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.
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 Herzegovina) 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.
No 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.
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) Festival 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), Avengers: 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:
In 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.
There are 18 TV channels operating in Montenegro, including three public channels TVCG 1, TVCG 2 and TVCG Sat (for the Montenegrin diaspora) and local public channels TV Nikšić, TV Budva and TV Pljevlja.
The most popular commercial TV channels are TV Nova M, TV Vijesti and TV Prva. Other commercial channels are: TV Rožaje, Srpska TV, TV 777, TV Corona, TV Boin, TV Novi, TV Sun and TV 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.
ASSOCIATION OF FILM PRODUCERS AND DIRECTORS OF MONTENEGRO Novaka Miloševa 42, 81000 Podgorica Phone: +382 67 568 110 www.afpd.me
Report by Maja Bogojević (2020) Sources: the Film Centre of Montenegro, the Montenegrin Cinématheque