OBITUARY: Slovenian Distributor Janko Čretnik

    Janko Čretnik Janko Čretnik copyright: Katja Goljat, photo published with the permission of MOTOVILA / CED event Successfull Crative 2017 Uspešno Ustvarjalno 2017

    LJUBLJANA: One of the most respected and influential Slovenian distributors Janko Čretnik died on 13 November 2020 at the age of 63.

    Born in 1957, Janko Čretnik worked in the field of film and video distribution for more than 30 years. He started as the representative of major US studios but later on focused on the distribution of independent films, mostly European and domestic. He attended the most important film festivals (Cannes, Venice, Berlin) and established relations with the most important foreign sales agents, putting Slovenia on the map of countries with a highly aware cinema audience.

    With the development of the Slovenian Art Cinema Network he made a significant contribution to the film programme and became one of the most important suppliers of art cinema titles. Through his company Fivia he was responsible for bringing more than 300 films to the Slovenian cinemas, among them a number of internationally acclaimed and awarded titles. He was also the most successful Slovenian distributor to gain support for distribution from the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme.

    Čretnik also distributed numbers of Slovenian feature films, both supported by the Slovenian Film Centre and independent ones. In the last years he distributed Rok Biček's Class Enemy / Razredni sovražnik (2013, Triglav film), Marko Naberšnik's The Woods are Still Green / Gozdovi so še vedno zeleni (2014, Artdeluxe and Perfo Production), Jan Cvitkovič's Šiška Deluxe (2015, Perfo Production), Blaž Završnik's Sailing to Paradise / Pot v raj (2014, Sever & Sever), Igor Šterk's Come Along / Pojdi z mano (2016, A.A.C. Productions), Boris Petkovič's Let Him Be a Basketball Player / Košarkar naj bo (2107, Gustav Film), Igor Janez Burger's Ivan (2017, Staragara), Andrej Košak's All Against All / Vsi proti vsem (2019, Blade production) and Dejan Babošek's Breakthrough / Preboj (2019, Narayan Produkcija).

    He also organised the European and Mediterranean Film Festival in Piran since 2010.

    The Slovenian Film Centre, Slovenian filmmakers and exhibitors remember him as film and cinema lover, who worked in the field of film distribution professionally but was also fascinated by the film itself. The Slovenian Art Cinema Asociation said, "Working with him was always more than fair and we will miss him greatly."

    "I collaborated with Janko Čretnik for more than twenty years. At the beginning he was a noble competitor in the field of cinema distribution, representing with passion Buena Vista International, while I was representing the colours of United International Pictures. Later, Janko was for me, the role model of an independent distributor who was responsible for many unforgettable and beautiful film experiences, mostly in the arthouses. I am deeply thankful for that, and furthermore for an excellent collaboration in distributing Slovenian films," producer Aleš Pavlin from Perfo Production told FNE.