The current state of production and the film market in Slovenia
by Tina Poglajen, Vladan Petkovic
- With one national film and one minority co-production in competition in Karlovy Vary 2018, we take a look at the country’s industry state
The 2018 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will see the strongest presence of Slovenian filmmakers so far, with one national film and one minority co-production featuring in the festival's Official Selection.
Sonja Prosenc, who competed in East of the West in 2014 with her debut The Tree [+see also:
film profile], is now bringing her highly anticipated film, History of Love [+see also:
interview: Sonja Prosenc
film profile], the first ever Slovenian-Italian-Norwegian co-production, to KVIFF. The film centres on a family tragedy, employing a distinctive poetic approach which assails the senses of the viewer, and a loose narrative style which lays bare the director’s talent for telling a story using the most subtle form of suggestion, according to the official synopsis on Karlovy Vary's website.
Slovenian-born and Prague-based filmmaker Olmo Omerzu, whose Family Film [+see also:
interview: Olmo Omerzu
film profile] was a hit on the festival circuit in 2016, is presenting Winter Flies [+see also:
film profile], a co-production between Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland and Slovakia. Written by Petr Pýcha, it is described as "A road movie about the flies that occasionally buzz around even in winter, telling a story of boyhood friendship and the irrepressible desire to experience something, even if you don’t exactly know what."
2017 was a great success for Slovenian films abroad. Exactly one year ago, the Slovenian minority co-production Men Don’t Cry [+see also:
interview: Alen Drljević
film profile], clinched the Bosnian director and screenwriter Alen Drljević the best director prize at Karlovy Vary, and went on to win awards at festivals in Sarajevo and Göteborg, as well as being the Bosnian Oscar candidate for Best Foreign Language Film.
The observational documentary, The Family [+see also:
film profile], by Rok Biček, world-premiered in Locarno, where it won the main award during Critics’ Week and amassed overwhelmingly positive reviews. Another documentary, Playing Men [+see also:
film profile] by Matjaž Ivanišin, won the Georges de Beauregard Prize in Marseille, and the Ciné+ Distribution Support Award at the Entrevues Belfort festival in France. The fiction film by Hanna W. Slak, The Miner [+see also:
interview: Hanna Slak
film profile], received a Special Mention in Warsaw, while Ivan [+see also:
interview: Janez Burger
interview: Maruša Majer
film profile], by Janez Burger, triumphed at LET’S CEE in Vienna and was distributed in territories ranging from China to Serbia and Croatia.
Production-wise, the number of feature-length films made in Slovenia, both fiction and documentary, is growing every year: from 16 in 2015, to 20 and 21 in 2016 and 2017 respectively. At the Cannes Film Market, Slovenia’s presence came in the form of four titles: History of Love (as mentioned above), Stories from the Chestnut Woods by Gregor Božič (which won the This Is IT Laser Film Award at the When East Meets West 2018), Consequences by newcomer Darko Štante, and local hit, Let Him Be a Basketball Player, by Boris Petkovič, which scored a top-5 position on the BO chart, undoubtedly helped by the popularity of the children’s book on which it is based, and Slovenia's timely triumph at the European Basketball Championship.
In terms of the Slovenian production industry, last year saw a number of first films coming through, among which quite a few directed and written by female filmmakers, such as the comedy feature film, My Last Year as a Loser, by Urša Menart, and the documentaries Avenge by Marija Zidar and How Much Do You Love Yourself by Nina Blažin.
Furthermore, two upcoming Slovenian productions received backing from Eurimages in December last year: Let’s Be Frank, by the director and screenwriter Metod Pevec, a filmabout two brothers representing the opposing halves of Slovenian society, was awarded €200,000, while a minority co-production with Italy, How Things Fall by Katja Colja, won €215,000.
For a more thorough look at the facts and figures of the Slovenian film industry, click here.
Last but not least, Slovenia is promoting its cash rebate system, introduced in 2016 (see story), by championing the proximity and accessibility of the country’s four geographic and climate-specific regions, which are all within a 90-minute drive of one another - Alpine peaks, Mediterranean-style coastlines, meadows, hills, pine forests, lakes, rivers, beaches, castles, palaces, and even caves.
Filming among the highest mountains and the wildest waters, trails lead visitors across the Julian Alps, the Kamnik Savinja Alps and the Pohorje Hills, via rivers, lakes and waterfalls.
(photo: Alpine by Franci Ferjan, https://www.slovenia.info/)
MEDITERRANEAN & KARST SLOVENIA
Film locations in this region of the land will take visitors from salt pans to karst caves, from picturesque towns and the Adriatic Sea to the green rural landscapes of mystical Istrian villages.
(photo: Mediterranean by Jošt Gantar, https://www.slovenia.info/)
THERMAL PANNONIAN SLOVENIA
Filming between thermal spas and winegrowing hills which soothe the soul, the land of famous wine-growing hills and its numerous castles tells authentic tales of the past and inspires with its amazing scenery.
(photo: Thermal by Jošt Gantar, https://www.slovenia.info/)
LJUBLJANA & CENTRAL SLOVENIA
The capital shares its space with countless expressions of urban culture and art. UNESCO world heritage sites, verdant rural expanses, and even primeval forests are just a few moments away from one another, but also worlds apart.
(photo: Ljubljana by Jacob Riglin, https://www.slovenia.info/)
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