nordisk Oy (Finland)
DETECTIVE OFFICE LASSEMAJA - THE SEVEN WONDERS (LASSEMAJAS DETEKTIVBYRÅ - DE SJU UNDERVERKEN)
Lasse and Maija have decided to take some time off from their detective duties and go on a holiday. Nevertheless they end up in the middle of strange events. The lady Lilly Sparvén arrives in Valleby and has her seven diamonds with her. After many incidents Lasse and Maija are accused for beeing responsible of the diamond's disappearance. Now the holiday has to wait, as Lasse and Maija have to find who the real diamond thief is.
Director: Valter Söderlund Script: Peter Arrhenius Shooting schedule: September-October 2012 Premiere: Autumn 2013 Distribution in Finland: FS Film Oy Financing TV company: SVT, MTV3 Budget: 1 387 000,00 € Total support of the Finnish Film Foundation: 100 000,00 € Production company: AB Svensk Filmindustri (Sweden) Co-production company: Kinoproduction Oy (Finland)
Urho Kaleva Kekkonen, the long-time president of the Republic of Finland, is scheduled to visit Alli's Bar on his way to northern Finland. He is blindly worshiped and the nearer the visit draws, the more envy, competition and dirty tricks we see in a small town.
Director: Marja Pyykkö Script: Elias Koskimies (based on a novel by Pia Pesonen) Shooting schedule: August-September 2012 Premiere: Autumn 2013 Distribution in Finland: Oy Nordisk Film Ab Total support of the Finnish Film Foundation: 675 000,00 € Production company: Solar Films Inc.
Report after The Finnish Film Foundation (www.ses.fi).
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