Juricic: EU Membership Will be Boon to Croatian Film

    Sinisa Juricic of Nukleus Film Sinisa Juricic of Nukleus Film

    ZAGREB: With Croatia's entry into the EU on 1 July, the climate of film production has not yet been much affected. “Things have not changed,” Sinisa Juricic of Nukleus Film told FNE. A key step, he added, is eligibility for collaboration with the MEDIA and Eurimages programs. "The only change is that the competition will be stiffer because anyone from the EU will be able to compete at the national TV open calls,” Juricic said.

    As for rivalry, he added, "My personal opinion is that the pressure will be positive." Theatrical distribution could also be affected, with a greater import of EU films. Fortunately, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre HAVC has begun the digitalization process for the art cinema chain, which will help it compete with two commercial multiplex chains already converted. And, of course, sales agents may discover the Croatian market.

    For an enterprising company such as Nukleus Film, EU membership will hopefully boost co-production options. Having co-produced the award-winning documentary Sofia’s Last Ambulance by Ilian Metev, the four-year-old company is now working on several more international ventures such as the documentaries Global Shopping Village, an Austrian-Croatian co-production directed by Ulli Gladik and produced by Austria's Golden Girls, and  Kismet by Nina Maria Paschalidou, a Croatian minority co-production with Forest Troop of Cyprus and Greece's Anemon Productions.

    Miha Knific's Perseverance, a 100-minute feature consisting of 15 stories, has been in production for three years. Six stories have been shot thus far, but the majority will film in October. The project won funding from Slovenia through the that country's branch of Nukleus Film and it has German and Serbian co-producers aboard. Juricic will pitch it in Venice in September in hopes of adding an Italian co-producer.

    Another project, A Good Wife, a co-production with the Serbia's This and That, is a feature shooting next spring by first-time director and accomplished actress Mirjana Karanovic (Grbavica) together with Stevan Filipović. Radivoje Andric's feature A Somewhat Better Ending is also in development and set to shoot over winter 2014/2015.

    Nukleus has several documentaries in post-production such as Vladimir Gojun's Bebe Na Vole, Damir Cucic’s Mitch, Zoran Krema’s Djangarchi and Vesna Čudić's Class. Juricic is also developing Stage Fright by Yorgos Zois, a feature co-production with producer Maria Drandaki of Greece's Pan Entertainment, a project that participated in Cannes' l'Atelier du Festival that's set for shooting next year. There's also Robert Tomić Zuber’s documentary A Million Dollars' Life.

    The Croatian producer is also prepping Chicken (working title), "an exciting" short co-produced with Germany and set to shoot in October, and he will co-produce together with Slovenia's Studio Virc the hybrid documentary Houston, We Have a Problem by Ziga Virc.

    Juricic won the annual Albert Kapović award for exceptional contribution to the Croatian film industry in 2012 and he will represent Eastern Europe at the European Film Promotion Producers Lab in Toronto September 4-7.

    EU membership should, he believes, enhance the participation of Croatian films in broader European cinema, which will help Croatian filmmakers to be more competitive. They will see changes that work abroad, Juricic believes, and that will drive innovation. “Applying  the same rules that are enforced in the EU will mean better working conditions for the filmmakers in Croatia.”