Ankica Juric Tilic
by Vladan Petkovic
21/04/2009 - Croatian production company Kinorama was founded in 2003 by experienced producers Ankica Juric Tilic and Hrvoje Pervan, and assistant director Dragan Juric. The company has made 10 films so far, two of which are features: Dalibor Matanic's Kino Lika [trailer] and Lukas Nola's True Miracle. Kinorama is also one of the minority co-producers on Razvan Radulescu and Melissa de Raaf's upcoming First of All, Felicia [trailer, film focus].
Cineuropa: How do you put together budgets for productions and co-productions and what are the advantages of the two approaches?
Ankica Juric Tilic: It's always simpler and usually cheaper to put together a production budget as the sole producer. However, co-productions are a positive approach on both the artistic and financial level. The exchange of ideas within Europe can always bring something fresh and useful to all the partners. The markets function according to basically the same rules, so cooperation is relatively simple. It is very hard to complete the budget solely within the country of origin.
The disadvantages of co-productions are the complexity of the organization of work, and the slim chances that the timeline of funding competitions in different countries would fit the optimal timeline of the film’s production, so such projects usually have a longer period of development and pre-production.
What are the basic criteria you follow in choosing projects?
Two things are most important: the quality of the script and the filmmaker. If I have an offer from a director with whom I have had positive experiences, I will definitely accept it. The trust I have in the director is a guarantee for both of us. Since Kinorama is a small company we try to accept only the projects that we can really lend ourselves to. If it's a co-production, it's very important who the other producers are.
What are your experiences with Eurimages and other co-production funds and what do you expect from Croatia's MEDIA membership?
So far we have been more successful at production markets than with co-production funds. We have yet to apply to Eurimages, but probably will with children's film Koko and the Ghosts, which we are co-producing with Slovenia's Gustav Film, and the new film by Dalibor Matanic, Mother of Asphalt, for which we are still looking for a co-producer. All the producers welcomed the MEDIA membership because we had to finance development ourselves as it is not possible to get funding for this phase from the Croatian Film Fund.
What do you think about the poor attendance for domestic films in Croatia?
It is truly sad and it is the result of the systematic decline in attendance for European and Croatian films. In the last couple of years the number of screens has risen, but we should work more on marketing and presentation, as well as on raising awareness of local films. Most of the Croatian films in last five years have been very well received and awarded at film festivals, and ratings from their TV screenings are excellent. Nevertheless, [cinema] attendance is very poor and we are still looking for a way to fix this problem. The Man Without a Moustache sold over 150,000 admissions in 2006 and it is a big question when another local film will enjoy such success.
Kino Lika was the highest local grosser last year with 20,000 admissions, but the total figure is objectively really low. We hope that in the future we'll be able to improve this situation with better marketing and more help from distributors and exhibitors.