CROATIAN CINEMA POLICY: A STATE OF ART AND PROBLEMS
Croatian Cinema — Research Report
An extensive research of the
’state of art’ in Croatian cinema field was undertaken
in 2000-2001 by the state independent research company,
Strata Research, Zagreb. The project was supported by the
Regional Culture Office — Open Society Institute (Croatia)
grant and coordinated by Albert Kapović and Hrvoje Turković.
The research included 18 experts from different fields
of cinema. Here is a summary of the report.
STATE OF ART. Croatia is a country of a
very small cinema (and general) market (cc 120 cinemas;
with a decline in attendance), so that there are very limited
fields of enterprise that can be self-sustaining on the
market (mostly services: renting of equipment, expert services,
commercials, music clips; media publicity; distribution
of films, commercial cinemas, video-rentals). Most of cinema
enterprises are subvention dependent: main film production
(feature films, short film production), non-commercial
distribution and film presentation, education, and publications
Main source of subvention for different
cinematic activities is the state — the allocation of state
budget money through different Ministries (mainly through
the Ministry of Culture; but also — for education — through
the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Science).
Other main source of support is a customary participation
in production (co production) of feature films by the main
TV company Croatian Radio-Television (HRT; public television).
The Ministry of Culture money is distributed to the projects
(film-production projects; non-commercial presentation
programs; festival programs; amateur activity programs;
publication programs — magazines, books...) by expert commissioners
(an individual or a group). In the last two years the Ministry
of Culture has allocated to the cinema field activities
a budget of cc 4.033.000 EUR.
Production consists of 5 feature films and
up to 200 short films and videos per year (rough estimation).
In the nineties the Ministry of Culture support for short
films was blocked (with the exception of animated films),
but from 2000 on (with new government and new Minister
of Culture) short film-production support has been reinstated
— specifically for short documentaries, short features,
animated films and experimental film/video production.
On the basis of public tenders, individual commissioners
for each kind of films (feature films; short films, film
animation and experimental production) are deciding which
project will be supported.
There is an important output of non-professional and individual
artistic production in video and film, mostly out of the
State support system.
Technical basis of cinema (both production
and theatrical presentation) is very varied. Though there
is some new equipment in use, there is a prevalence of
the out-of date and overused one. Most of the film production
is performed in electronic media; only a small ratio of
films is produced originally on film medium.
Television (specifically Croatian Radio
Television, HRT) is the biggest production source of film
and video works, and the main exhibitor of films. It is
also a highly important co producer of feature films and
graduation films by the students of the Academy of Dramatic
Art, Zagreb. But, the HRT participation is individually
negotiated; there is no formal systematic regulation for
these TV-film collaborations.
Film production education is present in
several guises. One is through formal schooling, another
is through informal courses and workshops. On the university
level artistic film production is taught at the Academy
of Dramatic Art in Zagreb, Zagreb University (four year
study in the following departments: film and TV directing,
film and TV cinematography, film and TV editing, theatrical
and film dramaturgy, theatrical and film production management);
at the Art Academy in Zagreb, Zagreb University (four year
animation study, and two year media study), at the Art
Academy in Split, Split University (three year film/video
design study), at the School of Architecture, Zagreb University
(several courses in film and TV within Design study). There
is a summer workshop in feature film script writing, documentary
production, and production management at the international
Imaginary Academy in Grožnjan (Istria, Croatia), and many
workshops and courses organized by the Croatian Film Clubs’
Association (within the Summer Media School in Trakošćan),
or by its member ciné-clubs (one or several weeks courses,
for children and for adults on the association’s premises).
Film study is not taught autonomously, but
only as a course within other studies at the level of the
University. The oldest course is one taught at the Comparative
literature studies at the Faculty of Philosophy, Zagreb
University, and it is also taught at the Teacher Education
Academy in Zagreb, as well as at other teacher education
colleges. Also, film study subjects are taught as auxiliary
subjects within the production studies.
At the elementary and high school level film is taught
mostly within the subject Croatian language and literature
(under the media education topic), and within the visual
arts subject. However, it is mostly neglected, partly because
of the overburdened teaching curriculum, and partly because
of the lack of media teaching equipment and film stock.
There are no systematic editions of film
books and magazines in any professional publishing house
in Croatia. The exception are three institutions that have
— as one of their activity — publishing of books and other
kinds of printed material, and they do publish titles on
film on a regular basis (Croatian Archive; Croatian Film
Clubs’ Association, and Vedis, production, distribution
and publishing company). There are three specialized film
magazines: Croatian Cinema Chronicle and Entry (published
by Croatian Film Clubs’ Association), and Hollywood (published
Media publicity in the field of cinema is
quite widespread and generally satisfactory (many young
educated film critics have found their jobs in daily and
weekly papers, weekly magazines, radio and TV programs).
There are two archives: one state archive
Croatian Cinemateque (member of FIAF) at the Croatian State
Archive, and INDOK archive department at Croatian Radio
Television (HRT). There are also some registered archival
PROBLEMS. The basic problem of Croatian
cinema is its heavy dependence on state support sources.
Another problem is the unsettled legislative situation,
partly caused by the lack of a long-term strategic vision
of the future development of Croatian cinema. There is
also a shortage of institutions and offices necessary for
a good cultural policy. For example, there is no office
with a central data-base of Croatian cinema, nor an office
able to mediate information about Croatian cinema to interested
parties. There is no network for non-commercial distribution
and exposition of art films and videos. Promotional activities
concerning Croatian films and other cinema related cultural
products (publications, e. g.) are not being seriously
considered, if at all. There are neither laws nor ordinances
that would regulate the very important issue of relations
between the cinema and television. Croatian cinema is in
’autistic’ state in regard to the surrounding cinema world,
lacking in co-productions with Europe, and not being relevantly
involved in European integrative processes.
On the project and
researchers; 1. Introduction; 1.1. General conditions
and future prospects; 1.2. A summary of basic data; 1.
3. Some open problems; 2. The State legislative; 2.1.
Overview of legislative fields; 2.2. The Cinema Law;
2.3. The Cultural Board Law; 2.4. The Croatian Radio
Television Law; 2.5. Other stimulating laws and ordinances;
3. State and regional bodies relevant to the cinema;
3.1. The Ministry of Culture; 3.2. The Zagreb City Office
for Culture; 3.3. Regional offices of culture; 4. Cinema
field structure — the state of art (1996-2000); 4.1.
Production; 4.1.1. General overview; 4.1.2. Production
companies; 4.1.3. Noncommercial, artistic or/and educationally
oriented production programs; 4.2. Commercial and noncommercial
distribution; 4.3. Film exhibitions; 4.3.1. Commercial
theaters and their attendance; 4.3.2. Video films lending;
4.3.3. Films on television; 4.3.4. Noncommercial and
culture promoting exhibitions; 4.3.5. Festivals; 4.4.
Education; 4.4.1. General overview; 4.4.2. University
education in artistic cinema/video production; 4.4.3.
High and elementary education; 4.4.4. Courses, workshops,
summer schools; 4.5. Archives; 4.5.1. The Croatian Cinemateque
(Hrvatska kinoteka); 4.5.2.
INDOK — Archive of Croatian Radio Television (HRT); 4.
6. Associations, societies, guilds; 4.6.1. Societies
of experts (guilds); 4.6.2. Associations of more general
cultural profile; 4.8. Publications; 4.8.1. Publication
of cinema books; 4.8.2. Publication of specialist film
magazines; 4.8.3. Media publicity; 5. Television and
cinema; 6. ADDENDA; 6.1. Central sources on Croatian
cinema; 6.2. Relevant laws and ordinances (a selection);
6.3. International memberships; 6.4. ADDRESS BOOK: 6.4.1.
Main state bodies; 6.4.2. Production companies; 6.4.3.
Art organizations (with film production); 6.4.4. Distributors;
6.4.5. Television companies; 6.4.6. Cable television
(with concession); 6.4.7. Festivals/Revues; 6.4.8. Noncommercial
presentations; 6.4.9. Archives; 6.4.10. Higher education,
seminars, workshops; 6.4.11. Societies, associations;
6.4.12. Registered ciné-clubs; 6.4.13. Film magazines