Croatia is fast growing on the tourist circuit but filmmakers discovered this continental, timeless beauty as a backdrop for their films a long time ago
Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a country in Central Europe and South-Eastern Europe at the crossroads of the Pannonian Plain, the Balkans and the Adriatic Sea. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. Croatia borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the southeast, and has a comparatively small stretch of border with Montenegro at its southernmost tip along the Adriatic coast.
A relatively small country, Croatia has a spectacular 6,000-km coastline with more than 1,100 islands, of which only 66 are inhabited. This coast is considered one of the most beautiful countries in Europe with innumerable bays, inlets, coves and beaches. Croatia’s locations are more timeless than trendy. Along its coastline, a glistening sea winds around rocky coves, lapping at pine-fringed beaches. Istrian ports bustle with sparkling water. In Dalmatia, cities throb with nightlife amid ancient Roman ruins.
Most islands receive more than 2,600 hours of sun a year. Croatia is divided between the Latin-influenced coast and an interior, which is more Central European.
The country, which has endured Roman, Venetian, Italian and Austro-Hungarian rule, has a unique identity. You’ll find a strong Central European flavour in the baroque architecture of Zagreb, and the Italian devotion to the good life percolates up from the coast, permeating Croatian food and style.
Croatians retain a strong attachment to their land and traditions that nourished the dream of independence for so long. Even as a tide of speculators and developers washes ashore, there is a real commitment to preserving the extraordinary beauty of the coast. Whether the country can hold out against the lure of easy money is an excruciating test of its character. But, so far, the signs are promising.
Most of Croatia has a moderately warm and rainy continental climate defined as the Köppen climate. Monthly temperature ranges between −3 °C in January and 18 °C in July. The coldest parts of the country are Lika and Gorski Kotar, where a snowy forested climate is found at elevations above 1,200 mt. The warmest areas of Croatia are at the Adriatic coast and especially in its immediate hinterland characterised by a Mediterranean climate as the temperature highs are moderated by the sea.
In January 2012, Croatia introduced a Tax Rebate for film and television productions made in Croatia. Projects can benefit of up to 20 per cent of their qualifying expenditure. There is a ceiling of € 3 million on qualifying local expenditure per project. The minimum local spend per project is € 3,00,000. The rebate applies to feature films, documentaries, short films, television drama and animation. The rebate does not apply to commercials, reality TV, game shows and soaps.
The benefit is based on the cost of Croatian cast and crew working on the project as well as goods and services purchased in Croatia. But it’s only up to a maximum value of 80 per cent of the overall budget spent in the country. The foreign producer must team up with a local Croatian co-producer. The Croatian co-producer applies to the Croatian Audiovisual Centre for a provisional certificate before the start of production, and for a final certificate on completion of the production in Croatia.
The Croatian co-producer is responsible for compliance with prescribed formal requirements. The Croatian producer provides the full range of production services including locations scouting, scheduling, budgeting, casting, crewing and takes full responsibility for all production services carried out in the State throughout the life-span of the production.
No official permission is required for feature-film shoots or any other types of productions other than the normal requirement for permission from the owner of the authority responsible for the location in question. But it is advisable to have a local production company attached if you are planning to shoot in Croatia. You are also required to register your production with the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.
Foreign nationals filming in Croatia on a temporary basis do not require a working permit. Foreign nationals staying in hotels or other type of accommodation through a local service provider or co-producer are automatically registered by the hotelier or the Croatian partner. Foreign citizens intending to stay in Croatia for longer than 90 days must apply for a temporary residence permit and should contact the Croatian Ministry of Interior a minimum 30 days prior to expiration of their 90-day stay.