Indian Film Producers Could be Interested in Filming Varazdin

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes, this charming Northern Croatian city, which has the Trash Film Festival and Vafi – an international festival of animated films for children and youth, definitely has a friendly relationship with the world of film, and with the founding of the Varazdin Film Office, its goal is to promote the city as being film friendly.

In addition, Varazdin aims to become a desirable location for filming movies, series, commercials, videos and other such productions. Lana Velimirovic Vukalovic, the director of the Varazdin Public Open University, which founded the Office back in 2017 with the support of the City of Varazdin, recently had an online meeting with the Indian company Europa Media & Entertainment at the Focus 2021 international event in London. This company usually represents film locations in Mumbai (Bombay). How did it turn out?

“Indian producers are showing great interest in filming in Croatia. Through the exchange of emails, we’ll present Varazdin and its surroundings in more detail as potential film backdrops,” pointed out Velimirovic Vukalovic. In February 2022, a producer from Mumbai is due to arrive to look into potentially filming Varazdin.

“What I expect from this visit is the promotion of the city of Varazdin and the entire county, not only in terms of potential locations for filming, but also in terms of tourism. We talked about the possibility of bringing Instagrammers from India here who would document and photograph our region on their profiles.

We want to launch a series of activities related to the creative industries in POU, so I suggested a guest from India to give lectures in Varazdin on the topic of Bollywood and to show his two feature films in the Gaj city cinema,” revealed the director.

The Varazdin Film Office takes on a dual role, the first being to be a contact point for all film crews in the city, along with the Tourist Board and the City, and the second to help teams find suitable locations for filming Varazdin and elsewhere, to connect them with site owners and so on… The office can ”direct” economic opportunities as well, especially for local SMEs.

“In the case of larger production projects, they can be involved in providing their services, for example through the accommodation of camera crews, catering and hospitality, hairdressing, make-up artists, and so forth,” explained Velimirovic Vukalovic. Currently, the Office is supporting one Croatian production company in its search for a place for a film with scenes from the middle of the nineteenth century.

“The goal is to attract filmmakers from Croatia, the region and the rest of the world. In this sense, we’ll be able to explore the possibilities of designing incentive models for production companies with support provided by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre. Therefore, in the future, we want to connect the Varazdin Film Office with the Centre for Creative Industries, which we plan to develop in cooperation with the City of Varazdin.

The plan is to map the creative industries across the entire county and we’ve already started forming a working group. We’ll see to what extent we can include activities related to the film industry in this domain, but a holistic approach would certainly make sense. It’s crucial that in 2022 we implement the annual plan – drafting regulations on the Office, updating the website with information on services throughout the city, and additional networking with important stakeholders in the film industry at home and abroad,” she concluded.

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