Croatian Audiovisual Center Strategy Boosts Local Film Industry

    Croatian Audiovisual Center Strategy Boosts Local Film Industry Ankica Jurić Tilić

    FNE spoke to Ankica Jurić Tilić, Croatian producer and former head of the Croatian Producers Association (www.hrup.hr) about the National Strategic Programme for the Audiovisual Industry in Croatian and the challenges ahead for the industry.

    JURIC TILIC: The four-year strategy set by the Croatian Audiovisual Center (www.havc.hr) in 2010 is going well. The industry is doing better than a year ago, and the domestic box office is up and communications within the industry have improved.

    An average of 10 films are produced in Croatia each year, and despite the frustration of those filmmakers who don’t get grants from HAVC, there is good collaboration between the HAVC, the Croatian Producers Association and the Croatian Film Directors Guild (www.dhfr.hr).

    Now we are working together on the most important topics, like editing the book of rules of the HAVC based on the real conditions in the industry.

    There is a real collaboration involved in the process of setting out the strategy with specific goals for the local film industry. What I find extremely helpful is that we can now easily approach the HAVC, tell them our problems, and ask for help. It was very difficult when there was no film center at all and the film industry was under the roof of the Ministry of Culture.

    One of the positive changes in the film industry in the last two years has been the introduction of script development support and production development support, allowing the producers to develop several projects at a time.

    Previously it was difficult to develop six or seven projects at a time as we normally do at Kinorama.

    One measure of success of Croatia’s film strategy can be seen in the domestic film market share. We had a horrible market share for Croatian films in recent years, 1.5% market share before Koko and the Ghosts, but last year, thanks to Koko and to the Serbian-Croatian coproduction Parada with 158,000 admissions, the market share rose to 3.5%.

    FNE: Jurić Tilić established Kinorama as one of the leading production company in Croatia, shooting an average of three films per year. Kinorama produced the box office hit Koko and the Ghosts, directed by Daniel Kušan, which had 86,000 admissions in 2011, and which became the first Croatian company to receive MEDIA slate funding – 126,000 EUR (945,000 HRK) – for The Mysterious Boy, Saint Anne in the Fields aka The Reaper (working titles), The Green Dog and High Sun in 2011.

    Kinorama is now shooting a sequel to Koko and the Ghosts entitled The Mysterious Boy and directed by Dražen Žarković. In November the company begins work on the first feature film from Robert Orhel, The Shoot.

    In 2012 Kinorama also shot the 15 part, 26 minute series Sunday Morning, Saturday Evening, which began airing 16 September on public broadcaster Hrvatska radiotelevizija (HRT, www.hrt.hr).