Market Analysis

Market Analysis (21)

MARKET ANALYSIS 2016

Malta saw a somewhat quieter year in 2016, albeit still managing to attract a few names and productions of note, and making significant steps towards the establishment of film as a medium of indigenous creative expression, artistic appreciation and academic inquiry.

PRODUCTION

Local film production saw two feature films made and benefiting from financial incentives from the Malta Film Commission: Peter Sant’s Maneland, an allegorical film about a king who lives with his three daughters in an island bunker, and Mark Doneo’s The Weeping House of Qala produced by his own Mad Movies Productions, a ghost story based on an urban legend about a dilapidated house.

U-Film resumed work on their miniseries entitled The Mystery of the Brittanic, completing episodes 2, 3 and 4, with Evgeny Tomashov and Sergey Veksler taking turns in the director’s chair. The same company also serviced Bulgarian director Javor Gardev’s Ikariya, a Russian sci-fi thriller based on the myth of Daedalus and Icarus.

Lana Wachowski brought Daryl Hannah and the rest of the Sense8 cast to shoot a special episode of the Netflix series, which was serviced by Pearly Gates. Another key figure, Gabriele Salvatores, filmed parts of Indigo Film and Rai Cinema’s Invisible Boy 2 / Il Ragazzo Invisible: Fratelli, with Valeria Golino. Latina Pictures took care of the shoot in Malta.

The largest foreign production was a retelling of the 1976 hijacking and subsequent rescue in the eponymous Entebbe, with José Padilha (Bus 174, RoboCop) calling the shots, and featuring Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl. Pellikola serviced the production for Working Title Films. Another remake, Papillon, brought Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek to Malta for a five-day shoot in the tanks at Malta Film Studios and at a cliff-side location. Red Granite pictures appointed the Producer’s Creative Partnership, which handled the production with Twenty13.

Schiwago Film and Amour Fou steered Wolfgang Fischer’s Styx towards Malta, filming in open water around the islands, and using the storm generation facilities at Malta Film Studios. Starring Susanne Wolff and Gedion Wekesa Oduor, the film narrates the transformation of a strong woman on a solo sailing trip. Small Island Films took charge of operations in Malta, again in collaboration with Twenty13.

A mini-series based on the 1996 Yohan migrant tragedy, The Ghosts of Portopalo / I Fantasmi di Portopalo, again used the aquatic facilities at MFS. With Beppe Fiorello in the lead, the Picomedia production teamed up with the Producer’s Creative Partnership.

The Mystery of Britannic seriesTelevision series constituted a significant percentage of productions that used Malta as a base for any length of time. Paul Parker handled the Smithsonian Channel and ZDF-backed Warrior Women: The Gladiatrix Episode for Urban Canyons. Katrina Samut-Tagliaferro in turn took care of the Christmas Special for the long-running BBC series Birds of a Feather, featuring Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson. The Bravest / Danmarks Modigste, a large-scale endurance game show produced by Copenhagen-based Mastiff A/S, used the deep-water tank at the MFS as a set in itself, along with several other locations around Malta. Specialist Rock Productions helped make it happen.

Stargate Studios Malta, the key VFX provider in Malta, kept the ball rolling with three substantial jobs. The Embassy / La Embajada extended Stargate’s long-running relationship with Spanish studios, recreating Thailand on a Spanish set for Bambú Producciones. Canada-based Leif Films returned to the company with a work order for two biblical films: Joseph and Mary with Kevin Sorbo and Lara Jean Chorostecki in the lead roles, and The Apostle Peter: Redemption with familiar faces of John Rhys-Davies as Peter and Stephen Baldwin as Nero.

DISTRIBUTION

Rebecca Cremona’s Simshar kept on travelling with screenings in the UK in conjunction with We Are beyond Cinema, and in France with Visiosfeir Distribution. Festivals took the film to Chicago, New York, Leuven, France, Naples, Nice, Stockholm, Prague, Annaba, Zagora, Ashdod, New Delhi, Dubai, Singapore, and Trinidad and Tobago. And in time for the holiday season, the film made it to DVD.

Simshar’s online presence in the US and Canada spread to several networks including iTunes, Xbox, Amazon, Google Play, Time Warner Cable, AMC and the Sundance Channel, some of which made the film available to subscribers in Europe. The film was also picked up by regional networks like the Croatian B.net, Du in Dubai, OTE TV in Greece, MTN in South Africa, CableNet in Cyprus, SBB in Serbia, Solo in Nigeria and Telekom Slovenije.

GRANTS AND LEGISLATION

The Ministry of Tourism, under whose remit falls the Malta Film Commission, launched the first National Film Policy in January 2016, amid criticism that whilst a step in the right direction and inviting discussion on the preservation of film heritage, it did not go far beyond generic statements.

Released after a consultative process launched in the last quarter of 2015, the document assessed the current situation in the servicing industry, the local production situation, and the education possibilities available, making fairly generic forward-looking statements in each case. In particular, the report identified anomalous employment conditions in the servicing industry, particularly with the long hours crews were expected to work, but took a cautious approach in advocating changes.

The Malta Film Fund opened its yearly call in April and distributed 230,914 EUR in funds, split as follows:

Section Number of Projects Total Funds Awarded
Writers’ Grant 1 4,945 EUR
Development Grant 1 30,000 EUR
Production Grant: Short Films, New Talent - -
Production Grant: Short Films 4 75,969 EUR
Production Grant: Feature Films 1 120,000 EUR

On the occasion of Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2017 and Valletta’s tenure as European Capital of Culture in 2018, the Film Fund launched a surprise call in August 2016, making a further 250,000 EUR available albeit for production only. Results are expected to be released in February 2017. In conjunction with Arts Council Malta, Malta Film Commission also announced in December the intention to introduce Distribution Support in 2017.

Simshar by Rebecca CremonaUniversity of Malta's Master of Arts in Film Studies programme, funded by the Ministry of Tourism and the Malta Film Commission, saw first films made under the tutorship of Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia (writer-directors of Salvo, 2013 Grand Prix winner at the Semaine de la Critique), Scott Graham (writer-director of 2012 BAFTA-nominated Shell) and cinematographers Francesco Di Giacomo and Federico Angelucci. Robin Hardy gave a masterclass and presented the restored version of his acclaimed 1973 film The Wicker Man, his last public appearance before passing away in July 2016.

The sophomore edition of the Valletta Film Festival, with the support of the Malta Film Commission, had Sir Alan Parker as its patron, presenting a screening of Midnight Express (1978) in the same location it was filmed in. Jurors Carolina Hellsgard, Cosmina Stratan, Tamer El Said, Valery Rosier and Brontis Jodorowsky selected Måns Månsson’s The Yard as best film, and Laila Pakalnina, Yves Jeanneau and Hrönn Marinósdóttir laurelled Pablo Iraburu and Migueltxo Molina’s Walls as best documentary. Sidebar events included an international conference on the Cinema of Small European Nations.

Arts Council Malta, through its Culture Partnership Agreement, awarded funds for a three-year period to the Film Grain Foundation as organisers of the Valletta Film Festival, to Kinemastik (Kinemastik Short Film Festival) and to the Malta Film Foundation (Malta Short Film Festival).

TV

Malta has nine television channels, two of which are state-owned (TVM, TVM2), two are run by the main political parties (ONENet), and the rest are private. Three of the private channels have a General Interest Objectives licence (Smash TV, f LivingXejk), and the remaining two (iTV, Owners’ Best) are teleshopping channels. The national regulators are the Malta Broadcasting Authority for content and the Malta Communications Authority for matters related to transmission and the service providers.

Transmission is digital and, depending on the provider, via cable, terrestrial wireless, or IPTV. All GIO stations (public and private) are broadcast on a free-to-air platform managed by Public Broadcasting Services Ltd, the national organisation which runs all state-owned broadcast media.

PBS has a public service obligation, for which it was given a budget of 3,900,000 EUR in 2016, and through which it issues a yearly call for programmes of a diverse nature.

Styx by Wolfgang Fischer, Credit: Mark CassarThe National Book Council held its second annual short film contest with PBS, making available 7,000 EUR in production funds and 1,000 EUR in rights, to adapt a Maltese literary work for the screen. The project for 2016 was Il-Kompliċi, directed by Ryan Gatt from a short-story by Walid Nabhan.

Foreign television channels are readily available via cable, satellite and digital terrestrial transmission. And yet, Broadcasting Authority surveys, held thrice yearly, show that TVM, ONE and Net have retained their position at the top of viewership tables. Channels from Italian state broadcaster RAI, as well as Mediaset stations, fill in the subsequent slots, maintaining a long historical tradition of Maltese viewership. Overall, Maltese channels attracted an average of 66.87% of audience share (an increase of 3.05 points over 2015). Missing from the surveys, for reasons of understandable difficulty in quantification, is the number of viewers that in 2016 had taken to watching foreign programming, US series in particular, on un-licensed streaming services on their computers or through Android TV boxes. Netflix reached Maltese shores in January 2016, but statistics for the first year have not been made publicly available.

  February 2016 July 2016 October 2016
Channel Rank Percentage Rank Percentage Rank Percentage
TVM 1 39.05 1 36.56 1 33.47
ONE 2 14.18 2 18.12 2 18.95
Net 4 10.74 4 8.14 5 9.68
Smash 15 0.33 13 0.42 13 0.29
TVM 2 10 2.04 11 1.29 7 2.62
iTV 14 0.39 14 0.41 12 0.31
f Living 11 1.19 12 1.00 10 0.50
Xejk 16 0.33 15 0.19 - -
Owners’ Best - - - - 14 0.14
Parliament TV 17 0.24 - - - -
Sub [%]   68.49   66.15   65.96
Rai Chs. 6, 12, 13 6.61 6, 10, 17 5.54 6 4.21
Mediaset 5, 7, 9 10.40 5, 7, 9 10.16 3 13.38
BBC - - - - 9 1.71
Discovery Chs. 8 2.46 8 2.63 8 2.37
MTV 18 0.20 16 0.12 11 0.46
Other Station 3 11.84 3 15.41 4 11.91
Sub [%]   31.51   33.85   34.04
Total   100   100   100

Source: Malta Broadcasting Authority

From the locally-made programming crop, drama remains the most popular format, consistently hitting the topmost slots. Strada Stretta from Sharp Shoot Media, a period series set in a particular Valletta street known for its hedonistic entertainment in Malta’s days as a British Colony, vied for first rank with Ċaqqufa, a series on female empowerment from Watermelon Media.

    February 2016 July 2016 October 2016
Channel Programme Rank Percentage Rank Percentage Rank Percentage
TVM Strada Stretta 1 14.23 2 9.11 1 14.29
TVM Ċaqqufa 2 13.71 1 9.53 - -
TVM Katrina 3 12.13 3 8.39 - -
TVM Ħbieb u Għedewwa 4 8.78 4 8.28 2 11.84
TVM Tereża - - - - 3 9.77

CONTACTS:

MALTA FILM COMMISSION
St Rocco Street
Kalkara KKR 9062
Malta
Phone: +356 2180 9135
www.maltafilmcommission.com 
Engelbert Grech, Film Commissioner
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Jean Pierre Borg, PR & Marketing Executive
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Warrior Women. Copyright: Urban CanyonsCREATIVE EUROPE DESK MALTA
21, Chateau de la Ville
Archbishop Street
Valletta VLT1443
Malta
Phone: +356 2567 4210
www.creativeeuropemalta.eu 
Lisa Gwen Baldacchino, Head
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ARTS COUNCIL MALTA
Casa Scaglia
16, Mikiel Anton Vassalli Street
Valletta VLT 1311
Phone: + 356 2339 7000
www.artscouncilmalta.org 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Report: Kenneth Scicluna (2017)
Sources: Malta Film Commission, The Times of Malta, The Malta Independent, Malta Today, IMDb, Official Facebook Pages for Simshar, Limestone Cowboy, Filmed in Malta, Stargate Malta, Valletta Film Festival, University of Malta, Arts Council Malta, National Book Council, Malta Broadcasting Authority, Malta Communications Authority, Ministry for Finance.


Malta Country Profile

By Kenneth Scicluna

VALLETTA: Malta celebrated 90 years of filmmaking in 2015 with several milestones.

Michael Bay’s 13 Hours crowned, in terms of the 50m USD it left behind, a bumper crop of foreign productions that sought to film in Malta, 16 of which benefitted from the Malta Film Commission’s attractive incentive scheme. Other notable names that worked on the island in 2015 include Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac in Terry George’s The Promise, Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz in James Marsh’s The Mercy, and Michael Fassbender in Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed.

The Ministry for Tourism, responsible for the film commission, launched a draft National Film Policy along with a consultation process that eventually led to a document that was received with mixed feelings.  On the plus side, the MFC also signed agreements with the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology, as well as the University of Malta, with the aim of creating a strong skill base. In the latter case this led to the launch of a hybrid Master of Arts programme in Film Studies with a practical component. Another initiative by the MFC brought together a crew composed of trainees to create a feature film, 20,000 Reasons, under the tutorship of Film London’s Microwave International programme, which was released locally in 2016.

Rebecca Cremona’s Simshar produced by Kukumajsa Productions Ltd won awards at festivals and gained distribution online in Tunisia and in Australia, and the second feature expected to attract foreign attention, Abigail Mallia’s Limestone Cowboy produced by Take2 Entertainment, entered a long phase of postproduction work. The difficulties of indigenous filmmaking in smaller countries were brought to European attention with a special session at the European Parliament, focussing on Malta and Croatia.

Cinema audiences increased by 8% over the previous year, overwhelmingly opting for US films, with European films getting a lukewarm reception and local productions little more than a sidelong glance overall, even though Simshar was popular with audiences. On the other hand, the Valletta Film Festival got off to a great start with Roland Joffé heading an international jury.

PRODUCTION

Two feature films of note were made in 2015, both with significant involvement from the Malta Film Commission and the Malta Film Fund that it administers. 

Abigail Mallia, a name known locally for above-par television drama, steered her Limestone Cowboy, part-financed with 90,000 EUR from the MFF, into postproduction. Based on a local political dark horse, the film attracted substantial attention throughout its gestation period due to the popularity of the actors featured and the involvement of substantial amounts of extras. Hopes for a 2015 release, teased by the periodic release of production stills, did not materialise however, with the film having its first screening during the 2016 Valletta Film Festival.

Jameson Cucciardi’s 20,000 Reasons, from a script by Malcolm Galea, was the fruit of a long training scheme masterminded by the film commission in conjunction with Film London’s Microwave International programme, and a budget of 200,000 EUR sourced from a European Social Fund scheme. Seeking to bolster skills across the board, the crew benefitted from mentorship throughout the various stages of the process with the film eventually reaching local screens in 2016.

U-Film started work on Dark Waters, a documentary series on wrecks in the Mediterranean, the kind of production uniquely posed to create having a sister company called U-Boat, which specialises in underwater research with the aid of two Triton submersibles.

Returned émigré Mario Philip Azzopardi, known for directing episodes of Star Gate, Dinotopia and Degrassi, produced two television films for Canadian eOne in coproduction with his own Ċittadella Films. Titled A Dangerous Arrangement (starring Tamara Duarte and Colm Meaney) and The Red Dress (with John Rhys-Davies and Once Upon a Time’s Sean Maguire), both films were written by Azzopardi, with the former also having him as director. A large part of the cast on both films was Maltese, with Stargate Malta handling visual effects.

Stargate, a rising VFX star this side of the Mediterranean, with strong support from its parent company in Canada, has helped create another pillar of interest for foreign production companies looking at bringing film work to Malta. Beyond the usual attractions of sunlight on the same latitude as Los Angeles, good weather, a variety of locations, marine facilities, and an affordably talented, multilingual cast and crew, the offer of high-grade value-for-money visual effects has been creating its own particular kind of business, which is no longer dependent on physical locations. In fact, most of the material that Stargate handled in 2015 was shot on location away from Malta. 

On the other hand, their participation in various projects opened a conduit for elements and scenes, sometimes on a fairly large scale, to be filmed in Malta. Some of the company’s larger projects included Pietro Mennea – La Freccia del Sud (Casanova Multimedia, Milk & Honey, Rai Fiction), I Misteri di Laura (Casanova Multimedia, Mediaset), El Principe (Plano a Plano, Mediaset España), Medici: Masters of Florence (Wild Bunch, Big Light, Lux Vide – with Dustin Hoffman), and You, Me and the Apocalypse (Working Title TV, Big Balls Films, Sky, NBC – with Jenna Fischer and Rob Lowe).

Italy has long found Malta a convenient location for its television series and acclaimed leading man Raoul Bova headed back to produce and star in Fuoco Amico: TF45 (RB Productions), which was serviced by veteran company White Coral Films.

The traditional servicing industry enjoyed an equally prosperous year with several high-profile and lucrative productions spending long periods, and large amounts of cash, on the island.

Latina Pictures serviced Michael Bay’s 13 Hours, which saw the construction of a sprawling set making Malta stand for Benghazi, a hectic six-month schedule and the injection of 50m USD into the local economy. Latina also handled Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed, with Michael Fassbender, which filmed in Valletta on a closely guarded set.

Falkun Films handled Terry George’s film on the Armenian genocide, The Promise, with Charlotte Le Bon, Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac in lead roles, with Valletta this time standing in for Istanbul. The same company also facilitated the production of Stephen Quale’s The Lake with JK Simmons and Diarmaid Murtagh, which made extensive use of the aquatic facilities at the Malta Film Studios.

Russian director Yuriy Moroz brought leading man Maksim Matveyev to Malta to resume his eponymous role in the high-octane series The Gambler. U-Film provided the services, in keeping with the special relationship the company enjoys with the Russian film and television market.

Belgian company Studio 100 returned to Malta to shoot a film, with the assistance of Parker Film & TV, and featuring two characters highly popular with audiences in Flemish Belgium and the Netherlands: Mega Mindy vs Rox.

Small Island Films took care of Philippe de Chauveron’s Débarquement Immédiat!, whilst Twenty13 handled The Mercy, the Donald Donald Crowhurst project directed by James Marsh and featuring Rachel Weisz and Colin Firth.

DISTRIBUTION

Rebecca Cremona’s Simshar went from strength to strength in 2015, a feat remarkable not least because it was the first indigenous film to travel as far, as rapidly, and with as much acclaim as it did.

After finishing 2014 as the most popular Maltese film in local cinemas, and one of the two most popular films overall, Simshar made it again to local screens with a presence spanning the whole year from January to December. The film made it into the official selection of various festivals in Europe, America, Asia and Africa, winning Silver at the California Film Awards, the Silver Dhow at Zanzibar, the Golden Aphrodite at the Cyprus International Film Festival, Best International Feature at Edmonton in Canada, and the Best Director award at Agadir in Morocco.

The true breakthrough came in September 2015 with the general release in Australian cinemas through The Backlot Films, and in Tunisia via Hakka Distribution. Extended several times, the runs lasted until November 2015 down-under and till December 2015 in Tunisia.  Gravitas Ventures acquired the rights for the US and Canada and released it in November 2015 on the major VOD channels, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Time Warner Cable and Comcast.

FILM INSTITUTIONS

In March 2015, the Ministry of Tourism, under whose remit the Malta Film Commission falls, announced the appointment of a consultative council to draft the first national film policy, although the names of those involved were not made public. In September 2015 the draft document was released and a public consultation process launched until October 2015. 

The document assessed the current situation in the film services industry, the local production situation, and the education possibilities available, making fairly generic forward-looking statements in each case. In particular, the report identified anomalous employment conditions in the services industry, particularly with the long hours crew were expected to work, but took a cautious approach in advocating changes. 

The final report was released in January 2016, attracting criticism that, whilst it was a step in the right direction and it cast a glance at the need for a discussion on the preservation of film heritage, it did not go far beyond the generic statements of the draft document.

The Malta Film Fund distributed 243,000 EUR in funds, split as follows:

Section Number of Projects Total Funds Awarded
Writers’ Grant 3 12,400 EUR
Development Grant 1 25,000 EUR
Production Grant: Short Films, New Talent 2 5,000 EUR
Production Grant: Short Films 1 16,000 EUR
Production Grant: Feature Films 3 185,000 EUR

In a drive to bolster film education in Malta, hitherto served by first degrees in media and communication studies at the vocational Malta College of Arts, Sciences and Technology, and at the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences at the University of Malta, the Malta Film Commission signed agreements with both institutions. With MCAST, the commission signed a memorandum of understanding, through which Creative Arts students would be given the opportunity to create several featurettes under the mentorship of the film commission in the various elements required to create the clips.

At the University of Malta, the Ministry of Tourism and the film commission funded the Faculty of Arts to assist it in the setting up of a particular MA in Film Studies programme that aims to provide a solid theoretical and practical base in film.  Tutors in the first year included Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia (writer and directors of Salvo, 2013 Grand Prix winner at the Semaine de la Critique), Scott Graham (writer and director of 2012 Bafta-nominated Shell) and Gigi Roccati (Babylon Sisters, 2016).

The Valletta Film Festival, launched by the Film Grain Foundation, had its first edition in June 2015 and got off to an auspicious start. More than 5,000 tickets were sold for 77 screenings, with master classes also proving popular.

Also in June 2015, Maltese MEP Marlene Mizzi convened a seminar at the European Parliament in Brussels, to discuss the particular problems faced by the smallest filmmaking countries in Europe.  Using Simshar and Dalibor Matanić’s High Sun / Zvizdan (Croatia, Kinorama, kinorama.hr) as test cases, the seminar had Rebecca Cremona, Martina Petrović (Head of the Croatian Creative Europe Desk, Pauline Durand-Vialle (FERA CEO), Engelbert Grech (Malta Film Commissioner), Matteo Zacchetti (Deputy Head, DG Information Society and Media) and European Commissioner Günther Oettinger, as speakers.

The same topic was discussed through aesthetic, practical and academic lenses in September when the itinerant Small Nations Cinema Conference opened its 2015 sessions in Valletta.  Various filmmakers, scholars and practitioners from ancillary arts met to discuss and deliver papers on the particular voices emerging from the smallest filmmaking nations around the world.

Recognising the efforts made during the previous nine decades, Intellect added an edition on Malta to the seminal World Film Locations series, making it the only book to-date to study the productions made in Malta, of local and foreign origin, in relation to the context in which they were filmed.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Ticket sales for Maltese films decreased to 2.9% of total sales in 2015 from 4.2% in 2014.  US films still lead the pack with 79% of seats sold (up from 73% in 2014), with EU films registering a meagre but steady 16%.

A total of 375 different titles were shown, up from 368 in 2014. Attendance overall registered an 8% increase, with ticket sales hitting 704,243 and raking in 4.19m EUR in gross receipts, of which Maltese productions pocketed just 0.1 m EUR. Whereas in 2014 Maltese films attracted the largest audience per film (average of 5,500) and had the greatest exposure (average of 280 screening days), the figures almost halved in 2015 (audience 2,500, screening days 70), losing out to films from the US on audience and hitting a draw on the latter figure.

A winner, in rather relative terms, was the documentary format, climbing up from 121 seats sold for two films, to 5,814 admissions for 15 films. On the other hand, stereoscopic films slid downwards to 9.4% of tickets sold from 12.8%.

TV

Malta has nine television channels, two of which are state-owned (TVM, TVM2), two are run by the main political parties (ONE and Net), and the rest are private. Three of the private channels have a General Interest Objectives licence (Smash TV, f LivingXejk), and the remaining two (iTV, Owners’ Best) are teleshopping channels. The national regulators are the Malta Broadcasting Authority for content and the Malta Communications Authority for matters related to transmission and the service providers.

Transmission is digital and, depending on the provider, via cable, terrestrial wireless, or IPTV. All GIO stations (public and private) are broadcast on a free-to-air platform managed by Public Broadcasting Services Ltd, the national organisation which runs all state-owned broadcast media.

PBS has a public service obligation for which it was given a budget of 3.9m EUR in 2015, and through which it issues a yearly call for programmes of a diverse nature.

The National Book Council launched an annual short film contest with PBS, making available 7,000 EUR in production funds and 1,000 EUR in rights, to adapt a Maltese literary work for the screen. The first project under the scheme was Dar ir-Rummien, directed by Federico Chini from a short story by Pierre J. Mejlak.

Arts Council Malta announced a scheme of its own with a budget of 280,000 EUR. Kultura TV co-finances culturally-relevant works which may be factual or fiction in nature, one-off films or serialised, as long as they are created in coproduction between one of the private television channels and a local production company. Six proposals out of 18 earned sufficient marks and were allocated a total of 184,456 EUR. Creators of televised series also have the option of applying for financing from the Malta Film Fund, although the latter intimates that they are more interested in pushing for material with international marketing potential.

Foreign television channels are readily available via cable, satellite and digital terrestrial transmission. And yet, Broadcasting Authority surveys, held thrice yearly, show that TVM, ONE and Net have retained their position at the top of viewership tables.

Channels from Italian state broadcaster RAI, as well as Mediaset stations, fill in the subsequent slots, maintaining a long historical tradition of Maltese viewership. Overall, Maltese channels attracted an average of 63.82% of audience share. Missing from the surveys, for reasons of understandable difficulty in quantification, is the number of viewers that in 2015 had taken to watching foreign programming, US series in particular, on un-licensed streaming services on their computers or through Android TV boxes. The only indications of a conjecturally substantial size of clandestine viewership came from debates on social media on series that were otherwise not available in Malta, and from the number of adverts for Android receivers. Netflix was still unavailable in 2015, being released to Maltese viewers in January 2016.

  February 2015 July 2015 October 2015
Channel Rank Percentage Rank Percentage Rank Percentage
TVM 1 36.63 1 34.45 1 39.06
ONE 2 17.52 3 15.90 2 14.88
Net 4 8.09 4 8.05 4 8.73
Smash 16 0.23 13 0.70 12 0.52
TVM 2 11 1.03 12 0.82 9 1.49
iTV 15 0.31 15 0.33 18 0.07
f Living 12 0.73 11 0.88 14 0.37
Xejk - - - - 15 0.20
Owners’ Best - - - - 16 0.15
Sub [%]   64.54   61.44   65.47
Rai 1 6 3.91 7 3.27 6 4.76
Rai 2 8 2.32 10 1.47 11 0.88
Rai 3 14 0.33 14 0.54 13 0.37
Rete 4 10 1.18 9 1.73 10 1.10
Canale 5 5 5.35 5 6.99 5 5.66
Italia 1 7 3.81 6 5.00 7 4.08
Discovery Ch. 9 2.22 8 2.96 8 2.91
MTV 13 0.59 17 0.15 17 0.12
Other Station 3 15.76 2 16.45 3 14.64
Sub [%]   35.46   38.56   34.53
Total   100   100   100

From the locally-made programming crop, drama remains the most popular format, consistently hitting the topmost slots. Ċaqqufa, a drama on female empowerment from Watermelon Media vied for first rank with Rewind Productions’ tale on two orphans, Katrina. A drama on a particular Valletta street, known for its hedonistic entertainment in Malta’s days as a British Colony, Strada Stretta from Sharp Shoot Media entered the charts at the fifth slot in October, to quickly climb to the top by February 2016.

    February 2015 July 2015 October 2015
Channel Programme Rank Percentage Rank Percentage Rank Percentage
TVM Ċaqqufa 1 16.09 2 14.63 2 13.84
TVM Katrina 2 13.55 1 15.10 1 14.94
TVM Ħbieb u Għedewwa 4 10.11 4 7.78 4 9.61
TVM Strada Stretta - - - - 5 9.49

CONTACTS

MALTA FILM COMMISSION
St Rocco Street
Kalkara KKR 9062
Malta
Phone: +356 2180 9135
www.maltafilmcommission.com 
Engelbert Grech, Film Commissioner
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Jean Pierre Borg, PR & Marketing Executive
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CREATIVE EUROPE DESK MALTA
21, Chateau de la Ville
Archbishop Street
Valletta VLT1443
Malta
Phone: +356 2567 4210
www.creativeeuropemalta.eu 
Lisa Gwen Baldacchino, Head
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sources: Malta Film Commission, National Statistics Office, The Times of Malta, The Malta Independent, Malta Today, IMDb, Official Facebook Pages for Simshar, Limestone Cowboy, Filmed in Malta, Stargate Malta, Intellect Ltd, Valletta Film Festival, MCAST, University of Malta, Malta Broadcasting Authority
Report by Kenneth Scicluna

Montenegro

Neverending Past by Andro MartinovićMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

PODGORICA: The budget of the Film Centre of Montenegro was 1.1 m EUR in 2019 and will be increased by 40% up to 1.6 m EUR in 2020.

Admissions and box office increased slightly for both domestic and foreign films in 2019.

Two calls were announced by the Film Centre of Montenegro at the end of December 2019: for co-financing of films of cultural significance for Montenegro and co-financing of films for children and youth. The results will be announced in 2020.

The Montenegrin/Serbian coproduction Neverending Past / Između dana i noći directed by Andro Martinović was selected to represent Montenegro at the 92nd Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards in the International Feature Film category.

PRODUCTION

Seven feature films and one short fiction film were completed in Montenegro in 2019.

The list includes the Montenegrin production Get the Sky / Dohvati nebo directed by Milutin Darić Daka and produced by Podtun, the Montenegrin majority coproduction Breasts / Grudi directed by Marija Perović and produced by Open Box Studio (Montenegro) in association with Meander film (Montenegro) and in coproduction with Croatia’s Mitropa and Serbia’s Visionary Thinking, as well as the following minority coproductions: The Son / Sin directed by Ines Tanović and produced by Dokument Sarajevo (Bosnia and Breasts by Marija PerovićHerzegovina) in coproduction with Spiritus Movens (Croatia), Luna Film (Romania), Moono Film (Slovenia) and Cut Up (Montenegro); Mamonga directed by Stefan Malešević and produced by the Sarajevo Film Academy (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in coproduction with Nana 143 (Serbia) and Code Blue Production (Montenegro); The Happiness Effect / Hepines efekt directed by Borjan Zafirovski and produced by Living Pictures (Serbia) in coproduction with Novo Makedonsko Video (North Macedonia), Montenegro Max Film (Montenegro), Lisus Media (Albania) and B2-PR&Soultion (Kosovo); A Common Story / Realna priča directed by Gordan Kičić and produced by Filmkobajn (Serbia) in coproduction with Crossmedia Agency (Montenegro); Ajvar directed by Ana Maria Rossi and produced by Biberche Production (Serbia) in coproduction with Artikulacija Film (Montenegro).

Both Get the Sky by Milutin Darić Daka and Breasts by Marija Perović premiered at the 2019 Montenegro Film Festival.

Four feature films (including majority coproductions) were shot in 2019 and were in postproduction at the beginning of February 2020. The list includes the national production Supermarket directed by Nemanja Bečanović and produced by VHS, and the Montenegrin majority coproductions: The Stork / Roda directed by Isa Qosja and produced by ABHO Film (Montenegro) in coproduction with 4mm (Kosovo), One Draft LLC (Kosovo) and Tunnel Film (Albania); The Elegy of Laurel  / Elegija Lovora directed by Dušan Kasalica and produced by Meander film (Montenegro) in coproduction with Non-Aligned Films (Serbia), as well as After the Winter  / Posle zime directed by Ivan Bakrač and produced by ABHO Film (Montenegro) in coproduction with Artikulacija Film (Montenegro), ABA Film (Montenegro), Akcija Film (Serbia), Biberche Productions (Serbia) and Arizona Productions (France).

Four short films (two fiction and two documentary films) were shot in 2019 and were in postproduction at the beginning of February 2020: DIVA directed by Christophe Jarosz and produced by A Production (Montenegro) in coproduction with Les Films Du Tonnerre (France); Eagles Nest / Orlovsko gnijezdo directed by Milija Šćepanović and produced by Open Box Studio (Montenegro) in coproduction with Zillion Film (Serbia); as well as the short documentaries Librarian / Bibliotekar directed by Branislav Milatović and produced by Bitter Frames, and Soul of Nature directed by Slavko Klikovac and produced by Videa Production.

Ajvar by Ana Marija RossiNo documentaries were shot in 2019 except for The Last Nomad / Posljednji nomad, a Serbian/Montenegrin coproduction directed by Petar Glomazic and produced by CUT-UP doo and Wake Up films, which is still in production.

The Montenegrin Cinématheque is engaged in a documentary film project financed by the Ministry of Culture within the programme of protection and preservation of cultural heritage. The film Putevima dukljanske baštine directed by veteran film author Branko Baletić focuses on the preserved and newly-discovered artifacts of the most important antiquity location in Montenegro.

There are several production companies in Montenegro experienced in working on international productions. Among them are production companies which can help in 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.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 356 films were distributed in cinemas in Montenegro in 2019, including three domestic titles: You Have the Night / Ti imaš noć directed by Ivan Salatić and produced by Montenegro’s Meander Film in coproduction with Serbia’s Non-Aligned Films and in association with Gustav Film; Neverending Past / Između dana i noći directed by Andro Martinović and produced by Montenegro’s Artikulacija Film in coproduction with Serbia’s Zillion Films, and A Common Story / Realna priča directed by Gordan Kičić.

Since 2013 Montenegro has been submitting a film candidate for the Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category, which contributes to the increasing visibility of Montenegrin films on the international scene. 

In 2019 the Montenegrin candidate was the Montenegrin/Serbian coproduction Neverending Past / Između dana i noći directed by Andro Martinović. The film has won five awards at various festivals, including best feature film at the Southeast European (SEE) Real Story by Gordan KičićFestival in Paris, Golden clip for best director at Ravno selo FF and the Special mention at the Green Montenegro IFF (GMIFF).

The main local film distributors are MCF MNE and Taramount film d.o.o.

Camera Lucida, the first and only film magazine in Montenegro, founded in 2010, is published on a quarterly basis in its multilingual editions, providing film reviews and critiques of the latest national and international film productions, written by some of the most distinguished, world-renowned film critics (such as Jean-Michel Frodon, Ronald Bergan, Joan Dupont, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Adrian Martin etc.), homages to the greatest world film authors, retrospectives of film classics, including full major festival reports and interviews with both established film figures and newcomer filmmakers.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

There are two multiplexes in Montenegro, with 10 screens in all, as well as eight other single-screen cinemas.  

In 2019 total admissions were 307,324 and box office was 1,175,315 EUR, compared to 2018, when total admissions were 285,359 and total box office was 1,082,157 EUR. 

In 2019 domestic films had 1,252 admissions and cashed in 4,522 EUR, compared to 996 admissions and 3,348 EUR gross in 2018.

The top five films in cinemas were The Joker (with 19,754 admissions), The Lion King (20,710 admissions), The Balkan Line / Balkanska medja directed by Andreh Volgin, produced by Russia’s Upgrade Vision in coproduction with Russia’s Bless Film, Arhangel Studios, and distributed by Art Vista (15,515 admissions), Serbian Taxi Blues / Taksi Bluz directed by Miroslav Stamatov, produced by Viktorija Film in coproduction with Klan produkcija, d.o.o., and distributed by Art Vista (16,637 admissions), You Have the Night by Ivan SalatićAvengers: Endgame (10,968 admissions).

The top 10 of regional films is topped by the Russian/Serbian coproduction The Balkan Line / Balkanska medja (15,515 admissions), Serbian Taxi Blues / Taksi bluz (16,637 admissions), and Serbian Ekipa directed by Marko Sopic, produced by Cinenašina and distributed by MCF MegaFilmCom (5,974 admissions).

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The Film Centre of Montenegro was established in the last days of 2016 and it has been 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 ranks of experts in film and culture and the fifth one is appointed from among the employees of the Centre. The Centre is financed from both the budget of Montenegro and the Film Fund, generating revenues on the basis of fees paid by entities that, directly or indirectly, exploit cinematographic works.

The following entities are obliged to pay the levy to the Film Fund:

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

Breasts by Marija PerovićIn 2019 the Film Centre of Montenegro supported with 988,000 EUR the production of five feature films, four long documentaries, one short fiction film, one short documentary, one short animated film, one short experimental-documentary film and seven minority coproductions. - see HERE

Five projects received development grants and two projects also received script development grants in 2019.

The Film Centre of Montenegro offers incentives to foreign and national producers shooting in Montenegro. Producers have the possibility to obtain a cash rebate on the invested funds for a film/TV project. The refund can cover up to 25% of eligible expenditures incurred in Montenegro for the making of an audiovisual work.

The right to a cash rebate may be granted to the producer, a coproducer or a production company that performs services. The right to a cash rebate for part of the funds spent on film production can be acquired by a producer for the production of feature, animated and documentary films, TV films and series which are fully or partially produced in Montenegro and which are intended for public presentation.

In 2019 MM production Montenegro received a 25% cash rebate for the TV series Diamond of Bojana / Biser Bojane directed by Milan Karadzic, produced by Serbia’s Vision team.

In 2019 Film Centre of Montenegro conducted two research polls: one on gender equality in the film industry in Montenegro, the results of which were presented at EFARN (European Film Agencies’ Research Network) meeting in Prague in October 2019; and a research on viewing habits among children and young audiences in Montenegro, the results of which will be used for the purposes of Strategy for development of film education.

Two calls were announced by the Film Centre of Montenegro at the end of December 2019 for co-financing of films of cultural significance for Montenegro and co-financing of films for children and youth. The results will be announced in 2020.

The budget of the Film Centre of Montenegro was 1.1 m EUR in 2019 and it will be increased by 40 % up to 1.6 m EUR in 2020.

TV

There are 18 TV channels operating in Montenegro, including three public channels TVCG 1TVCG 2 and TVCG Sat (for the Montenegrin diaspora) and local public channels TV NikšićTV Budva and TV Pljevlja.  

Neverending Past by Andro MartinovićThe most popular commercial TV channels are TV Nova MTV Vijesti and TV Prva. Other commercial channels are: TV Rožaje, Srpska TV, TV 777TV Corona, TV Boin, TV Novi, TV Sun and TV HN. In 2017 the ATLAS TV channel was closed and reformed into a new channel A1 TV in 2018.

According to 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 2018, the Radio Television of Montenegro (RTCG) produced the short film The Road directed by Senad Šahmanović, as well as the TV mini-series Breasts / Grudi directed by Marija Perović, which won the Jury's Special Prize at the Seoul International Drama Awards 2019. The film under the same title, Breasts / Grudi, was made based on the mini-series, with additional shooting. 

CONTACTS:

FILM CENTRE OF MONTENEGRO
13. Jula, bb, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 (0)20 675 238
www.fccg.me
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

MEDIA DESK MONTENEGRO
13. Jula, bb, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 (0)20 675 238
www.kreativnaevropa.me
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MINISTRY OF CULTURE OF MONTENEGRO - Directorate for Cultural and Artistic Production
Minority coproduction The Happiness Effect by Borjan ZafirovskiUlica Njegoševa bb, 81250 Cetinje, Crna Gora
Phone: +382 (0)41 232 571
www.mku.gov.me
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MONTENEGRIN CINEMATHEQUE
Miljana Vukova 59, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 (0)20 232 016
www.kinoteka.me
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ASSOCIATION OF FILM PRODUCERS AND DIRECTORS OF MONTENEGRO
Novaka Miloševa 42, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 67 568 110
www.afpd.me

CAMERA LUCIDA – Film magazine
Crnogorskih serdara 31, 81000 Podgorica
www.cameralucida.net
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Report by Maja Bogojević (2020)
Sources: the Film Centre of Montenegro, the Montenegrin Cinématheque


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

Iskra by Gojko BerkuljanIn 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.

PRODUCTION

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 You Have the Night by Ivan Salatićtouch 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.

DISTRIBUTION

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.

Lazy Guy by Aleksa Stefan RadunovićDomestic 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.

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:

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

In 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 All Alone by Bobo Jelcic1.2 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.

Borders, Raindrops by Vlastimir Sudar and Nikola MijovićThe 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.

TV

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 NikšićTV 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.

CONTACTS:

FILM CENTRE OF MONTENEGRO
13. Jula, bb, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 (0)20 675 238
www.fccg.me
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

MEDIA DESK MONTENEGRO
13. Jula, bb, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 (0)20 675 238
www.kreativnaevropa.me
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Peloid by Bojan StijovićMINISTRY OF CULTURE OF MONTENEGRO - Directorate for Cultural and Artistic Production
Ulica Njegoševa bb, 81250 Cetinje, Crna Gora
Phone: +382 (0)41 232 571
www.mku.gov.me
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MONTENEGRIN CINEMATHEQUE
Miljana Vukova 59, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 (0)20 232 016
www.kinoteka.me
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

The Books of Knjige: Cases of Justice by Zoran MarkovićProjects 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.

Breasts by Marija PerovićPRODUCTION

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.

Soa by Dušan KasalicaDISTRIBUTION

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.

The main local film distributors are MCF MNE and Taramount film d.o.o.

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.

Dijana Vidusin and Tom Wlaschiha in Escape to the Sea by Veljko Bulajić, copyright: Gral FilmEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

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.

A Balkan Noir by Dražen KuljaninGRANTS 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.

Film Centre of Montenegro is a public institution with the objective of improving and developing Montenegrin cinematography by:

  • creating conditions for film production and coproduction cooperation;
  • creating conditions for the promotion, presentation and integration of contemporary film creativity into regional and international flows;
  • creating favourable conditions for increasing the number and scope of foreign shooting in Montenegro;
  • developing regulations and creating the conditions for the creation of a more favourable business environment and the development of cinematography;
  • participating in the programmes of the European Union and the Council of Europe in the field of cinematography, as well as the realisation of activities arising from the membership in the European and world associations;
  • creating conditions for collecting earmarked funds for the financing of cinematography through a film fund;
  • supressing illegal traffic and use of cinematographic works;
  • improving the measures and activities for the protection of children and youth, gender equality and respecting diversity of members of minorities and other minority national communities;
  • pursuing activities aimed at improving complementary activities;
  • establishing and maintaining a database of statistical data in the cinematography area;
  • performing other activities stemming from the established public interest in cinematography, in accordance with the law and the Memorandum of Association of the Centre.

Iskra by Gojko BerkuljanThe 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 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:

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

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.

After the Winter by Ivan BakračThe 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.

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.

Neverending Past by Andro MartinovićAs 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:

  • to be recorded in Montenegrin or in one of the languages in the official use in Montenegro;
  • that the director, screenwriter or the majority of the team of authors are from Montenegro;
  • to be entirely or predominantly recorded on the territory of Montenegro;
  • to capture a theme from the cultural environment of Montenegro;
  • to be produced by a national producer or in cooperation with one or more national coproducers;
  • that the majority of the members of the film team are from Montenegro;
  • to be produced in coproduction with foreign producers in accordance with the provisions of the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production.

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.

The competition may not co-finance ordered or programme films, educational films, film marketing and advertising films.

You Have the Night by Ivan SalatićThe 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 Books of Knjige: Cases of Justice by Zoran MarkovićThe 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:

  • funds spent for the realisation of the cinematographic work in Montenegro are not provided from the budget of Montenegro or the Centre and are not less than 100,000 EUR;
  • all legally prescribed taxes, contributions and other fiscal obligations have been previously settled in Montenegro;
  • bankruptcy or winding-up proceedings have not been initiated against the producer;
  • a producer or coproducer has at least one feature film that was shown to the public.

Breasts by Marija PerovićThe 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.

TV

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 NikšićTV 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.

 Soa by Dušan KasalicaAccording 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 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.

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.

CONTACTS:

FILM CENTRE OF MONTENEGRO
13. Jula, bb, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 (0)20 675 238
www.fccg.me
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MEDIA DESK MONTENEGRO
13. Jula, bb, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 (0)20 675 238
www.kreativnaevropa.me
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A Balkan Noir by Dražen KuljaninMINISTRY OF CULTURE OF MONTENEGRO - Directorate for Cultural and Artistic Production
Ulica Njegoševa bb, 81250 Cetinje, Crna Gora
Phone: +382 (0)41 232 571
www.mku.gov.me
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MONTENEGRIN CINEMATHEQUE
Miljana Vukova 59, 81000 Podgorica
Phone: +382 (0)20 232 016
www.kinoteka.me
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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
Sources: Film Centre of Montenegro

goEast 2017: Hello, Gurus - Goodbye, Hate!

New Festival Section: goEast Gurus // Competitions, Awards & Juries // OPPOSE OTHERING! // Registering for Accreditation

goEast GURUS

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.

Screen Shot 2017 03 02 at 14.06.24

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.

OPPOSE OTHERING!

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:

NOISE Film PR
Mirjam Wiekenkamp & Saskia April Kluge
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North Macedonia

Honeyland by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir StefanovMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

SKOPJE: It was a truly exciting year for Macedonian cinematography with great box office results, international success for feature and documentary films, worldwide distribution for domestic titles and their participation in more than 200 film festival selections, and over 60 awards.

Honeyland / Medena zemja directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov won three awards at the Sundance International Film Festival, where it had its world premiere, and it has been screened in more than 50 film festivals worldwide, scooping more than 20 awards, alongside a nomination in the European Documentary 2019 category of the European Film Awards..

The film was the official Macedonian submission for an Oscar in the Best International Feature Film category and on 13 January 2020 it was nominated for the Academy Awards in Best Documentary Feature and Best International Feature Film categories. It is not only the first time when a Macedonian film gets two Oscars nominations, but it is also the first time in the history of the Oscars when a documentary is nominated in two categories.

Teona Strugar Mitevska’s God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya / Gospod postoi, imeto I e Petrunija, which had its world premiere in the Competition at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, was later distributed in 28 countries worldwide. North Macedonia had a film in the official competition at the Berlin International Film Festival for the first time in the last 20 years. God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya was selected for over 70 festivals and won 25 awards. It also received the European Parliament LUX Prize 2019.

Young Macedonian director Eleonora Veninova’s short film The Sign was selected for the 51st Directors’ Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival. The Sign was among the five films selected to launch the 2019 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight within the collaborative project the South East European Factory.

God Exists Her Name is Petrunija by Teona Strugar MitevskaRenowned Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski’s sixth feature film Willow / Vrba had its world premiere at the Rome FF in October, and it gathered 26,000 admissions domestically in one month. In 2019 Milcho Manchevski celebrated 25 years since the premiere of his debut feature Before the Rain / Pred dozdot (a Macedonian/British/French coproduction produced by Poligram), which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

The year 2019 ended with another Sundance Film Festival selection. Georgi M. Unkovski’s short film Sticker / Nalepnica was selected to compete in the International Narrative Short Films section of the festival’s 2020 edition.

In June 2019, Hisni Ismaili was named new Minister of Culture.

PRODUCTION

In 2019 North Macedonia produced seven feature films, six of them supported by the North Macedonia Film Agency.

Willow by Milcho ManchevskiIgor Ivanov launched the production of his third feature film Homo, a coproduction between North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovenia and Kosovo, in March 2019. The film is produced by Skopje Film Studio, while Bulgaria’s Gala Film, Belgrade-based Art & Popcorn, Slovenia’s Iridium Film and Kosovo’s Trigger are coproducing.

Stojan Vujicic shot his debut feature Stela, the first Macedonian feature film for children and also the first eco (green) production in North Macedonia. The film was shot in the summer of 2019, produced by Dream Factory in coproduction with Serbian Akcija Production and German MOUNA GmbH Film & Media Studio.

Macedonian Sektor Film finished work on The Hardest Thing / Najteskoto nesto, the first Macedonian film in the Turkish language, directed by the acclaimed Turkish director Serdar Akar. The film is a coproduction with Turkish NTC Medya. The release is planned for 2020.

Vardan Tozija launched the production on his second feature film M. The coming of age fantasy drama was shot from August to September 2019, produced by Focus Pocus in coproduction with Croatia’s 4 Film, Kosovo’s In My Country and Greek 2|35. The premiere is planned for the second half of 2020.

In October 2019, Kristijan Risteski wrapped filming on his debut feature Snow White Dies at the End / Snezana umira na krajot, produced by Vertigo Visual. The premiere is scheduled for 2020.

Dina Duma finished shooting her debut feature Sister / Sestra, an intimate drama about testing the limits of friendship, in December 2019. The film is produced by List Production and coproduced by Videa Production (Montenegro) and Added Value Films SH.P.K. (Kosovo).

One more independent low-budget feature was shot in the summer of 2019 – I Love You, I Swear / Te dua, zimi mene, the second feature by Marjan Gavrilovski, which was produced by PEAK Production.

The Serbian/Macedonian/Croatian/Slovenian/Montenegrin/German coproduction Heavens Above / Nebesa by Srđan Dragojević began production in 2019. The beginning and the end of the film were shot in North Macedonia in a total of nine shooting days. The film is produced by Delirum Films Beograd (Serbia) and coproduced by Studio Dim, Sektor Film, Forum Ljubljana, Max Film and Ma.ja.de. Fiction. The release is planned for August 2020.

The Kosovo/North Macedonia/Albania coproduction Vera Dreams of the Sea / Vera sonuva za more, directed by Kaltrina Krasniqi, completed filming in 2019. The film is produced by Isstra Creative Factory (XK) in coproduction with Dream Factory Macedonia M by Vardan Tozija(MK) and Papadhimitri Production (AL).

The Stork / Roda by writer/director Isa Qosja also began production in 2019. The film is produced by Montenegro’s Artikulacija Film in coproduction with ABHO Film and Aba Film from Montenegro, One Draft LLC from Kosovo and Tunnel Film from Albania, and Pigmento Film from North Macedonia.

The long-awaited Slovak/Czech/Macedonian drama Piargy / Fašiangy, directed by Ivo Trajkov, which started shooting in May 2016, entered postproduction in 2019. The film is produced by Arina and coproduced by the Czech company i/o post, Story Scope of North Macedonia and RTVS. Reel suspects is handling the sales.

Dušan Kovačević began production on his new feature film It’s Not So Bad to Be Human / Nije loše biti čovek, produced by Serbian Art & Popcorn, Les Films Fauves (Luxembourg), Terminal 3 (Croatia) and Black Cat Production (North Macedonia).

The French/Belgian/Macedonian coproduction A Mermaid in Paris / Une sirène à Paris, directed by Mathias Malzieu, began shooting in North Macedonia on 30 August 2019. This debut feature is produced by French Overdrive Productions in coproduction with Belgian Entre Chien et Loup and Macedonian Sisters and Brother Mitevski. The film is benefiting from the film incentive programme available as a 20% cash rebate on qualifying Macedonian spend.

Also, a Netflix series was filmed for the first time in North Macedonia in 2019. Netflix’s first international original series from Belgium, Into the Night, which featured actors from across Europe, began shooting at the Skopje International Airport on 1 October 2019. North Macedonia`s Sisters and Brother Mitevski provided the services for the three days' shoot in Skopje.

Piargy by Ivo Trajkov, photo: Mayo HircDISTRIBUTION

The main distributors in Macedonia remain MCF MK, Konstantin film MKD, Kt Film & MediaCutaway and Uzengija, which dominate mostly the art house market. The leading distributors of mainstream cinema on the Macedonian market are Croatian Continental Film doo, 2iFilm, Serbian Blitz Film and Video Distribution and Premium Film.  

In 2019 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 Cutaway in the call for automatic distribution.

Macedonian distribution company Cutaway received 270,000 EUR from the MEDIA Programme for the promotion and marketing of the Video on Demand platform Cinesquare and for the distribution of audiovisual works online, and launched subscription offer in 13 CEE countries.

The biggest Macedonian distribution success in 2019 was Willow / Vrba by the Academy award nominated Macedonian helmer Milcho Manchevski. This Macedonian/Hungarian/Albanian/Belgian coproduction was produced by Jane Kjortosev through Banana Film in coproduction with Baba Film, Pioneer Pictures (Hungary), Tirana Film Institute (Albania), and Belgian companies Saga Film and BNP Paribas Fortis Film Finance. The film was released in cinemas by Banana Film on 1 November 2019 and racked up over 26,000 admissions in 26 cities, out of which 12,000 admissions in the first week. The film was picked up by French sales agent Reel Suspects.

Willow is the most watched film in the history of the only multiplex cinema in the country, Cineplexx, with 9,351 admissions. The film is also the most watched film in 2019 for Cinema Milenium, with 4,907 admissions.

The year 2019 was great for another Macedonian film, the documentary Honeyland / Medena zemja directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov and produced by Trice Films in coproduction with Apolo Media. The film was praised at Sundance 2019, where it won the Sundance Grand Prize in the World Documentary Film Programme, as well as the Special Jury Award for cinematography and the Special Jury Award for Originality. It was then picked up for North American distribution by Neon (which also distributes Parasite by Bong Joon-ho, one of the most acclaimed films in 2019.).

Its Not So Bad to Be Human by Dušan KovačevićHoneyland was released theatrically in the USA in July 2019 and grossed over 635,383 EUR. It was released in the UK in September 2019 and it is currently available to stream on Amazon. Domestically, the film has been screened in 30 cities in North Macedonia since its release in August 2019, with over 21,000 admissions, of which 6,196 admissions in Cineplexx and 3,169 admissions in Cinema Milenium. The international sales are handled by Deckert Distribution GmbH.

Twenty nine films supported by the North Macedonia Film Agency had their premieres in 2019. Of those, 10 were feature films (five majority productions and five minority coproductions).

The Macedonian/Belgian/Slovenian/French/Croatian coproduction God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya by Teona Struga Mitevska, which was awarded top prizes including the 2019 LUX Film Prize and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 2019 Berlinale, was domestically released in March 2019.

The film, produced by Sisters and Brother Mitevski in coproduction with Spiritus Movens, Entre Chien et Loup, Vertigo, Deuxième Ligne Films and EZ Films, has been sold by Pyramide International to 20 territories including China, Canada, Italy, Austria, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Sweden, Brazil, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Colombia, Denmark and Switzerland.

Domestic films' world premieres included the Macedonian/Serbian debut feature Second Chance / Vtora shansa, directed by Marija Dzidzeva and produced by Small Moves Films in coproduction with Biberche Productions, at the opening of the 22nd edition of the Skopje Film Festival in April 2019. This is the first time when the festival opened with a film by a female director.

Kushtrim Bekteshi’s Unforgettable Spring in Forgotten Village / Nezaboravna prolet vo zaboraveno selo premiered in Skopje in March 2019. The film was produced by Manufaktura Production in coproduction with Albanian Ska-ndal Production, Kosovan Media&Film and Macedonian Skupi Festival.

The Macedonian/Albanian/Kosovan debut feature The Happiness Effect by Borjan Zafirovski opened the 18th edition of CINEDAYS Festival of European Film in November 2019 in Skopje. The film is a coproduction between the Macedonian companies New Macedonian Video, New Moment and Video House Animation, Albanian Lissus Media and B2 – PR & Media Solutions from Kosovo. Ilija Piperkoski’s debut feature film Grandpa and Grandson / Dedo I vnuk, a Macedonian/Romanian coproduction (produced Second Chance by Marija Dzidzevaby Pandora`s box production, in coproduction with Dream Factory and Romania’s Alien Films Entertainment) premiered in cinemas in December 2019.  

Five Macedonian minority coproductions premiered in 2019. Dragan Marinković’s Leeches / Pijavice, produced by Zillion Film in coproduction with InterFilm Produkcija and Pank Film, premiered in Serbian cinemas in September 2019 and was screened at the 18th edition of the CINEDAYS Festival of European Film in November 2019.

The Albanian/Macedonian coproduction Inane by Besnik Bisha premiered in Albania in 2019. The film was produced by B&G Film Production in collaboration with ArbFilm & 7AAFilm.

The Slovenian/Macedonian/Serbian/Croatian coproduction Half-Sister / Polsestra directed by Damjan Kozole, premiered in the Slovenian cinemas in September 2019 and was screened at the 18th edition of the CINEDAYS Festival of European Film in November 2019. The film was produced by Danijel Hočevar through Vertigo in coproduction with RTV Slovenia, Macedonian Sisters and Brother Mitevski, Serbian Baš Čelik and Croatian Propeler film.

Ognjen Sviličić’s The Voice / Glas celebrated its world premiere in the World Cinema section of the 24th Busan IFF and it was also screened at the 18th edition of the CINEDAYS Festival of European Film in November 2019. The film is a coproduction between Maxima Film, Skopje Film Studio and Biberche Productions.

Serbian filmmaker Goran Paskaljević‘s Despite the Fog / Nonostante la nebbia, a coproduction between Italy, France, Serbia and North Macedonia, opened the International Film Festival of India 2019 (IFFI 2019) in November 2019. The film was produced by Cinemusa S.r.l. (IT) in coproduction with Nova Film (RS), Rosebud Ent. Pict. (FR) and Sektor Film (MK).

The International Cinematographers’ Film Festival Manaki Brothers celebrated its 40th edition in 2019 and honoured the cinematographers Edward/Ed Lachman and Yorgos Arvanitis with the Lifetime Achievement Award Golden Camera 300, while the composer Ljupcho Konstantinov received the Great Star of Macedonian Cinema Award 2019.

The CINEDAYS Festival of European Film celebrated its 18th edition in 2019 and the second year as “Competitive film festival specialised in European first and second feature films”, as approved by the General Assembly of FIAPF.  

The Happiness Effect by Borjan ZafirovskiThe Festival of Creative Documentary Film Makedox celebrated its 10th edition by screening 70 films in six sections. The first coproduction forum dedicated to documentary coproductions was held as part of the 10th MakeDox Creative Documentary FF, jointly organised by the festival, the North Macedonia Film Agency and Creative Europe MEDIA Desk MK. The purpose of the forum was to exchange experiences, knowledge and practices for the financing, presentation and promotion of documentary film. The forum was attended by representatives from the funding bodies from the region and the Nordic countries, producers of successful documentary films realised as coproductions, international film festivals for documentary films and TV broadcasters.

Macedonian actor Blagoj Veselinov was selected for the 2019 Shooting Stars, which took place during the 69th Berlin IFF. His selection was proposed by the North Macedonia Film Agency, which is a member of  European Film Promotion. The Shooting Stars programme has so far involved the participation of two Macedonian actresses: Labina Mitevska (1998) and Nataša Petrovic (2011).

Macedonian director Eleonora Veninova’s short film The Sign was selected for Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight. The film is one of five short fiction films produced within the Southeast European Factory (SEE Factory), a project made under the concept of ‘La Factory’, founded by Dominique Welinski and Directors’ Fortnight. SEE Factory involves five countries in the region, including the Republic of North Macedonia.

In 2019, the North Macedonia Film Agency organised the Macedonian promotional stand in the South East European pavilion within the Cannes’ Marché du Film for the 9th time.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Three commercial cinemas (one multiplex, Cineplexx, with nine cinema halls, Cinema Milenium and 3D Cinema Bitola) and two art house cinemas with a regular repertoire (Cinema Frosina and the Macedonian Cinemateque) currently operate in North Macedonia. Another 18 cultural centres (equipped with digital cinema projectors by the North Macedonia Film Agency) screen films occasionally. In 2019, more cultural centres screened Honeyland and Willow, but the North Macedonia Film Agency is still collecting the admissions data.  

In its 7th year of existence, the only multiplex in the country, Cineplexx, screened 148 titles. According to the cinema, Joker was the most watched film in the history of Cineplexx with 34,165 admissions. Avengers: Endgame holds the record of most pre-sold tickets in the first week (2,159).

Honeyland by Ljubo Stefanov and Tamara KotevskaCinema Milenium, based in Skopje, registered an increase in admissions of approximately 24% compared to 2018. Willow by Milcho Manchevski is the most watched film in 2019 in Cinema Milenium, with 4,907 admissions, followed by Frozen 2 with 3,485 admissions, Joker with 3.243 admissions, Honeyland by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov with 3,169 admissions and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil with 2,591 admissions.

The Cinematheque of the Republic of North Macedonia registered an increase of 35% in admissions compared to 2018, with a total of 20,486 admissions in 2019. The Government of the Republic of Macedonia appointed the Cinematheque as the institution responsible for the digitalisation of the Macedonian film heritage in 2011. In 2012, the Cinematheque launched a long-term project to digitalise and digitally restore the national audiovisual heritage.

In March 2019, four digitalised films of Kiril Cenevski were promoted and released on DVD. Unfortunately, three months later the creator of the first Macedonian feature film that competed and won awards at international film festivals, Black Seed / Crno Seme (produced by Vardar Film), passed away.


The top 5 in the Macedonian overall box office is topped by Joker with approximately 40,000 admissions (distributed by Blitz Film and Video Distribution), followed by Avengers: Endgame (2i Film), The Lion King (2i Film), Frozen 2 (2i Film), Aladdin (2i Film), Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2i Film), Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (Premium Film), Captain Marvel (2i Film), Spider-Man: Far From Home (Continental Film Doo), 2 Gisht Mjaltë (Ermal Mamaqi).     

The domestic films with the highest number of admissions in 2019 were Willow / Vrba with 26,000 admissions (distributed by Banana Film) and Honeyland / Medena zemja with 21,000 admissions (distributed by Tris Films dooel).

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

Throughout 2019 the North Macedonia Film Agency has been drafting a new version of the Law on the Film Industry and actively developing a new and comprehensive strategy to enhance the quality of national cinematography and increase its competitive advantage in the regional and wider framework.

This strategy includes activities for developing the domestic film culture, with an emphasis on tapping into the young talents, while developing a system for supporting national production and coproduction, and services for shooting foreign productions in the Willow by Milcho Manchevskicountry. Support will be provided as part of this strategy for expanding distribution and marketing, while activities will be undertaken for developing existing professional film workers and for addressing the insufficient supply of film professionals.

In this new strategy and in all other activities planned for the coming years, the Agency will place special emphasis on nurturing women directors and encouraging new women directors to conceive and initiate original and innovative films. At the same time, greater openness and logistical support will be provided for foreign producers interested in shooting their films at attractive locations in North Macedonia, with stimulus provided by the production incentive programme.

In particular, the Agency is focused on boosting the country’s film production tax incentive, increasing it from 20% to 30%, as an effective measure to bring about significant benefits for the national film industry and the economy. Innovation is a top priority in the Agency’s strategy and one that will be achieved by encouraging new film professionals and new ideas and talents, with activities to increase the quality of Macedonian cinematography, investing in new forms and models of promotion. Apart from deepening the already established cooperation with existing partners, the Agency will seek new forms of cooperation that complement mutual work, all of which will help achieve new and greater successes.

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.

The Macedonian film budget saw more than 15% cuts in 2019 compared to 2018, with a total of 4.3 m EUR provided by the Budget of the Republic of North Macedonia and from other sources, but the Agency maintained its regular schedule of financial support calls. Ninety two percent of the funds were used to support films and other projects of national interest selected by the Agency as a result of its public call for applications, as well as activities for the development of the film industry and the international promotion of Macedonian cinematography, while eight percent of the funds was used to cover salaries, fees, taxes and the operating expenses for the maintenance of the institution.

The North Macedonia Film Agency launched two grant contests in 2019, supporting a total of 30 films (six majority feature fiction films, ten minority coproductions, six long documentaries and eight short films). The total support for the films is 3,535,759 EUR / 217.2 m MKD for production of feature, short, animation and documentary films. Some of the supported films will start the principal photography in 2020 and 2021.

God Exists Her Name is Petrunija by Teona Strugar MitevskaIn July 2019 the North Macedonia Film Agency announced grants for 15 films in the first round of production grants for feature films, short films, animated films and documentaries. An Evening Act / Vecheren akt directed by Vasil Hristov and produced by Kino Oko was the only Macedonian majority feature film to receive financial support.

The five minority feature films included: Vinko Möderndorfer’s Deadlock / Zastoj (produced by Slovenia’s Forum Ljubljana and coproduced by Croatia’s Kinorama, Serbia’s Delirium, Macedonia’s Sektor Film); Pjer Žalica`s May Labour Day (produced by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s FORUM Association for Art and Culture, Croatia’s Propeler Film, France’s A.S.A.P. Films, Slovenia’s Staragara, Serbia’s Baš Čelik, Montenegro’s Artikulacija Film and Macedonia’s Sisters and Brother Mitevski); Isa Qosja`s The Stork (produced by Montenegro’s Artikulacija Film in coproduction with ABHO Film and Aba Film from Montenegro, One Draft LLC from Kosovo, Tunnel Film from Albania and Pigmento Film from North Macedonia); Stanislav Tomic’s Tune Up (produced by Croatia’s Kaos Ltd in coproduction with Serbia’s K12, Montegro’s Cut-Up, Macedonia’s Kino OKO and Slovenia’s Supermarket) and Gazmend Nela’s Silence of Sirens (produced by Kosovo`s Frame & Ikone Studio and coproduced by Macedonian Skopje Film Studio).

No debut features were supported in the first call. The Agency received a record number of applications and due to the reduced budget decided to support fewer projects. The total support given was 1,065,040 EUR / 65.5 m MKD.

In December 2019 the North Macedonia Film Agency announced grants for 15 films in the second round of production grants, distributing 2,470,719 EUR / 151.7 m MKD to five feature films including four debut features, five minority coproductions, two majority long documentaries, one minority long documentary and two short films.

Director Gjorce Stavreski’s second feature Swap / Trampi, produced by Fragment Film, received the highest grant of 489,000 EUR / 30 m MKD. In the debut features category, the biggest grant of 374,599 EUR / 23 m MKD went to Sasa Stanisic’s Women's Day / Denot na zenata, produced by Makedonska krepost, and also to Ibrahim Deari’s Everyone Call Rexho / Site go vikaat Redzo, produced by Manufaktura Production. One of Honeyland’s directors, Tamara Kotevska, also received a grant for her first feature, Man Vs. Flock, produced by Apolo Media, while Srđan Janićijević received 350,169 EUR for his feature film Osvetlen, produced by Novo Makedonsko Video.

The Lost Secret / Izgubenata tajna by Aleksandra Kardalevska, coproduced by Alka Film, received the highest support of 146,582 EUR / 9 m MKD in the minority feature film category. Among the five minority coproductions there are also Gym by Bosnian director Srđan Vuletić (a coproduction between Bosnian Refresh production, Montenegrin Dogma studio, Slovenian Iridium Film, Serbian Cinammon production, Croatian Kinorama and Macedonian Skopje Film Studio); Vinci Vogue Anžlovar’s Grandpa Goes South (produced by A Atalanta and coproduced by Sektor Film); A Mermaid in Paris / Une sirène à Paris by Mathias Malzieu (coproduced by Sisters and Brother Mitevski) and Era by Parta Kelmendi (coproduced by List Production).

According to the data available to the Agency, a total of 220 films were produced in all categories, out of a total of 319 supported in the period of 2008-2019, i.e. after the Macedonian Film Fund was established and later transformed into Film Agency, in accordance with the Law on Film Activity.

In February 2019, the North Macedonia Film Agency announced its decision to boost 18 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 2019. Established festivals such as the International Cinematographer’s Film Festival Manaki Brothers, the Cinedays Festival of European Film, the MakeDox International Creative Documentary Film Festival, the Skopje Film Festival and the Tetova International Film Festival ODA received the highest grants. The Agency also supported the newly established Days of the Macedonian Film Golden Frame, organised by the Macedonian Film Professionals Association.

Two films received refunds through the 20% cash rebate on qualifying Macedonian spend - The Liberation of Skopje / Osloboduvanje na Skopje directed by Rade and Danilo Šerbedžija, and 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, in the amount of 41,416 EUR (services provided by Partysans), as well as the 14-episodes season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery, produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment, with Alex Kurtzman serving as showrunner, in the amount of 78,775 EUR (services provided by Fx3x).  

A Mermaid in Paris by Mathias MalzieuStarting from 2014, the North Macedonia Film Agency has been encouraging the investment of funds in film or television projects and applying for the right of 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.

In 2019, the Macedonian applicants received a total support of 353,873 EUR in several different calls of the MEDIA Programme. The MakeDox Creative Documentary Film Festival received support for the third year and the ICFF Manaki Brothers received support for the second time. The online platform Cinesquare, which is available in 13 countries in the region, got 270,000 EUR support in the call for online promotion of audiovisual works online, which was the highest grant received by a Macedonian project so far.

The North Macedonia Film Agency became the 34th member of the European Association of Film Agencies, the EFADs, as of May 2019. The Agency joined the EFADs as an associate member, a status open to any film agency located in a member country of the Council of Europe. It allows it to take part in all activities of the association and have partial voting rights.

During the Cannes Film Festival in May 2019, the head of North Macedonia Film Agency, Gorjan Tozija, had an official meeting with the head of the Greek Film Centre, Vassilis Kosmopoulos, which was the first official introduction between the agencies, with both sides agreeing on a willingness to overcome the effects of 20 years of disputes and laying the foundation for future communication and cooperation between their countries. 

For the fifth consecutive year the North Macedonia Film Agency, in cooperation with the European Film Academy, organised the Young Audience Award in 2019.

In 2018 the North Macedonia Film Agency signed a one-year partnership with the training programme Less Is More, based on which it organised a Pre-Writing Workshop for local film professionals in 2019 during the 40th International Cinematographers’ Film Festival Manaki Brothers. It was the first workshop of this kind that was organised in North Macedonia, with six Macedonian participants and three from the region (Montenegro, Slovenia and Croatia).

M by Vardan TozijaIn June 2019, Hisni Ismaili was named new Minister of Culture, following the resignation of Asaf Ademi, who had been appointed Minister of Culture in June 2018.

TV

TV production remained low in 2019, but more domestic series were filmed in 2019 compared to 2018. The fourth season of the Macedonian TV Series Prespav, directed by Vardan Tozija, Eleonora Veninova, Darijan Pejovski and Igor Ivanov, went into production. The 20-episode series is produced by OXO and it was aired on prime time on the first channel of the Macedonian Radio Television starting December 2019. The production celebrated 100 episodes since its release and launched a platform including Prespav as well as an App under the name OXOPlay.mk.

The second season of The Family Markovski / Familijata Markovski launched production at the beginning of 2019. The series directed by Darijan Pejovski is an original eight-episode prime time series created and produced by Emilija Chochkova through Art Project Lab Production with support from the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The TV series is inspired by the daily lives of Macedonian citizens. The Family Markovski  / Familijata Markovski was aired on TV Kanal 5 starting 9 November 2019 and it is also available on the VoD platform Cinesquare.

The TV series Zoki Poki, based on the best known Macedonian children character, was shot from August to September 2019. The 10-episode series is produced by Kino Oko and received 309,000 EUR / 19 m MKD from the North Macedonia Film Agency. Aleksandar Popovski is co-directing along with Marija Apchevska, Darijan Pejovski and Radovan Petrovic. The TV premiere on the Macedonian Radio Television is set for the first half of 2020.

The very popular educational-musical series Dajte muzika returned with new episodes on the Macedonian Radio Television after 27 years. In coproduction between the Macedonian Radio Television and Rifenstahl production, 30 new episodes directed by Lazar Pakovski and Vladimir Mitrevski were shot in 2019.

TV 24 started broadcasting Loud House / Glasna kukja in October 2019. This is the first teen sitcom series produced by KMK Production, along with Vesna Petrusevska's Acting School. The 10-episode series is directed by Vesna Petrushevska.

In 2019, the Macedonian Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services published the analysis of the market of audio and audiovisual media services for 2018. According to the report, revenues in the media industry are declining year by year. In 2018 they decreased by 6.03% compared to 2017 and are also the lowest revenues in the last five years. Revenues of the Macedonian Radio Television decreased by 8.44%, of the commercial broadcasters by 4.52%, while commercial radio stations' revenues decreased by 3.60%.

At the end of 2018, the financial results of all three segments of the industry - public service and commercial television and radio - were negative, i.e. there was a loss of 1.6 m EUR / 96.91 million MKD. For the first time in five years, the public broadcaster Macedonian Radio Television, reported a loss in revenues.

Zoki Poki TV SeriesIt is also worrisome that more and more televisions are shutting down each year. During 2018, the total number of broadcasters decreased by eight. From 2014 to 2019, a total of 30 commercial broadcasting companies have stopped broadcasting. Two TV broadcasting licenses were issued in 2018 (TV 3 and 1TV, which stopped broadcasting in 2019). In 2019, there were 49 televisions in the Agency’s registry. There were no new applications for a TV broadcasting license in 2019.

The total revenue generated in 2018 by all broadcasters (the Macedonian Radio Television, 53 commercial television stations and 70 radio stations) was 39.8 m EUR / 2,451,650,000 MKD. Мost of them are advertising revenues representing 54.91% of total revenues. A total of 36.16% are the public broadcaster’s transferable revenues of the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia for financing broadcasting activity, and 8.93% are revenues accomplished on various grounds.

Of the five televisions broadcasting nationwide through digital terrestrial multiplex, the most watched was TV Sitel, whose daily average reach was 38.85%. TV Kanal 5, as in 2017, was the second most watched television, with an average daily of 30.84%, and an average weekly reach of 45.41%, followed by TV Telma with 18.15% daily reach, Alsat-M with 15.36% and the Macedonian Radio Television with 14.40% daily reach.

The most watched foreign television channels in Macedonia are Fox, Sport Club, Discovery, the National Geographic. 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%.

CONTACTS:

MACEDONIAN FILM AGENCY
8 Mart br. 4, 1000, Skopje, Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 3224 100
Fax:    +389 2 3224 111
http://www.filmfund.gov.mk/ 
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MINISTRY OF CULTURE FOR THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
Gjuro Gjakovik 61, Skopje 1000, Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 324 0600
Fax: +389 2 3240 575
http://www.kultura.gov.mk/ 
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Piargy by Ivo Trajkov photo Mayo HircCINEMATHEQUE OF MACEDONIA
Nikola Rusinski 1, Skopje, Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 307 1814
Fax: + 389 2 30 71 813
http://www.maccinema.com/ 
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ASSOCIATION OF FILM PROFESSIONALS OF MACEDONIA
8 Mart br. 4, 1000, Skopje, Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 3211811
Fax: +389 2 3211811
http://www.dfrm.org.mk/index.html 
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CREATIVE EUROPE DESK MK
MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME
8 Mart br. 4, 1000, Skopje, Macedonia
Phone: + 389 2 3224 100
Fax: +389 2 3224 111
http://www.ced.mk/ 
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Report by Marina Lazarevska (2020)
Sources: the North Macedonia Film Agency, the Macedonian Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, Cineplexx, Milenium, Cinemateque of North Macedonia


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

The Secret Ingredient by Gjorce StavreskiMacedonia 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.

PRODUCTION

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.

God Exists, Her Name is Petrunija by Teona Strugar MitevskaGjegj 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.

DISTRIBUTION

MCF MK, Konstantin film MKD, Kt Film & MediaCutaway 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.

Willow by Milcho ManchevskiThe 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 ProductionSkopje 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.

South Wind by Miloš AvramovićAmong 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.

Half Sister by Damjan Kozole - Urša Menart and Liza Marija Grašič as Half Sisters, Copyright: Urša PremikEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

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.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

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.

Year of the Monkey by Vladimir BlazevskiThe 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 DooelStudio 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 BrothersCinedays Festival of European FilmMakeDox International Creative Documentary Film FestivalSkopje 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.

Digging by Martin Ivanov and Ivica DimitrijevicIn 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.

The Wild Pear Tree by Nuri Bilge CeylanAt 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

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.

The Liberation of Skopje by Danilo and Rade SerbedzijaMore 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%.

CONTACTS:

MACEDONIAN FILM AGENCY
8 Mart br. 4, 1000, Skopje, Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 3224 100
Fax:    +389 2 3224 111
http://www.filmfund.gov.mk/ 
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MINISTRY OF CULTURE FOR THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
Gjuro Gjakovik 61, Skopje 1000, Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 324 0600
Fax: +389 2 3240 575
http://www.kultura.gov.mk/ 
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CINEMATHEQUE OF MACEDONIA
Nikola Rusinski 1, Skopje, Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 307 1814
Fax: + 389 2 30 71 813
http://www.maccinema.com/ 
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The Witch Hunters by Raško MiljkovićASSOCIATION OF FILM PROFESSIONALS OF MACEDONIA
8 Mart br. 4, 1000, Skopje, Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 3211811
Fax: +389 2 3211811
http://www.dfrm.org.mk/index.html 
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CREATIVE EUROPE DESK MK
MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME
8 Mart br. 4, 1000, Skopje, Macedonia
Phone: + 389 2 3224 100
Fax: +389 2 3224 111
http://www.ced.mk/ 
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Report by Marina Lazarevska (2019)
Sources: Macedonian Film Agency, Macedonian Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, Cineplexx, Milenium, 3D Cinema Bitola


 MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

Grandpa and Grandson by Ilija PiperkoskiMacedonian 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.

PRODUCTION

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). 

The Happiness Effect by Borjan ZafirovskiScenes 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.

DISTRIBUTION

MCF MK, Konstantin film, Kt Film & MediaCutaway 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.

Vijay 61 by Atlee Kumar Shooting in Macedonian TheaterCinesquare.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 Secret Ingredient by Gjorce StavreskiThe 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.

When The Day Had No Name by Teona Struga MitevskaEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

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.

Leeches by Dragan MarinkovićGRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

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.

Witch Hunters by Raško MiljkovićA 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 FestivalCinedays Festival of European FilmMakedox Festival for Creative DocumentariesGiffoni Youth Film FestivalAsterfest Short Films FestivalAnimax 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.

Neighbors by Gigisha AbashidzeMacedonia 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.

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 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

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.

Prespav seriesThe 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 5Markovski 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.

Shadows over the Balkans seriesIn 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.

CONTACTS:

Oh My Love by Kole AngelovskiMACEDONIAN FILM AGENCY
8 Mart br. 4, 1000, Skopje, Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 3224 100
Fax:    +389 2 3224 111
http://www.filmfund.gov.mk/ 
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MINISTRY OF CULTURE FOR THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
Gjuro Gjakovik 61, Skopje 1000, Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 324 0600
Fax: +389 2 3240 575
http://www.kultura.gov.mk/ 
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CINEMATHEQUE OF MACEDONIA
Nikola Rusinski 1, Skopje, Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 307 1814
Fax: + 389 2 30 71 813
http://www.maccinema.com/ 
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ASSOCIATION OF FILM PROFESSIONALS OF MACEDONIA
8 Mart br. 4, 1000, Skopje, Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 3211811
Fax: +389 2 3211811
http://www.dfrm.org.mk/index.html 
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Directions by Stephan KomandarevCREATIVE EUROPE DESK MK
MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME
8 Mart br. 4, 1000, Skopje, Macedonia
Phone: + 389 2 3224 100
Fax: +389 2 3224 111
http://www.ced.mk/ 
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Report: Marina Lazarevska (2018)
Sources: the Macedonian Film Agency, the Macedonian Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, Cineplexx, Milenium

 

Serbia

Stitches by Miroslav TerzićMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

BELGRADE: Film Center Serbia maintained its standard pattern of financial support contests for the fourth year in a row, adding three new feature film categories – children’s films, debut films and animated films.

Stiches / Šavovi directed by Miroslav Terzić, a coproduction between Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, was selected for the Panorama section of the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival, while the Serbian minority coproduction I Was at Home, But... / Ich Ware zuhause, aber... directed by Angela Schanalec got the best director award in the main competition programme of the 2019 Berlin IFF.

Serbian majority coproduction The Witch Hunters / Zlogonje directed by Raško Miljković took part in the official Kids Selection programme of the Sundance Film Festival.

Gordan Matić was appointed new director of Film Center Serbia in July 2019.

In February 2018, the cash rebate for film production had been increased from 20% to 25% and in 2019 it remained at the aforementioned level.

The Witch Hunters by Raško MiljkovićPRODUCTION

Fourteen Serbian films were shot in 2019, compared to eight in 2018: Darkling / Mrak directed by Dušan Milić and produced by Film Deluxe Int and This and That Productions in coproduction with Denmark’s Space Rocket Nation, Bulgaria’s RFF, Italy’s A Lab Debore Desio, Greece’s Graal; The Users / Korisnici directed by Ivan Ikić and produced by SENSE Production in coproduction with the Netherlands’ Kepler Film, Slovenia’s Tramal Films, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s SCCA/ Pro.ba, France’s Les Films d’Antoine; Heavens Above / Nebesa directed by Srđan Dragojević and produced by Delirium Film in coproduction with Croatia’s Studio DIM, North Macedonia’s Sektor Film, Slovenia’s Forum Ljubljana, Montenegro Max Film, Germany’s Ma.ja.de. Fiction GmbH; the Serbian/German/Bulgarian Living Man / Živi čovek directed by Oleg Novković and produced by Produkcija SALT in coproduction with Germany’s Ostlicht filmproduktion GmbH and Bulgaria’s The Chouchkov Brothers; The Celts / Kelti directed by Milica Tomović and produced by EED Production; Weekend with Pop / Vikend sa ćaletom directed by Miroslav Momčilović and produced by Brigada in coproduction with United Media; It’s Not So Bad to Be Human / Nije loše biti čovek directed by Dušan Kovačević and produced by Art & Popcorn in coproduction with Croatia’s Terminal 3; As Far As I Can Walk / Strahinja Banović directed by Stefan Arsenijević, produced by Art & Popcorn and coproduced by France’s Surprise Alley, Luxembourg’s Les Films Fauves, Bulgaria’s Chouchkov Brothers, Lithuania’s Artbox; Svetozar Miletić aka Fathers of Liberty / Očevi slobode directed by Darko Bajić and produced by Zillion Film with Košutnjak Film as the executive producer; Dara / Dara iz Jasenovca directed by Predrag Antonijević and produced by Dandelion production inc and Film danas; The Only Way Out / Jedini izlaz directed by Darko Nikolić and produced by Stanković & sinovi; The Key / Ključ directed by Marko Sopić and produced by Istar Studio; Don’t Bet on the Brits directed by Svetislav D. Pešić and produced by Een Rock Production; Tomorrow Is Still July / Sutra je još uvek juli directed by Dejan Nikt Vlaisavljević and produced by USA’s Remaining light / Les Films DV Nikt / Griffith’s Riders in coproduction with Montage.

According to estimations, 2020 will bring another 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% and kept this percentage throughout 2019. The cash rebate scheme, which was launched in April 2016, applies to qualified Serbian spend for feature films, TV series, animated films and visual effects, TV commercials and documentaries.

Hotel Belgrade by Konstantin StatskiyIn 2019 Serbia attracted several international productions, including Crawl directed by Alexandre Aja, produced by Paramount Pictures and serviced by WIP Films; Minamata directed by Andrew Levitas, produced by Infinit Nihil and Metalwork Pictures, starring Johnny Depp and Bill Nighy, and serviced by WIP Films; the Russian/Serbian rom-com Hotel Belgrade directed by Konstantin Statskiy and produced by Black and White Production in coproduction with Archangel Studios; the entire second season of CW networks’ TV show The Outpost directed by various directors (including Serbian Dušan Lazarević and Milan Todorović) and serviced by Balkanic Media; four episodes of season 3 of the American TV show SEAL Team directed by Christopher Chulack, produced by CBS and serviced by Balkanic Media; Where the Sava Flows directed by Chen Danyan and serviced by Vision Team; Rocketry - The Nambi Effect (2019) directed by R. Madhavan, produced by Tricolour Films and serviced by Clockwork Film Production. All of these international projects shot in 2019 have applied for Serbia’s rebate scheme.

The Serbia Film Commission, designed to aid foreign productions shooting in Serbia, celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a gala ceremony held in the Belgrade City Hall in November 2019.

The newly founded Belgrade-based production company Firefly is about to start the construction of Firefly Studios outside Belgrade, housing 2,000 square metres sound stages and a smaller 800 square metre studio with a water tank, as well as four hectares of backlot, production offices and related facilities.

DISTRIBUTION

Fifteen new Serbian feature films were released in 2019, compared to 10 both in 2017 and in 2018: Taxi Blues / Taksi bluz directed by Miroslav Stamatov, produced by Viktorija Film and Klan produkcija, and distributed by Art Vista; Dogs Die Alone / Psi umiru sami directed by Nikola Petrović and produced by Singularity Pictures in coproduction with RED Production and distributed by FAME Solutions; Taxi Blues by Miroslav StamatovStitches / Šavovi directed by Miroslav Terzić and distributed by MCF Megacom Film; the documentary Divine Theme / Nebeska tema directed by Mladen Matičević, produced by Starhill and self-distributed; Delirium Tremens / Delirijum Tremens directed by Goran Marković, produced by RTS – Radio Television of Serbia and distributed by Fame Solutions; Leeches / Pijavice directed by Dragan Marinković, produced by Zillion Film in coproduction with Inter Film and Pank Film, and distributed by MCF Megacom Film; Military Academy 5 / Vojna akademija 5 directed by Dejan Zečević, produced by NIRA and RTS, and distributed by Art Vista; the documentary Lifeline / Linija života directed by Darko Bajić, produced by Magična linija and distributed by MCF Megacom Film; Aleksandra directed by Saša Radojević, produced by Eho produkcija and self-distributed; The Team / Ekipa directed by Marko Sopić, produced by Cinemašina and distributed by MC Megacom Film; Real Story / Realna priča directed by Gordan Kičić, produced by Filmkombajn in coproduction with Cross Media Agency and distributed by Art Vista; 4 Roses / 4 Ruže directed by Vasilije Nikitović, produced by Kino Oko and distributed by Cinefest; Ajvar directed by Ana Maria Rossi, produced by Biberche in coproduction with Montenegrin Artikulacija and distributed by Taramount Film; Ederlezi Rising directed by Lazar Bodroža, produced by Mir Media Group and BALKANIC, Inc, and distributed by MCF Megacom Film.

Another three feature films had a limited and/or national festival distribution: My Morning Laughter / Moj jutarnji smeh directed by Marko Đorđević and produced by Altertise in coproduction with Cinnerent; A.S. (25) directed by Milena Grujić and produced by the Faculty of Dramatic Arts and High Media; Who the Fuck Are You aka Operacija opera / Operation Opera directed by Marina Radimlac and produced by Satibara.

Several more national premiers are expected in 2020, at the upcoming edition of the FEST - International Film Festival in Belgrade, the oldest and the most popular film festival held at the end of February - begining of March.

The Users by Ivan IkićApart from two major Serbian long documentaries making it into the regular cinema distribution, 2019 saw a further growth of the Serbian documentary filmmaking. It was a good year for Serbian documentaries. The long documentary Wongar directed by Andrijana Stojković and produced by Art &Popcorn, which premiered internationally in the 2018 IDFA competition programme, took part in the Hor Docs Film Festival as well.

Speak So I Can See You / Govori da bih te video directed by Marija Stojnić and produced by Set Sail Films in coproduction with Croatian RESTART, had its world premiere in the official selection of the 2019 IDFA.

Mladen Kovačević’s new long documentary Merry Christmas, YiWu, produced by Horopter and coproduced by Bocalupo Films and Sysifos Film, was selected for the 2020 Rotterdam IFF. The prominent veteran Serbian filmmaker had a retrospective with his fiction and documentary works at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in April-May 2019.

Also in 2019, 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 an official voting for the best Serbian films of all times, organised by the Cinematheque in December 2016.

Stiches / Šavovi directed by Miroslav Terzić and produced by Serbia’s West End Production in coproduction with Slovenia’s Nora Production, Croatia’s Spiritus Movens and Bosnia’s scca.Pro.ba, was selected for the Panorama section of the 2019 Berlin Film Festival. Soon afterwards, the film started a long festival circuit and was picked by Cercamon for international sales.

The German/Serbian coproduction I Was at Home, But... / Ich Ware zuhause, aber..., lensed by the Serbian DoP Ivan Marković and produced by Germany’s Nachmittagfilm in coproduction with Serbian Dart Film & Video, took part in the main competition programme of the Berlin Film Festival 2019, and its director Angela Schanalec won the Berlin Silver Bear for best director.

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, continued to be screened at international festivals.

The Celts by Milica Tomović, photo: Irena CanićThe Witch Hunters / Zlogonje directed by Raško Miljković and produced by Serbia’s Akcija produkcija in coproduction with North Macedonia’s Dream Factory and Serbia’s This and That took part in the official Kids Selection programme of the Sundance Film Festival, while Stefan Malešević’s debut feature Mamonga, produced by Nana 143 in coproduction with Montenegro’s Code Blue Production and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Sarajevo Film Academy, had its world premiere in the official programme of the 54th Karlovy Vary IFF. The film was later selected for the New Horizons FF in Poland and the Marrakech IFF.

Maša Nešković’s debut feature Asymmetry / Asimetrija, produced by Serbia’s This and That Productions in coproduction with Slovenia’s Korektif and Italy’s Nightswim, had its world premiere at the Sao Paolo IFF. Ivana Mladenović’s sophomore feature Ivana the Terrible / Ivana cea Groaznică, produced by Romania’s microFILM in coproduction with Dunav 84, won the Special Mention in the 2019 Locarno Film Festival’s main competition selection and the Golden Pram at the 2019 Zagreb Film Festival.

Kosta Đorđević’s feature film Reži / Cutting Close, produced by Kinematografska kuća and Platforma, was selected for FilmFestival Cottbus, as well as for Cinedays in Skopje and Dances with Films in Los Angeles and New Orleans in the USA.

The first Serbian genuine SF Ederlezi Rising, directed by Lazar Bodroža and produced by Mir Media Group and BALKANIC, Inc, had a sizable success during its home entertainment (BR and DVD) and VOD distribution in the USA.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Delirium Tremens by Goran MarkovićThe most sucessful domestic films in Serbian cinemas in 2019 were: Taksi Blues / Taksi bluz directed by Miroslav Stamatov (272,747 admissions), Military Academy 5 / Vojna akademija 5 directed by Dejan Zečević (92,978 admissions), The Team / Ekipa directed by Marko Sopić 73,370 admissions), Real Story / Realna priča directed by Gordan Kičić (54,509 admissions), 4 Roses / 4 Ruže directed by Vasilije Nikitović (39,718 admissions), Ajvar directed by Ana Maria Rossi (32,791 admissions).

Domestic feature films had 904,909 admissions in Serbian cinemas in 2019 .

The most sucessful international feature films in Serbian cinemas in 2019 were: Joker, The Balkan Line, The Lion King, Avengers: Endgame, Frozen 2 and Maleficient: Mistress of Evil.

In 2018 the most successful domestic films in Serbian cinemas were: South Wind / Južni vetar directed by Miloš Avramović, produced by Režim, Art Vista and Archangel Studios and distributed by Art Vista, with 605,010 admissions, and King Petar / Kralj Petar Prvi directed by Petar Ristovski, produced by Zillion Film in coproduction with Greece’s Steficon and distributed by Megacom Film MCF, with 168,447 admissions. Both films were still in distribution in January 2019.  

No new cinemas were opened in 2019 but Serbia maintains several dozen of national and international film festivals in almost all towns of the country, as well as numerous film weeks and themed film events.

GRANTS AND LEGISLATION

The Team by Marko SopićFilm Center Serbia (FCS) supported numerous film projects or film-related projects (such as pre-digitalisation) with 7,122,949 EUR / 837,307,600 RSD. In 2019 there were 26 Film Center Serbia’s contests 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.

In 2019 FCS introduced three new categories for co-financing feature film projects: films for children, debut features and feature animation films. In 2019 Film Center Serbia supported feature film projects to be directed by: Ivan Jović, Marko Backović, Petar Ristovski, Pavle Vučković, Miloš Avramović, Balša Đogo, Milutin Petrović, Nikola Spasić, Danilo Bećković, Marko Sopić, Petar Pašić, Milica Filipovski, Goran Stanković, Dean Radovanović, Ognjen Janković, Darko Bajić, Bojan Vuletić, Milan Todorović and Vojin Vasović.

In July 2019, Gordan Matić was appointed new director of Film Center Serbia.

Film Center Serbia joined the regional RE:ACT film coproduction initiative and will be a full member of RE-ACT in 2020.

Serbia continued its successful cooperation with MEDIA Desk, launched in Serbia back in 2016, and resulting in fresh MEDIA support for seven Serbian single film projects in 2019: The Trials of Chule / Čulova iskušenja directed by Danilo Bećković and produced by Gargantua Film, Trail of the Beast / Trag divljači directed by Nenad Pavlović and produced by Režim , d.o.o., Black Wedding / Crna svadba directed by Dragan Nikolić and produced by Prababa produkcija, And Now What, And Then What? / A šta sad, a šta tad? directed by Luka Papić and produced by Non-Aligned Film, Without / Bez directed by Boris Mitić and produced by Dribbling Pictures.

In 2019 Serbia had two successfull applications for the MEDIA Programme in the Group Project Development category. The winners are Belgrade based production companies – SENSE Production and This and That Productions, granted with 301,822 EUR altogether.

In 2018 MEDIA had also supported three prominent film festivals in Serbia: Belgrade’s Beldocs Documentary FF, the European Film Festival Palić and the Free Zone / Slobodna zona Film Festival, as well as 12 cinemas for screening European films, providing a total of 88,582  EUR.

Ajvar by Ana Marija RossiAt the beginning of 2019 it was officially announced that the Serbian Ministry of Economy had decided to increase the total budget available for incentives from 6,752,421 EUR / 800 m RSD in 2018 to 7.5 m EUR / 900 m RSD in 2019, while the Ministry of Culture and Information and Film Center Serbia would increase the national funding for domestic films and coproductions to 9 m EUR, as compared to 7,879,811 EUR in 2018.

Dušan Milić’s Darkling / Mrak, Ivan Ikić’s The Users / Korisnici and Labour Day / Prvi maj directed by Mladen Đorđević and produced by Korona Film in coproduction with SENSE Production and Homemade Films, were supported by Eurimages in 2019.

TV

According to the TV station’s reports, the Serbian National Broadcasting Company RTS maintained its dominance in 2019 both in production and popularity for the sixth year in a row. According to a research commissioned by RTS itself, RTS’s programmes were watched by 3 m spectators every day, and great reasults in 2019 were achieved by sports, entertaintainment, film, educational and music programmes on this channel. The list of the 10 most watched domestic TV series includes solely series aired on RTS.

The most popular TV series in 2019 were coproduced and broadcast by RTS: Heroes of Our Time / Junaci našeg doba directed by Mihailo Vukobratović and coproduced by Telekom Srbija and Košutnjak Film, Five / Pet directed by Balša Đogo, Goran produced by RTS and serviced by Vision Team, The Group / Grupa directed by Uroš Tomić, Ivan Stefanović, Jelena Gavrilović, Nemanja Ćeranić, Slobodanka Radun, Miloš Radunović and Gvozden Đurić and produced by RTS.

Other popular TV shows in 2019 were: Top kanal’s two hit TV shows Hoop Dozen / žigosani u reketu, produced by Top Kanal and United Media, and coproduced by Cobra Film, The Black Sun / Senke nad Balkanom, 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, produced by Adrenalin, which aired on TV Prva in 2019.

Real Story by Gordan KičićThe second season of The Black Sun / Senke nad Balkanom was the first TV series content to be offered via pay-per-view streaming service, attracting 150,000 subscribers.

Apart from Besa and Hoop Dozen, TV Prva continued to air new series based on foreign content in 2019 – Truth and Lies / Istine i laži directed by numerous directors, together with older TV shows like ER  / Urgentni centar directed by numerous directors and The Sinđelić Family / Sinđelićevi directed by numerous directors (the Serbian versions of ER and Los Serrano, both produced by Emotion).

After several years of inactivity, in 2019 TV Pink made a significant return to TV series with the TV comedy Codename: Despot / Šifra: Despot (50 episodes in its first season coproduced by Contrast Studio), launched in 2018, and then with two more fresh series – Civil Servant / Državni službenik directed by Miroslav Lekić and Ivan Živković, and produced by Telekom, as well as Surviving Belgrade / Preživeti Beograd directed by Đorđe Stojiljković and produced by Pink and Contrast Studio. However, the most watched programme was a new Serbian historical soap opera Red Moon / Crveni mesec produced by TV Pink itself.

The newly founded Belgrade-based Firefly production house is already in production with three major high-quality TV drama series, with several upcoming projects of the kind in development.

CONTACTS:

FILM CENTER SERBIA
Koče Popovića 9/III
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +3811162 251 31
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fcs.rs

FILM IN SERBIA
Vlajkovićeva 18
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 3230 581
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filminserbia.com

MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND INFORMATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA
Vlajkovićeva 3,
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Ivana the Terrible by Ivana Mladenović, credit: microFILMPhone: +381 11 33 45 650 (Secretary of the Ministry)
www.kultura.gov.rs

FACULTY OF DRAMATIC ARTS
Bulevar Umetosti 20,
11070 Novi Beograd, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 213 56 84
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fdu.edu.rs

NATIONAL CINEMATHEQUE
Uzun Mirkova 1,
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 262 25 55
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.kinoteka.org.rs

NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE
Kneza Višeslava 8811000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 354 97 94
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.kinoteka.org.rs

Report by Zoran Janković (2020)
Sources: Film Center Serbia,  the Serbia Film Commission


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

The Load by Ognjen GlavonićFilm 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 Horizons by Svetislav DragomirovićInternational 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.

PRODUCTION

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.

You Have the Night by Ivan SalatićFather 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 Father by Srdan Golubović, photo: Maja Medićproved 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.

DISTRIBUTION

Strahinja by Stefan Arsenijević, photo: Aleksandrija AjdukovićTen 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.The Labudović Files by Mila Turajlic

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.

Asymmetry, Three Territories by Maša Nešković, photo: Maja MedicThe 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 Morning Changes Everything by Vladimir Tagić Goran Stanković and Milica TomovićCinema / 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. 

South Wind by Miloš AvramovićEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

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).Witch Hunters by Raško Miljković

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

Stitches by Miroslav TerzićIn 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.

TV

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 Offenders by Dejan Zečević2017, 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.

Front Page Midgets by Milorad MilinkovićIn 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.

CONTACTS:

FILM CENTER SERBIA
Koče Popovića 9/III
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Bandits in Search of Mom by Kosta RistićPhone: +3811162 251 31
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fcs.rs

FILM IN SERBIA
Vlajkovićeva 18
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 3230 581
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filminserbia.com

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

FACULTY OF DRAMATIC ARTS
Bulevar Umetosti 20,
11070 Novi Beograd, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 213 56 84
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fdu.edu.rs

NATIONAL CINEMATHEQUE
Uzun Mirkova 1,
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 262 25 55King Petar by Petar Ristovski
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.kinoteka.org.rs

NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE
Kneza Višeslava 8811000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 354 97 94
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.kinoteka.org.rs

Report by Zoran Janković (2019)
Sources: Film Center Serbia,  the Serbia Film Commission


 MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

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.

Requiem For Mrs J by Boban VuletićA 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.

The Other Side of Everything by Mila TurajlićPRODUCTION           

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.

Erdelezi Rising by Lazar BodrožaIn 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.

The Witch Hunters by Raško MiljkovićDISTRIBUTION

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. 

Stitches by Miroslav TerzićAnother 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.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

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.

Nikola Djuricko in Leeches by Dragan MarinkovićThe 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.

GRANTS AND LEGISLATION

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.

South Wind by Miloš AvramovićSerbia 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..

Predrag Antonijević shooting Soldiers LullabyTV

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

Santa Maria della Salute by Zdravko ŠotraIn 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.

CONTACTS:

Wind by Tamara DrakulićFILM CENTER SERBIA
Koče Popovića 9/III
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +3811162 251 31
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fcs.rs

FILM IN SERBIA
Vlajkovićeva 18
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 3230 581
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filminserbia.com

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

FACULTY OF DRAMATIC ARTS
Bulevar Umetosti 20,
11070 Novi Beograd, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 213 56 84
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fdu.edu.rs

NATIONAL CINEMATHEQUE
Uzun Mirkova 1,
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 262 25 55The shoot of Ubice moga oca by Predrag Antonijević in Belgrade
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.kinoteka.org.rs

NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE
Kneza Višeslava 88
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 354 97 94
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.kinoteka.org.rs

Report by Zoran Janković (2018)
Sources: Film Center Serbia,  the Serbia Film Commission

 

Bosnia-Herzegovina

My Grandpa is an Alien by Drazen Zarkovic and Marina Andree SkopMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

SARAJEVO: Bosnian and Herzegovinian film industry didn’t see any significant changes in 2019. There is still no Film Centre, and no indications that one might be established soon, and the Draft of the Cinema Law is still waiting for a better political climate.

Still, the Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in cooperation with the Sarajevo Film Festival, managed to cover the basic needs of the development and promotion of Bosnian and Herzegovinian film both in the country and abroad.

The BH Film Programme, which shows the complete yearly production of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was organised for the 14th time in 2019, again under the umbrella of the Sarajevo Film Festival. Also, European Film Challenge, supported by the MEDIA programme and organised in several European countries with the aim of promoting European film and developing new audiences, was organised by the Association for the first time in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2019.

Film Centre Sarajevo opened the first cinema museum in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2019. The Museum “Walter Defends Sarajevo” focuses on the legacy of the famous film Walter Defends Sarajevo (1972) directed by Hajrudin Šiba Krvavac and produced by Bosna film.

Total admissions increased by 10.26 percent, while admissions to domestic films decreased by 57 percent.

It was announced in 2019 that the new incentive scheme will be launched in 2020, as well as increased funding for film production.

Tabija by Igor DrljačaPRODUCTION

Four feature films were shot in 2019 and are expected to premiere in 2020 or 2021.

After 15 years break from directing feature films, Pjer Žalica went into production with his third feature film Focus, Grandma / Koncentriši se baba, produced by the Obala Art Centar under the umbrella of Sarajevo Film Festival’s Sarajevo City of Film project. The film should premiere in 2020, and with his fourth feature film going into production in 2020, the Bosnian director is expected to have a big year in front of him.

Jasmila Žbanić started production on her fifth feature film Quo Vadis Aida? The film is produced by the Sarajevo-based Deblokada in coproduction with Dutch N279 Entertainment, Norwegian Torden Film, German Razor Film, Austrian Coop99, French Indie Production and Romanian Digital Cube.

Igor Drljača wrapped shooting on his third feature film Tabija in October 2019. The film is coproduced by Canadian Timelapse Pictures and SCCA/pro.ba from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is expected to premiere during 2020.

Depo produced Jasmin Duraković’s fifth feature film All about Love, Books and Dogs / Sve o ljubavi, knjigama i psima during the summer of 2019.

All of the films received support from the Film Fund.

DISTRIBUTION

Son by Ines TanovićFive domestic films were distributed in cinemas in 2019, unfortunately with a very limited success.

The highest grossing domestic film of the year, with 2,530 EUR / 4,950 KM gross and 1,073 admissions, was the minority coproduction My Grandpa Is an Alien / Moj dida je pao s Marsa directed by Marina Andree Škop and Dražen Žarković, and produced by Croatia’s Studio Dim in coproduction with Bosnian and Herzegovinian Fabrika, Slovenia’s Senca Studio, Czech MasterFilm, Luxemburg’s Wady Films, Slovak Artileria, Norway’s Filmbin and the Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT).

It was followed by Ines Tanović‘s second feature Son / Sin, produced by Dokument in coproduction with Croatia’s Spiritus Movens, Romania’s Luna Film, Slovenia’s Moono Film and Montenegro’s Cut Up, with 917 EUR / 1,794 KM gross and 434 admissions, and Full Moon / Pun mjesec, a debut feature by Nermin Hamzagić produced by SCCA/pro.ba, with 838.5 EUR / 1,640 KM gross and 425 admissions.

The minority coproduction Stiches / Šavovi directed by Miroslav Terzić and produced by Serbia’s West End Productions in coproduction with Bosnia’s SCCA/pro.ba, Croatia’s Spiritus Movens and Slovenia’s Nora Production Group, also went into distribution, as well as the 100% national Duran directed by Faruk Sokolović and produced by Mebius Film, for which no data is available as it had a very limited, independent distribution.

A total of 219 films premiered in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2019 and another 20 continued distribution from 2018. There is a small increase in the number of titles from 217 in 2018, but it still shows a decrease when compared with 237 films that premiered in 2017. Luckily, this didn’t reflect negatively on the total box office and admissions in 2019. Numbers show a 10.26% increase in admissions and 12.7% in box office gross when compared to 2018.

Blitz Film & Video Distribution continued to dominate the market with 40.7% market share. 2i Film’s market share increased from 9.86% in 2018 to 23.59% in 2019, as well as Oskar Film’s, as their share increased from 9.10% to 11.24%. Una Film, which had the second largest market share in 2018, witnessed a drop from 16.97% to 14.47% and Continental film also saw a decrease in numbers from 10.26% in 2018 to 9.09% in 2019.

In 2019 Bosnia and Herzegovina hosted the 25th Sarajevo Film Festival, as well as a number of smaller film festivals.

Full Moon by Nermin HamzagićEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

The most important art house cinema in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 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 Centar, the organisation behind the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Three more cinemas were part of Europa Cinemas: Multiplex Ekran in Zenica, Cineplexx Palas in Banja Luka and Multiplex Cinema City in Sarajevo, but Bosnia and Herzegovina entered 2020 with one less member of the network as Multiplex Ekran in Zenica was taken over by CineStar Cinemas.

CineStar Cinemas has three more multiplexes, located in Mostar, Bihać and Tuzla, and together with the aforementioned cinemas, these are the ones in which most of the films in the country are screened.

Operation Kino, a travelling cinema organised by the Sarajevo Film Festival, is also part of Europa Cinemas.

Also, the opening of two new multiplexes (CineStar and Cineplexx) in Sarajevo was announced, which should seriously strengthen the cinema network in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

American films dominated the Bosnian and Herzegovinian box office in 2019 with a 83.59% share, a serious increase compared with a 79.76% share in 2018. However, a Serbian film and a Serbian minority coproduction entered the box office top ten.

The highest grossing films in 2019 were: Joker (with 219,976 EUR / 430,236 KM gross), The Lion King (with 205,070 EUR / 401,083 KM gross), Avengers: Endgame (with 156,720 EUR / 306,519 KM gross), Frozen 2 (with 122,981 EUR / 240,531 KM gross), Serbian Taxi Blues / Taksi bluz directed by Miroslav Stamatov and produced by Viktorija Film in coproduction with Klan produkcija, d.o.o. (with 89,022 EUR / 174,111 KM gross), Once Upon A Time in… Hollywood (with 88,120 EUR / 172,348 KM gross), Spider-Stitches by Miroslav Terzićman: Far From Home (with 83,410 EUR / 163,136 KM gross), the Russian/Serbian film The Balkan Line / Balkanska međa directed by Andrey Volgin and produced by Russian Bless Film and Upgrade Vision in coproduction with Serbian Archangel (with 80,531 EUR / 157,505 KM gross), Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (with 80,186 EUR / 156,831 KM gross) and Jumanji: Next Level (with 73,284 EUR / 143,332 KM gross).

Total admissions increased by 10.26 percent from 1,167,786 admissions in 2018 to 1,293,760 admissions in 2019. Total box office increased by 12.7 percent from 3,102,097 EUR / 6,067,174 KM in 2018 to 3,496,957 EUR / 6,839,454 KM in 2019.

Admissions to domestic films decreased by 57 percent from 5,402 admissions in 2018 to 2,322 in 2019. Domestic box office shows a 57.5 percent drop from 10,411.18 EUR / 20,362.5 KM in 2018 to 4,425 EUR / 8,654 KM in 2019.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

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 November 2019.

The Film Fund allocated 629,912 EUR / 1,232,000 KM in 2019. The production of three feature films and three documentaries was supported. The production of 11 short films and four minority coproductions (with Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia) received support.

In 2019, the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Sarajevo Canton continued supporting films through its own scheme for the production of cultural projects.

Two big announcements regarding funding were made in 2019.

During the 25th Sarajevo Film Festival, the government of Sarajevo Canton announced that a new incentives scheme will commence in 2020.

Also, the Film Fund announced the raise of funds that will be available for film production from 2020. A total of 2,045,167 EUR / 4 m KM should be allocated in the year to come.

After years of systematic neglect of film industry in Republika Srpska, where in good years the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska allocated shockingly small amounts of 30,677 EUR / 60,000 KM per year, 2019 brought a new shock to filmmakers of the smaller entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On 31 December 2019, the Ministry announced that none of the 51,130 EUR / 100,000 KM planned by the call for applications announced in October 2019 will be allocated to film projects, as the Expert Committee decided that there was not even one project worthy of the production support. The planned funds were returned into the budget of the Government of Republika Srpska and filmmakers are once again put in a situation where they are judged for not working on bigger projects and cut off from any support at the same time. 

Tabija by Igor DrljačaTV

Television channels in Bosnia and Herzegovina are still not investing in feature films. All of them, though, 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.

Al Jazeera Balkans is still involved in documentary film production, further supporting the development of documentary filmmaking in the country on a big scale. In 2019 Al Jazeera Balkans organised the second edition of the 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, but BH Telecom announced in December 2019 further development of Moja TV and investments in new, original content, so 2020 might see development of this sector too.

CONTACTS:

ASSOCIATION OF FILMMAKERS OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Branilaca Sarajeva 20/2, 71000 Sarajevo
Phone / Fax: +387 33 667 452
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.bhfilm.ba

FILM FUND
Obala Maka Dizdara 2 (building of Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports), 71000 Sarajevo
Phone: +387 33 206 704
Fax: +387 33 226 675
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fondacijakinematografija.ba

MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS OF FBIH
Obala Maka Dizdara 2, 71000 Sarajevo
Nothing But a Wind by Timur MakarevićPhone: +387 33 254 100
Fax: +387 33 226 675
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fmks.gov.ba

My Grandpa is an Alien by Drazen Zarkovic and Marina Andree SkopMINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
Trg Republike Srpske 1, 78000 Banja Luka
Phone: +387 51 338 721 (Monika Ponjavić, representative of RS in Eurimages)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.vladars.net

FILM CENTER SARAJEVO
Fadila Jahića Španca 1, 71000 Sarajevo
Phone / Fax: +387 33 873 027
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fcs.ba

THE NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVES OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Alipašina 19, 71000 Sarajevo
Phone / Fax: +387 33 668 678
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Report by: Tina Šmalcelj (2020)
Sources: Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo Film Festival’s Statistics and Analysis Department, Zoran Galić (VizArt production)


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

Scream for Me Sarajevo by Tarik HodžićSystematic 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.Son by Ines Tanović

PRODUCTION

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).

DFrog by Elmir JukićISTRIBUTION

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.Never Leave Me by Aida Begić

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.

Nothing But a Wind by Timur MakarevićIn 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.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

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.Good Days Work by Martin Turk

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).

South Wind by Miloš AvramovićTotal 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.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

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.Frog by Elmir Jukić

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.

TV

Scream for Me Sarajevo by Tarik HodžićTelevision 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.

CONTACTS:

ASSOCIATION OF FILMMAKERS OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Branilaca Sarajeva 20/2, 71000 Sarajevo
Phone / Fax: +387 33 667 452
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.bhfilm.ba

FILM FUND
Obala Maka Dizdara 2 (building of Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports), 71000 Sarajevo
Phone: +387 33 206 704
Fax: +387 33 226 675
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fondacijakinematografija.ba

MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS OF FBIH
Obala Maka Dizdara 2, 71000 Sarajevo
Nothing But a Wind by Timur MakarevićPhone: +387 33 254 100
Fax: +387 33 226 675
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.fmks.gov.ba 

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
Trg Republike Srpske 1, 78000 Banja Luka
Phone: +387 51 338 721 (Monika Ponjavić, representative of RS in Eurimages)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.vladars.net

FILM CENTER SARAJEVO
Fadila Jahića Španca 1, 71000 Sarajevo
Phone / Fax: +387 33 873 027
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fcs.ba

THE NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVES OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Alipašina 19, 71000 Sarajevo
Phone / Fax: +387 33 668 678
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

Stitches by Miroslav TerzićDespite 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.

Men Dont Cry by Alen DrljevićPRODUCTION

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.

Birds Like Us by Faruk ŠabanovićDISTRIBUTION

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.

Frog by Elmir JukićAida 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.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

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.

Serena Marija as Nur in The Final Barrier by Jasmin Duraković; cedit: ArtdeluxeCinema 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.

Frog by Elmir JukićGRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

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.

Dead Fish by Kristijan MilićTV

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.

CONTACTS:

ASSOCIATION OF FILMMAKERS OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Branilaca Sarajeva 20/2, 71000 Sarajevo
Phone / Fax: +387 33 667 452
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.bhfilm.ba

FILM FUND
Obala Maka Dizdara 2 (building of Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports), 71000 Sarajevo
Phone: +387 33 206 704
Fax: +387 33 226 675
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fondacijakinematografija.ba

MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS OF FBIH
Obala Maka Dizdara 2, 71000 Sarajevo
Phone: +387 33 254 100
Fax: +387 33 226 675
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fmks.gov.ba

Nothing But a Wind by Timur MakarevićMINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
Trg Republike Srpske 1, 78000 Banja Luka
Phone: +387 51 338 721 (Monika Ponjavić, representative of RS in Eurimages)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.vladars.net

FILM CENTER SARAJEVO
Fadila Jahića Španca 1, 71000 Sarajevo
Phone / Fax: +387 63 045 051
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

THE NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVES OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Alipašina 19, 71000 Sarajevo
Phone / Fax: +387 33 668 678
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Report by: Tina Šmalcelj (2018)
Sources: Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo Film Festival Industry Office, Zoran Galić (VizArt production)