13-01-2021

Earthquakes Damage House of Croatian Film Forcing Filmmakers to Move Out

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House of Croatian Film House of Croatian Film

ZAGREB: A new series of strong earthquakes that hit Croatia on 11 January 2021 have led to the closure of the House of Croatian Film located in the Zagreb city centre. The new earthquakes added to the damage caused by the devastating earthquake that hit Zagreb in March 2020, and the House of Croatian film was deemed unsafe and is closed until further notice.

The building is owned by Zagreb Film and is part of a joint cultural project of Zagreb Film and the City of Zagreb, housing institutions such as the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC), Zagreb Film Office and the Academy of Fine Arts, but also festivals such as Animafest, ZagrebDox, Motovun Film Festival and 25fps, filmmakers guilds such as the Association of Croatian Film Directors, Croatian Association of Film Producers, Association of Croatian Film Critics, and production companies such as FADE IN, Factum, Hulahop, Ars Septima Film, Menorah Film and Kreativni sindikat.

Following an engineering assessment of the damages, the building got a red label, which means entering it might pose a life-threatening risk. Zagreb Film immediately warned the tenants they’d be entering the premises at their own risk and announced the closure of the building until further notice. HAVC followed up with a statement, urging filmmakers to steer clear of the damaged building and contact them through means of electronic communication.

Surprised by the abrupt announcement, some tenants are concerned this might mean the end of the place that united over a dozen of Croatian film companies under the same roof.

“The House of Croatian film was the unique place where we really talked about film, problems, solutions, competitions… and not only funding or contracts. The festivals would often share their workers, which was convenient because we all were at the same address. It is extremely important that we don’t lose this community and the sense of togetherness”, said Nenad Puhovski, director of the ZagrebDox festival and Factum documentary production, that inhabit the attic of the House of Croatian Film.

Vinko Brešan, head of Zagreb Film, explained that the tenants would have to be patient until the City Office for Physical Planning, Construction of the City, Utility Services and Transport files their final report on the risk-assessment of the building. As no deadline was communicated, the filmmakers will have to find alternative spaces or continue working from home.