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The Croatian film and TV sector is expected to get a financial boost of more than 5 million HRK ($697,200) from international streaming platforms through the Croatian Electronic Media Act, which came into effect in October 2021, the Croatian Audiovisual Center (HAVC) has told Film New Europe.

Netflix is expected to participate with 3 million HRK and other contributors will include HBO Max, Disney+ and Amazon Prime.

According to the new law, streamers will have to invest 2% of their revenues generated in Croatia in local production or acquisition. Network operators will invest 10% of the revenue generated by their own services. Private broadcasters will set aside 5% percent of their annual revenue for independent productions in Croatia.

“With our new law, we have introduced a series of interlinked measures to promote independent production in Croatia. The law is not prescriptive as to how the new funds will be invested. Sure there was resistance as the law was taking shape, but now it seems there is a very positive attitude to make the best of the new environment. Finally, international streamers will now join their Croatian counterparts in contributing 2% of their Croatian revenue to bolster the financing provided by the Croatian Audiovisual Center,” HAVC chief Chris Marcich told FNE.

This is the first time video-on-demand platforms and operators are involved in financing national audiovisual production, Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obiljen Koržinek emphasized in a press statement last week.

In a further attempt to promote European cinema, on-demand film and TV services must secure at least a 30% share of European works in their catalogs, and television broadcasters must ensure that European works make up more than 50% of their annual broadcast time, of which at least half must be Croatian works.

Upcoming local productions include “The Uncle” (pictured), a feature debut by directing duo Andrija Mardešić and David Kapac and an Eclectica production, which will have its world premiere in the Proxima competition program at the 56th Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival.

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Courtesy of Samir Ceric Kovacevic/Animafest

‘My Sunny Maad’ Wins Animafest
The Grand Prix of the World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb (June 6-11) went to the Czech/French/Slovak coproduction “My Sunny Maad” by Michaela Pavlátová.

The jury of the Grand Competition Short Film awarded the Grand Prix to the Portuguese film “Garbage Man” (“O homem do lixo”), directed by Laura Gonçalves.

The best film of the Croatian Film Competition was the short film “11,” produced by Vuk Jevremović. He is also entitled to a financial award in the amount of 1,000 Euros awarded by the Croatian Film Directors’ Guild.

The combined jury of the Student Film Competition and the Croatian Film Competition decided to award the Dušan Vukotić Award for Best Student Film to the French/Taiwanese short film “Butterfly Jam” (“La Confiture de papillons”) by Shih-Yen Huang.

The Zlatko Grgić Award for the best first film made outside an educational institution went to the short French/Israeli film “Letter to a Pig” by Tal Kantor.

The next edition of the Animafest Zagreb will be held from June 5-10, 2023.

Serbian Director Emilija Gašić Shoots Debut Feature ’78 Days’
Young Serbian director Emilija Gašić, who has recently graduated form the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, started shooting her debut feature “78 Days” on June 7. The production, supported by Film Center Serbia, began on locations around the Serbian spa town Vrnjačka Banja.

Gašić also penned the script. In a small town in Serbia, three sisters record their daily lives on a home camera during the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia. The monotonous days are interrupted by the sudden arrival of city children at a neighbor’s house.

The roles of the three sisters are played by young Milica Gicić, Tamara Gajović and Viktorija Vasiljević, while the rest of the cast includes Jelena Đokić, Goran Bogdan and Pavle Čemerikić.

The film is produced by Andrijana Sofranić Šućur and Miloš Ivanović through their Belgrade-based Set Sail Films production company.

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Courtesy of FNE

Film Center Serbia supported the project with 17.5 million RSD ($155,975) in May 2021.

The project was selected for the Biennale Cinema College workshop of the Venice Film Festival, and the project was also presented at the French-Serbian coproduction market in Paris in October 2021.

The shooting of “78 Days” is expected to wrap by the beginning of July.

This article is published in partnership with online news service Film New Europe, which covers film and TV industry news from across Central and Eastern Europe.