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BERLINALE 2020 EFM

HAVC and Filming in Croatia showcase Mare at EFM Landmark

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- BERLINALE 2020: Andrea Štaka's Panorama entry benefited from Dubrovnik locations, the minority co-production funding scheme and the cash rebate; Croatia is also planning to build its first film studio

HAVC and Filming in Croatia showcase Mare at EFM Landmark
l-r: Jess Conoplia, Andrea Štaka, Tena Gojić and Chris Marcich during the talk (© HAVC)

Mare [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Andrea Staka
film profile
]
, the latest film by Swiss director of Croatian heritage Andrea Štaka (Fräulein [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Cure – The Life of Another [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Andrea Staka
film profile
]
), had its world premiere last week in the Berlinale Panorama and was also showcased at EFM Landmark, during a presentation entitled “Mare: How Landscape Emphasises a Film’s Character”. The showcase was presented by Štaka, the film's Croatian co-producer, Tena Gojić, of Dinaridi, and head of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) Chris Marcich. The talk was moderated by Jess Conoplia, president of the Association of Film Commissioners International.

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Štaka said that the starting point for the film was the location – the Konavle region southeast of Dubrovnik, where the city's airport is situated – and that she built the story based on it. The title character, played by Štaka regular Marija Škaričić, has never flown, although she lives right next to the airport with her husband and their three teenage kids.

"Almost all of the inhabitants of Konavle work at the airport or are connected to it in some way," said Štaka. "Located just 20 km from Dubrovnik, the place feels like another world. It is situated at the southernmost tip of Croatia, overlooking an endless horizon of the sea, naturally isolated yet connected by plane with the rest of the world. It greatly influenced the story and the characters in the film."

Gojić said that she managed to build trust and was accepted in the local community during production. "The fact that people in and around Dubrovnik know what a film set means and requires made our job much easier, and it was our goal to hire as many locals as possible in all departments. It's impressive how many people have on-camera experience because they’ve worked as extras on various projects filmed here," said Gojić.

Mare was supported by HAVC as a minority co-production and benefited from the cash rebate through the body's Filming in Croatia programme. "Andrea received significant funding in Switzerland thanks to the quality of the project, but we all feel it is also a Croatian film," said Marcich.

Conoplia noted that Croatia is recognised internationally for its locations and cash rebate, and asked Marcich about plans to build a film studio in the country, which would greatly enhance its potential. "Olsberg SPI is currently analysing the feasibility of building a film studio, and we expect to have the results of the study by the end of March. There are several potential locations around Zagreb and on the coast. The study will show which location is the best, and I expect that a call for tenders for the construction of a film studio will be issued by the end of the year," Marcich replied.

Watch Cineuropa's interview with Andrea Štaka here.

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