FROM THE HISTORY OF CROATIAN CINEMA
Foreign motion picture productions in Croatia up to 1941
In this text written specially for Croatian Film Chronicle, esteemed film archivist from Belgrade, Dejan Kosanović, gives an overview of all his recent discoveries about foreign film productions on the territory of contemporary Croatia, particularly Dalmatian coast, until 1941. Namely, Dalmatian climate, varying geographical locations and the seaside in combination with good connections with the continent, suited the needs of producers of mostly Central European co(productions), and Dalmatia’s promotional (tourist) value was recognized by the administration of the Kingdom of SCS, and later on by the National Head Office for Film of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Central part of the text presents a filmography of foreign film productions hosted in Dalmatia and Dubrovnik, constructed with the help of a number of Central European film archives and national filmographies. Presently, it has been established that there were 48 shootings by foreign crews: 26 German, nine Austrian, nine Czech, two Hungarian, one Polish, and one British. Many of these works have been lost, or there is little data on of their destiny (whether they were finished at all). Among other things, this text also presents a filmographic incentive for research of local archives and press in Croatia, and an encouragement to purchase copies of preserved films, among which stand out the works of actor and director Bruno Decarli, Asta Nielsen, Alexander Korda, Zvonimir Rogoz, Olga Tschechowa, Thea von Harbou, Friedrich Murnau and Harry Piel. Particularly interesting are the connections of some productions with Croatian literature: adaptations of works by classical Croatian writers Ivo Vojnović (Hungarian 1320 film, Lady with a Sunflower by Mihàlyj Kertész, later known under his Americanized name Michael Curtiz) and Milan Begović (An American Yacht in Split harbour by Ladislav Brom, 1939). Apart from influencing the early history of film in Croatia, these productions have probably made a significant contribution and incentive to Croatian filmmakers in between the wars.