Zbanic on the road with On the Path
by Vladan Petkovic
The co-production between Bosnia’s Deblokada, Austria’s Coop 99, Germany’s Pandora Filmproduktion and Croatia’s Ziva Produkcija started its run right after Berlin on eight prints in Bosnia, accumulating 47,097 tickets, and another 14,961 from five prints in Croatia.
Since there are only eight screens in Bosnia, and many smaller towns in Croatia don’t have theatres, the producers have organized the project Cinema Visits. The team – including the director, producer Damir Ibrahimovic and actors Leon Lucev, Zrinka Cvitesic and Marija Kohn – are touring with a projector, a screen and a print, showing the film in alternative venues such as concert halls, hotels and clubs.
The Bosnian premiere was held at a sports venue that accommodates 6,000 people, and in Croatia at a concert hall with 1,600 seats, both filled to capacity.
The idea for Cinema Visits came from Lucev and Cvitesic, whose hometowns haven’t had theatres since the end of the war in Croatia. “Our goal is too reach as many cinephiles as possible and encourage others to see the film the way it’s supposed to be seen – in a theatre,” says Lucev, who also co-produced the film through his outfit Ziva Produkcija.
When Zbanic’s previous film, Grbavica (Esma's Secret) [trailer, film focus], won the Golden Bear at the 2006 Berlinale, there were 26 screens in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the film went on to sell 160,000 tickets, becoming the third highest grosser in the country’s history.
Meanwhile, On the Path’s world sales agent, The Match Factory, has sold the rights to 19 territories, including Benelux, the Baltic states and CIS, Colombia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan.