The Slovenian Film Centre sums up its 2022 activities and announces plans for this year
- The institution has shared information about its activities past and future, from the success of Slovenian cinema at home and abroad last year, to filming, distribution and festival schedules for 2023
The yearly press conference organised by the Slovenian Film Centre (SFC) took place in Ljubljana on Thursday 26 January. The central topics covered were its activities and achievements in 2022, as well as its plans for 2023, which seem even more ambitious thanks to the increase in film funding. Other highlights included the highest box-office takings in Slovenia since the country gained its independence and clear signs that a new generation of female filmmakers is on the rise.
During the 2022 calls for applications, the SFC granted its support to seven live-action feature films, two feature-length documentaries, three live-action shorts and four animated short films. The seven live-action features supported with a total of €3.745 million were Whites Wash at Ninety (directed by Marko Naberšnik and produced by Perfo), 20 Metres (directed by Damjan Kozole, staged by Vertigo), FC Freedom (directed by Boris Petkovič, produced by Iridium Film), Girl of the Night (directed by Luka Marčetič, staged by Temporama), Tales of Fruits and Monsters (directed by Gregor Božič, produced by Nosorogi), Tartini’s Key (directed by Vinci Vogue Anžlovar, staged by Blade produkcija) and Ciao Bela (directed by Jani Sever, produced by Sever & Sever). The two feature-length documentaries that secured the SFC’s support of €270,000 (in total) are Ema Kugler’s Once Upon a Time in Soča Valley (produced by Zavod Zank) and Damjan Kozole’s OHO (produced by Vertigo). The three live-action and four animated shorts will be funded with €150,000 and €123,700, respectively.
Furthermore, in 2022, the production of five features, one feature-length docu-fiction film, one short documentary and one episode of a TV series made use of the cash-rebate facility. Foreign productions spent more than €11 million in Slovenia and received slightly under €2.8 million through the cash rebate.
The year 2022 was also successful for Slovenian movie theatres, which saw a steep rise in attendance levels. Last year, a total of 1.76 million tickets were sold to the audience, which is a new record and also represents a 150% hike compared to the year before (total attendance in 2021 was around 710,000, which was also considered to be something of a recovery after the low numbers witnessed in 2020, with attendance of under 550,000). What’s more, two additional records have been set: domestic films were seen by 307,776 cinema-goers, and the share of Slovenian flicks at the domestic box office reached 17.49%. Although the data on the latter achievement are not final, it is safe to assume that the records will not be disputed, since the previous market share, from the year 2013, stood at less than 10%.
SFC’s director, Nataša Bučar, highlighted the current successes of Slovenian cinema and its filmmakers: “The most successful year for Slovenian film is behind us. It was record-breaking in terms of both the number of viewers in Slovenian cinemas and international successes, including the European Film Award for the short Granny’s Sexual Life by Urška Djukić. Regarding the efforts to attract foreign productions to Slovenia, 2022 was also a landmark year, as the shooting of Netflix’s The Union, the biggest foreign production ever in Slovenia, took place in Piran.” Bučar also said that, in 2023, the SFC will have significantly increased funding for national film production at its disposal. “I am positive that Slovenian film is in excellent shape and is on the right track,” she added.
It is expected that 11 live-action features (four of which are debuts) and four live-action shorts will be filmed in 2023. The list includes the aforementioned movies by Anžlovar, Sever, Petkovič and Božič, but also the feature debut Little Trouble Girls (directed by Urška Djukić, produced by SPOK Films), the debut Fantasy (directed by Katarina Rešek-Kukla, staged by December), the debut Neither Voice (directed by Ester Ivakič, produced by Temporama), Block 5 (directed by Klemen Dvornik, produced by A Atalanta), Everything That’s Wrong With You (directed by Urša Menart, produced by Vertigo), the debut This Is a Robbery! (directed by Gregor Andolšek, produced by Temporama) and the title The Lost Son (directed by Darko Štante, staged by Staragara). Shorts helmed by Gaja Moderndorfer, Matjaž Jamnik and Gaja Naja Rojec, Filip Jembrih, and Žiga Virc, all supported by the SFC, are also scheduled to start principal photography in the coming year.
Regarding the national distribution plans for 2023, two films, Miha Vipotnik’s Wrecked Piano and Vinci Vogue Anžlovar’s Grandpa Goes South [+see also:
film profile], have already hit domestic theatres. It is expected that seven more Slovenian films will do so by the end of the year. The list includes Dominik Mencej’s Riders [+see also:
interview: Dominik Mencej
film profile], Marko Šantić’s Wake Me [+see also:
interview: Marko Šantić
film profile], Ivan Gergolet’s The Man Without Guilt [+see also:
interview: Ivan Gergolet
film profile], Robert Černeič’s experimental title The Birdbreeder, Igor Šterk’s Lunatic, Nejc Gazvoda’s Role Model and Žiga Virc’s The Last Hero. On top of that, six feature-length documentaries (Haidy Kancler’s Melting Dreams, Damjan Kozole’s Pero [+see also:
film profile], Miha Čelar’s Cannabis Will Set You Free, Petra Seliškar’s The Body, The Table directed by Neli Maraž, and Maja Doroteja Prelog’s debut, Cent’anni) will be presented to wider Slovenian audiences, and the same is also expected for the 21 live-action, documentary and animated shorts.
In 2023, the SFC and its partners will continue to work on already-established projects, such as retrospectives of Slovenian films abroad, Our Films at Home, Slovenian Film Premiere, the Slovenian Film Database, the so-called Scenarnica, Scenarnica ABC and Dokumentarnica workshops, the Filmarija podcast, Incubator, as well as a new project titled Short Scene. Also, the 26th Festival of Slovenian Film is scheduled to take place from 3-8 October 2023 in Portorož.
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