At the end of October, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre presented two online business studies. The first, carried out by the Institute of Public Finance, analyses the economic and fiscal effects of the Croatian audiovisual industry and the subsidies it receives. The second looks at the potential for a complex of film studios.
Chris Marcich, CEO of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, points out that the idea of building Croatian film studios has been around for some time – particularly since they would give the country a competitive edge. He indicated that “besides the positive fiscal impact, investment in Croatian films has also made an immeasurable contribution to Croatian culture. International productions employ Croatian film technicians. That has the positive side-effect of publicising the country and its brand, which then has a knock-on impact on other sectors like tourism. A film studio complex will further stimulate the export of film services, but it’s important that the studios are also available for Croatian film-makers.”
The film industry’s impact on tourism was particularly demonstrated by Game of Thrones.
Since 2012, more than 60,000 visitors have come to Croatia each year to visit the locations used in making the series.
Jonathan Olsberg, a European film consultant, presented a study commissioned by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and the Ministry of Culture and Media. Olsberg specifies that a complex of Croatian film studios would attract valuable international productions. Thanks to an aid programme, Filming in Croatia, international projects are already being filmed in the country. But building studios would encourage foreign productions to spend more time there, thus generating greater financial benefits for Croatia.
The studios would also help domestic producers and allow local workers gain more practical experience in a multi-purpose facility.
Private companies have shown an interest in investing in a project like this. Several potential sites have already been suggested. The majority of them are near Zagreb, which is quite close to the coast, and where most people working in the film industry live.
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