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

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


Alexa SXT Plus & Angenieux Optimo Anamorphic Zooms


For those who did not attend recent presentation of Arri cameras, including the latest addition, Alexa SXT Plus, on this link You can check short test movie, shown during the presentation.  Streets of Zagreb were shot with Alexa SXT Plus with Angenieux Optimo Anamorphic Zoom lenses (30-72 & 56-152 A2S A2S). No additional lights were used, format was 6: 5 ProRes 4K Anamorphic Cine, colored in the Da Vinci Resolve Suite.

2017. ASC Award nominees annaunced

415815340543e6602902f1646165476_v4-bigPhoto: Ludovic Littee

The American Society of Cinematographers announced nominees for the traditional 31st A.S.C. awards. Last year Vanja Černjul’s work on Marco Polo TV series was awarded with this, most prestigious American cinematography award. This year we again have a representative in the competition for the award. Igor Martinovic, H.F.S., Croatian cinematographer who has been living and working in America for number of years, was nominated in the category for Television movie, Mini-series or a Pilot episode for acclaimed series The Night of ,episode “Subtle Beast”.

Winners will be announced during the awards ceremony on February 4, 2017. Let’s look at the list of nominees and the trailer for The night of.

31st ASC Awards Nominees

  • Television Movie, Miniseries or Pilot:
    • Balazs Bolygo, HSC, BSC, for Harley and the Davidsons “Amazing Machine”
    • Paul Cameron, ASC for Westworld “The Original”
    • Jim Denault, ASC for All The Way
    • Alex Disenhof for The Exorcist “Chapter One: And Let My Cry Come Unto Thee”
    • Igor Martinovic for The Night Of “Subtle Beast”
  • Regular Series for Non-Commercial Television:
    • John Conroy for Penny Dreadful “The Day Tennyson Died”
    • David M. Dunlap for House of Cards “Chapter 45”
    • Anette Haellmigk for Game of Thrones “Book of the Stranger”
    • Neville Kidd for Outlander “Prestonpans”
    • Fabian Wagner, BSC for Game of Thrones “Battle of the Bastards”
  • Regular Series for Commercial Television:
    • Tod Campbell for Mr. Robot “”
    • John Grillo for Preacher “Finish the Song”
    • Kevin McKnight for Underground “The Macon 7”
    • Christopher Norr for Gotham “Wrath of the Villains: Mr. Freeze”
    • Richard Rutkowski for Manhattan “Jupiter”

“Tanhofer” monograph


Not overly extensive library of titles dedicated to the Croatian film and its authors recently enriches luxury monograph “Tanhofer”. Extensive work published by the Croatian Film Association and Croatian Film Directors Guild on 350 richly illustrated pages recalls the extensive work of Nikola Tanhofer, cinematographer, director and educator, founder of the Department of film and television cinematography at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, first president of Croatian Cinematographer’s Society.

Twenty authors from different generations collaborated on this edition. Essayistic interpretation of Tanhofer’s work as cinematographer and film director, and his memoirs and recollections of his students intruduce reader with numerous interests of this filmaker.

At the presentation of the monograph participated editors of edition, Diana Nenadić and Silvester Kolbas, film theorist Hrvoje Turković, Tanhofer’s colleague, also a former student, Enes Midžić and his friend Slavko Goldstein.


The monograph wrote: Zvonimir Berković,, Salvester Kolbas, Petar Krelja, Juraj Kukoč, Enes Midžić, Tomislav Mikulić, Dragan Jurak, Damir Radić, Silvestar Mileta, Jurica Pavičić, Slaven Zečević, Nenad Puhovski, Stipe Radić, Vicko Raspor, Ivo Škrabalo and Nenad Polimac.

Mihail Ostrovidov 1930 – 2016

ostrovidov_0_0_468x10000At age 87, died Mikhail Ostrovidov, legendary television cameraman.

Ostrovidov was working on first broadcasts of TV zagreb. He recorded the first program of this television, the first sports and drama programs, which were also broadcasted live.

He graduated in 1949 at the cinematography department, at Cinema School in Zagreb. He studied art history at the University of Zagreb and camera at the Academy for Theatre and Film Arts.

At the beginning of his career he worked as a camera assistant in the editorial board of the Croatian Film Journal in Jadran film. Later he worked as cameraman at TV Zagreb.

After his retirement in 1991 he continued to work as an associate of the Croatian Television, reporting from the Croatian War for Independance.

As a cinematographer has collaborated with many Croatian directors. For “Igra”, directed by Dušan Vukotić, Ostrovidov won the Grand Prix at the Film Festival in Mannheim. Among the other prizes ihe also won Golden Pen of Croatian Journalists Society (1980) and the “Otokar Keršovani” Lifetime Achievement Award (2002)

Histogram, Vectroscope, False Color…


The digital age has brought a completely new set of tools for assessing exposure, color balance, color saturation … Not long ago a fundamental cinematography tool was a light meter. Since evaluating image on the monitor is not very safe method, contemporary cinematographers have to adopt knowledge brought by digital technology.

Find out more about the world of Scopes – Histogram, Vectroscope, False Color …  in this B & H tutorial, hosted by Chase Kubasiak from Zacuto,

Video can be found at this link.

Annual Cinematography awards Nikola Tanhofer 2016 – Nominations

Goran Mećava, Mladen Matula and Željko Sarić were members of the Jury of the this year “Annual Cinematography Awards Nikola Tanhofer” for 2016 (projects premiered in 2015). This is the 3rd installment of this award by Croatian Cinematographer Society.

In total, 6 feature films, 3 television series and 16 short films entered the competition. The jury decided to nominate three projects in each category.

The winners will be announced and prizes awarded at this year’s Pula Film Festival.

These are the nominated projects:


Narodni hero Ljiljan Vidić” – director of photography Tamara Cesarec, c.c.s.

Kosac” – director of photography Branko Linta, c.c.s.

Život je truba”- director of photography Radislav Jovanov, c.c.s.


Počivali u miru” – director of photography Mario Sablić, c.c.s.

Nemoj nikom reći” – director of photography Damir Kudin, c.c.s.

Crno bijeli svijet” – director of photography Mario Sablić, c.c.s.


Polenta” – director of photography Mirko Pivčević, c.c.s.

“Belladonna” – director of photography Branko Linta, c.c.s.

Lijepo mi je s tobom, znaš” – director of photography Eva Kraljević