PRODUCTION: Croatian Doc Explores Family Ties with John Malkovich


    ZAGREB: Motivated by a surprising number of Croats who claim to share a family connection with John Malkovich, film director, poet and marketing expert Luka Mavretić decided to make a film about that. His first long documentary Being Related to John Malkovich is currently in production with Anita Juka producing through Croatia’s 4film, and Italy’s Tesla Production and Martichka Bozhilova through Bulgaria’s Agitprop as coproducers.

    The film starts as a humorous story about the director exploring the connection with John Malkovich in his own family tree, but it soon takes an emotional turn and becomes a deeper exploration of his own family roots and, ultimately, of himself.

    The shooting will take 30 days, with several longer breaks, in Zagreb, Jastrebarsko, Karlovac, and a number of villages inside the Karlovac County, including the village of Malkovići, whose residents are believed to be connected to the ancestry of John Malkovich.

    The production budget is 540,000 EUR. In the development stage, the project was awarded 10,000 EUR by the RE – ACT Co-development Fund and 2,000 EUR by HBO Europe as the best project pitched at the ZagrebDox Festival in 2021. The Croatian Audiovisual Centre supported the film with 23,950 EUR / 180,000 HRK for production and additional 4,650 EUR / 35,000 HRK for filming during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Italian Ministry of Culture (MIBACT) granted it 25,000 EUR, Fondo Audiovisivo FVG gave it 24,500 EUR and the Bulgarian National Film Fund 30,000 EUR. The film was additionally supported by the City of Zagreb (with 6,650 EUR / 50,000 HRK), the City of Rijeka (with 1,350 EUR / 10,000 HRK) and the Karlovac County (with 2,650 EUR / 20,000 HRK).

    The premiere of Being Related to John Malkovich is scheduled for late 2023.

    Production information:

    Director Luka Mavretić, credit: Sanjin KaštelanProducer:
    4 film (Croatia)
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    Tesla Production (Italy)
    AGITPROP Production (Bulgaria)

    Director: Luka Mavretić
    Screenwriters: Luka Mavretić, Valentina Mavretić
    DoP: Marinko Marinkić
    Editor: Doris Dodig