Cinema Mediterranean Caravan Revives Dalmatian Cinema

    Alen Munitic Alen Munitic Vojko Basic / EPH

    SPLIT: The biggest challenge of Cinema Mediterranean, the project of cinema revival in Dalmatia aiming to renew movie theaters and bring movie screenings to smaller towns, is to keep the audience throughout the year.

    “The biggest challenge is to keep the audience, especially during the winter times on the islands. Also most of our audience is 30+, so it’s quite a big challenge working with children, to introduce them to cinema and develop their habit to visit cinemas more often. That is why we have planned to work strongly with children and young audience in the future,” Alen Munitić, the initiator of the project and the director of Mediterranean Film Festival Split, told FNE.

    Another challenge is to continue establishing regular cinemas. “Now since we've started equipping and digitalising the cinemas, it will be interesting to develop regular cinemas and find local people to work there. It is really a new level for us,” Munitić says. 

    In 2015 Cinema Mediterranean, a shared project of the Mediterranean Film Festival Split and all the host towns, screened 98 European and international films in 25 towns. The 370 screenings had 19,500 visitors. Starting January 2016 there are 12 towns working on a whole-year-round basis, so Munitić thinks that “the numbers will go even more up in 2016”, since only seven cinemas were working for the whole year in 2015.

    The caravan started in 2012 with 33 screenings in 11 towns, and attracted 4,000 viewers. In some towns it still works only in summertime, but the aim is to include more of these towns on the list of cinemas with full-year activity. In March 2015, through a competition held by Croatia's Ministry of Culture, Cinema Mediterranean digitalised the towns of Bol, Hvar, Imotski and Komiža, after the digitalisation campaign launched by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre in 2011. In 2016 Cinema Mediterranean digitalised the town of Supetar and equipped Jelsa and Lastovo with regular projector and sound system. The organisers are carrying their own equipment to the rest of the towns.

    Cinema Mediterranean is supported by Kultura Nova, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and by all towns participating in the project.