Croatian Cinematographers Society presented 2019 Awards

On the closing night of 66th Pula Film Festival, the 6th annual cinematography awards of the Croatian Cinematographers Society were presented.

Members of this year jury, Mario Sablić, Branko Linta and Boris Popović unanimously decided the Winners.

And the Winners are:

Feature Film

Damir Kudin, h.f.s. for “Comic Sans”

Short Movie

Radislav Jovanov, h.f.s. for “Trešnje / Cherries”

TV Series

Danko Vučinović, h.f.s. for “Novine, sezona 2 / The Paper, season 2”

For the first time the jury decided to present a Special Mention Recognition for feature lenght documentary “Moj život bez zraka / My Life Without Air”, for Cinematographer/Director Bojana Burnać.

The awards were presented by President of Croatian Cinematographers Society, Mario Sablić.

History of foreign film productions in Croatia – Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof is an American musical comedy-drama from 1971. made by Canadian film director, producer and actor Norman Jewison. Even today the film is known as one of the most popular achievements of this genre. It is based on the Broadway musical adaptation from 1964, and it is mostly shot in Croatia.

The theme for the musical is based on the stories by Jewish writer Sholem Aleichem (pseudonym that means „peace with you“). In his works he describes a simple Jewish man from the Russian province, with a great deal of humor he describes his difficulties, burdens and his faith in the better future.

Film stood out because of unusual style, in which the protagonist spoke to the audience, as well as with the gray tones dominating the photography and scenery compared to the luxurious theater production inspired by the paintings of French artist Marc Chagall.

It was shot in London’s Pinewood studios, but the main exteriors were filmed in Croatia. Filming took place in Mala Gorica (near Petrinja), Lekenik, Krasic, wood near Daruvar and in Zagreb.

Director of photography, Oswald “Ossie” Morris, was one of the most prominent cameramen of the 20th century. “Ossie” had a successful career for 30 years, working with some of the best directors including John Huston, Stanley Kubrick and Sidney Lumet. In addition to winning the Oscar for Fiddler the roof and three BAFTA awards, in 2000 he also won the American Society of Cinematographers International Award.

Filming Fiddler on the roof marked the beginning of the second phase of the era of filming foreign films in Croatia, so-called “golden co-production era” that developed in the 70s and especially in the 80s. Film crew remembers that a whole village was built for the purposes of filming at Mala Gorica and for the first time in Croatia a huge balloon was set up for wardrobe, make-up, catering and similar. In Zagreb was filmed on the Upper Town, especially in front of VI. Gymnasium and Church of St. Catherine – this location acted St. Petersburg. Although filmed in January, there was no snow, and the scenario demanded such a set design, so the trucks full of white marble dust came on Upper Town and spread it on the ground. It is interesting that the main musical solo part in the film was played by the famous violinist Isaak Stern, and Branko Lustig also collaborated on the project.

Fiddler on the roof, largely because it managed to look “different” than the Hollywood musicals in the past, has achieved remarkable commercial success, becoming the most watched movie of the year at US cinemas. Film earned a total of 13 nominations at various festivals, winning 9 awards, of which the most important are 3 Oscars (for photography, sound and music) and the Golden Globe for the best musical or comedy.



Photos: Courtesy of Google

Suncana Ivancic

Nominations for “Nikola Tanhofer” Award 2018

The jury, Damir Kudin, h.f.s., Branko Linta, h.f.s. and Mario Sablić, h.f.s., for annual cinematography award “Nikola Tanhofer” have decided to nominate folowing projects for this year award.

Feature film

“Uzbuna na Zelenom vrhu” – director of photography Danko Vučinović

“Mrtve ribe” – director of photography Mirko pivčević, h.f.s.

“Katki izlet” – director of photography Danko Vučinović

Short films

Gdje se vrabac skriva kad je hladno” – director of photography Stanko Herceg, h.f.s.

“Marica” – director of photography Tomislav Sutlar

“Marija” – director of photography Luka Matić

TV series

“The Deuce” – director of photography Vanja Černjul, h.f.s. a.s.c.

“Čuvar dvorca” – director of photography Mirko Pivčević, h.f.s.

The announcement of the winners will be held at this year’s Pula Film Festival.



From Zagreb with Love: Schlöndorff and Welles

The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel) is a German-French film from 1979th, directed by Volker Schlöndorff. The film is based on a novel by Nobel laureate Günther Grass from 1959th.

Jadran film was the co-producer of this Oscar-winning film, and Branko Lustig was assistant director. For producing this complex movie, the task to build a scenery and find the shoting locations in Zagreb was awarded to the film and theater stage designer, interior designer, screenwriter and painter, back then the newspaper columnist Željko Senečić, who remembers: ” The Yugoslav army left the barracks in Ilica street and at the end of Deželić’s street. Jadran film’s crew moved into one barrack in Ilica. The central barracks, called Rudolf’s Barracks, are turned into the Post Office in Gdansk. On the meadow behind the barracks we built the stands, decorated with the flags, red carpet, and we shot a great Nazi rally. About 1000 extras were hired for filming the rally. One day of filming with a crowd of people costs tremendously. We filmed a rally for three days. We had to repeat the rally scene because of the cameraman’s mistake. And we repeated. Without yelling, arguments or transfer of responsibility. The film is a school of life. ”

The Tin Drum is a story about a boy Oskar, the only son of the Kashubian family, living in the rural area of the Free City of Danzig around 1925th. For his third birthday Oskar gets a great new drum. At that point, instead of growing up in one of the miserable samples of adult men he sees around him, he decides never to grow old nor grow up. Whenever the world around him becomes unbearable, the boy starts to play his drum; if someone tries to take the toy, he produces deafening sound that literally breaks the glass. As Germany sinks into Nazism and war in the 1930s and 1940s,  Oskar who is not getting older, continues to wildly hit his drum.

The film has won numerous awards, including the 1980s Academy Awards – Oscar for Best Foreign Film, 1979s Cannes Film Festival – Golden Palm (together with “Apocalypse Today”); 1979s German Film Award – Film Challenge Award “Golden Ball”; Bodil Award for Best European Film 1980; Blue Ribbon Award for Best Foreign Film in 1982, etc.

Jadran film (B. Lustig, Z. Senecic) and Film Polski participated in the production of the film, while the writer of the novel, G. Grass was involved in the scriptwriting adaptation.


The Trial is a French-Italian-West German black and white feature film shot in 1962, known as one of the most ambitious but most controversial achievements of Welles filmography. Orson Welles came to Zagreb in 1962, which for the Jadran Film’s development meant the beginning of his conversion into the most important film studio in Central Europe.

The budget was fairly large for that period, $ 1.3 million, but Welles had to look for backup locations in Ljubljana, Rome, Milan, and most of all at Paris’s abandoned Gare d’Orsay railway station.

For the director of photography he chose debtor Edmund Richard, a French color corrector advisor in popular films by Zika Mitrovic “Miss Stone” and “Kapetan Lesi”. That this was not a question of unreasonable risk also testifies his later career: not only did he shot Welles’ “Midnight Bells”, but also “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” from Luis Bunuel. His black and white photo proved to be impressive. As a director of photography, Richard is the most deserving for a dynamic and anxious atmosphere where cloister-filled spaces crowded with humans alternate with empty, agoraphobic halls, and when the dazzling staircases are added to it, with a dark lobbies, overwhelmed by shady shadows, an anxious world is created where the tragic epilogue of the protagonist implies in every step.

From the almost postapocaliptic scenes of the embankment, the anxious modernist cubs of the Open University, to the dark neo-gothic of Zagreb Cathedral, Zagreb has been converted into a prison, a courtroom and a stratum of an anxious film of absurd.

The most ambitious set was at the Zagreb’s Fair, where an office with 850 tables was created, in which Josef K. works. At the each table, one extra typed. Obrad Kosovac, former HRT (Croatian Radiotelevision) director, then was a student who often worked as an extra in the movies, and so he “acted” in The Trial. He was not too thrilled, the scenes were constantly repeated, but, like Relja Basic, he was intrigued by Welles’ method of directing.

Andrea Saric received the greatest chance as an Croatian actor, she briefly communicated with Perkins in one scene, while Relja Basic’s role was a little bit more than an extra.

Welles had tightly closed sets, because he worked very  precisely on the scenes and he forced the details to perfectionism, so he needed complete peace of mind. During filming, he met Croatian actress, screenwriter and director Oja Kodar, who will become his muse, star and love for the next 24 years, until the death of the famous filmmaker. Welles often returned to Zagreb after The Trial, he loved Zagorske strukle and ate them at the Esplanade Hotel where he regularly stayed.

His first film, Citizen Kane (1941), critics most often choose as the best film of all time because of the many innovative elements. After The Trial he directed an unfinished TV series The Deep with the photographer Ivica Rajković, he play the roles in the Croatian films Battle of Neretva (1969) and Nikola Tesla’s Secret (1980). He also paid a visit to TVZ (Television of Zagreb) in the show 3,2,1, … go! His links with Croatia were recorded in HRT’s documentary movie The other side of Welles.



Photos: Courtesy of Google

Suncana Ivancic

Jutry for the 5th “Nikola Tanhofer” award

Mario Sablić, h.f.s., Branko Linta, h.f.s. and Damir Kudin, h.f.s. are members of the jury for the 5th annual “Nikola Tanhofer” award, awarded by Croatian Cinematographers Society (h.f.s.) for best cinematography achievements in the categories of short film, TV series and feature film.

The deadline for submitting projects is May 5th, 2018.

Mario Delić, h.f.s. Photography Exhibition “Impromptu”

Photographs first exhibited in 2016 at the Pula Gallery Makina, within the 63rd Pula Film Festival, the director of photography Mario Delić makes now available to the Zagreb audience. The Zagreb exhibition is reinforced with several new, bigger size images.

From February 10th to 24th, Delić’s photographs, taken during the author’s work on a series of projects will be displayed at the Zagreb SC Gallery. Delić  records spontaneous events behind the camera. Unlike organized, precisely orchestrated scenes under cinematographer’s supervision, Delić’s photos curiously entice the background, revealing the beauty in a natural light, finding accidental, unmanned, intimate moments of film crew members, extras and actors.

Early History of Foreign Filming in Croatia – “Princess Coral, 1937


Movie: Princess coral (in the original: Die Korallenprinzessin)

Year: 1937

Director: Victor Janson

One of the biggest blockbusters of the 1930s, in which played Ita Rina and was produced by Hitler’s NSDAP party. After the screening, the German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels banned that Slavs ever again appear in German films.

In prewar Dalmatia filming was often, but “Princess coral” is with “Winnetou”, perhaps the most famous film of that era. Mostly because of the role of Ita Rina, now a crossword puzzle star, once very popular actress who has made a great career in Germany, the former film mecca of the world. Another actor was Svetislav Ivan Petrović, who was very engaged around the shooting of the film in order to give his home country a big co-production – explains Daniel Rafaelić.


Shooting of melodramatic adventure storie set on the Dalmatian islands, journalists followed closely. What stands out from today’s perspective, is that this movie unlike other escapist films of that era has pronounced social component, which at that time was rare.

In German cinemas movie did not perform well, mainly because of Goebbels who mockingly called it “Princess Cossacks“ trivial piece in which the only good was the role of Germany’s Hilda Sessak. The film was not banned, but received no predicate which guaranteed a large number of viewers.

Even the highly attended premiere in the former Yugoslavia was not a success. The local spectators were disappointed by demonstration of our customs and costumes.


The best film critic of the time Ivan Goran Kovačić has written that it is the obscene film for the Croatian culture, the work that is the embodiment of the German colonial approach and in his article he asks: How long will we tolerate such a relationship? Judging by articles from newspapers, film succeeded only in Osijek, but it is because Ita Rina came there- adds Rafaelić.

Clip from the film:


It is interesting that in parallel with the “Princess of coral” part of the same team shooted so. culture-film, short feature-documentary: Song of the Adriatic, in which starred locals. Originally called “In Banner Kaiser Diokletians”, translated “Under the banner of the Emperor Diocletian,” the film at the premiere in Berlin in 1937 received tremendous political support of the government of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, led by Milan Stojadinović, as the first in a series of joint film projects that Germany and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia should achieve. Due to obvious reasons, that has not happened, and the movie has remained only a footnote in the literature.

Film Song of the Adriatic, in the German Federal Archive found Leon Rizmaul of association Kinofon founded with Daniel Rafaelić and whose specialty is search film archives and search for valuable titles as is the Song of the Adriatic. Rafaelić and Rizmaul searched for the film several years.

Sunčana Ivančić


Cinematography Golden Arena for Branko Linta, h.f.s.


Branko Linta and director Rajko Grlić,  photo Saša Huzjak

For cinematography on the film “The Constitution” Branko Linta, h.f.s. Was awarded the Golden Arena at this year’s Pula Film Festival. For same movie, Linta was also nominated for this year’s H.F.S. annual cinematography award “Nikola Tanhofer”

The decision was made by a festival jury composed of Zrinko Ogresta, Josip Grozdanić, Mladen Ožbolt, Ivana Zozoli Vargović and Vedran Živolić.

“For a subtle and unobtrusive ambiance that creates a visual framework for film story in which it is so sovereignly developed.”

This is the third Golden Arena for Linta. He got the previous two for features “I Love You” (2006) and “The Reaper” (2014). In addition to a number of other acknowledgments Linta received for his cinematography skills, the “Nikola Tanhofer” Annual Cinematography H.F.S. Award, also for “The Reaper” should be emphasized.

Well Done Branko,


H.F.S. Annual CInematography Awards “Nikola Tanhofer” 2017


On July 16, 2017, in Pula Arena, the fourth annual H.F.S. Cinematography Awards were presented to the winners.  The Croatian Cinematographer Society (h.f.s.) annual cinematography award was established under the sponsorship of Croatian Audiovisual Centre, and aims to highlight the best accomplishments in cinematography as well as to promote  film photography and visual culture. For the second time the awards ceremony took place as part of the Pula Film Festival, which again proved to be an exceptionally friendly host.

H.F.S. jury (Stanko Herceg, hfs, Mirko Pivčević, h.f.s. And Darko Šuvak, h.f.s.) made the decision about the winners in all three categories.

The 2017 winners are



Jana Plećaš for “Quit staring at My Plate” in Feature Film category.


Vjeran Hrpka for “A Two Way Mirror” in Short Film category.


Igor Martinović, h.f.s. for “House of Cards – season 2” in TV series category.


Mario Sablić, president of h.f.s. presented the awards.

photos by: Slaven Radolović, Manuel Angelini, Matija Šćulac