Film production and financing in Croatia
Since the late 90s, Croatia started and is still living trough its social, political and economical rebirth. As a "small but big enough" country, we accomplished infrastructural, technological, commercial and cultural success, progressing both the social status quo and the image of the country in the world, whilst also keeping our identity and customs to a great degree.
This reality has created a small country with an even much smaller population (which in turn allows for plenty of authentic filming locations), and a fresh, somewhat impressive infrastructure, including a very good highway network, plenty of airports, availability of global logistics providers, impressive fiber and 5G coverage and other elements that allow for an efficient production process.
Since March 2023, on top of already being a member of the U.S. visa-waiver program, Croatian citizens gained access to a somewhat exclusive "Global Entry" program, which says a lot about safety and development of Croatia.
Promotional campaign and informational website created and maintained by the national film fund (HAVC)
Grants and incentives applications and procedures
All documentation and the process is conducted in Croatian language.
HAVC (the national film fund) and local municipalities (mostly city and regional culture offices) grants can only be granted to Croatian companies, whereas the rebate is available to any company that conducts the spending.
For these reasons, as an international production filming in Croatia, you will almost never interact with the financing institutions directly, but rather with your partner, be it the co-producer or your service production company. At Aning Film, we encourage our clients to count on our agility and discretion to handle the process swiftly and precisely, enabling them to focus on the bottom line both financially and creatively. You can find detailed rules and regulations, applicable laws and prescribed process and documentation on the HAVC's page dedicated to promoting filming in Croatia: filmingincroatia.hr.
Filming in Croatia map
The tools like the calculator app and this map are the tools we develop for ourselves, and naturally and happily share with the industry at large.
The goal is to inform, empower and encourage our existing and potential partners and clients, as well as our local and international competition, as we find the creative and logistical process of making films demanding enough for something as trivial as factual information or bureaucracy to stand in a way as an additional obstacle.
Film industry of Croatia
With a rich and profound history of cinema, Croatia is home to one of the oldest film festivals in the world (Pula film festival), as well as one of the oldest cinemas (Kino Europa). The Jadran Film studio in Zagreb was one of the central filmmaking locations in Europe in the 2nd half of the 20th century, a period that ended with our most successful filmmaker, producer Branko Lustig, extending his career to Hollywood where he was awarded with an Oscar for his work on 2 best picture winners, Schindler's list in 1994 and The Gladiator in 2001, both of which were shot in Europe.
The turn of the century was indeed fueled with a filmmaking energy in the region: born out of a need for psychological survival during a 3-year long occupation of a city, an A+ film festival that is Sarajevo was born, one of the most prestigious festivals in Europe today. Serbian films Wounds and Pretty village, pretty flame created as many generational stereotypes as Matrix or The Dear hunter did. No man's land won the Oscar as best foreign film, and in Zagreb "What Iva recorded" was made, a profound experimental film discussed since at film academies on all continents. In Istria, on top of a small hill above the clouds, Motovun film festival was brewing its first years, only to become one of the most commercially successful products in the region of any type less than 10 years later, which is saying something for a festival that makes 30.000 people walk up a steep hill in the summer sun to watch films.
In 2006, 2 films of historical importance were completed: Slow days from Matija Kluković and Facing The Day by Ivona Juka. Both films challenged and discarded the status quo in many ways, giving the final spark of confidence to Croatian Ministry of culture to give Croatian film a proper home, the result of which was the founding of the Croatian audiovisual centre (HAVC) on January 1st 2008. As one of the youngest legal persons in the Croatian film industry, HAVC has maintained a youthful, energetic and contemporary structure and operations of film funding schemes that greatly benefit the film industry at large.
The results of systematic film production incentives quickly started to show, with productions like HBO with Game of thrones quickly adopting the new benefits along with the dream-like filming locations such as Dubrovnik, Vis or Rovinj. Titles such as Star Wars, Succession, Mamma mia, Hitman's wife bodyguard and McMafia, with many more underway and upcoming, only go to confirm the robustness, effectiveness and production value that filming in Croatia brings to their producers.
With highly trained crew, enthusiastic producers, comprehensive infrastructure and a most colorful palette of authentic film locations, Croatia very quickly became the must-go film destination for some of the biggest studios in the world... And we're only getting started!