‘The Boss’: After Agrokor Arrests, Everyone Suddenly Crazy About Controversial Film

Total Croatia News

After the latest developments in the Agrokor case, major Croatian TV networks started fighting for broadcasting rights to a documentary about Todorić. Until two days ago, none of them wanted to have anything to do with it.

In 2016, film director and producer Dario Juričan came out with his documentary ‘Gazda’ (The Boss), a film that explores the intricacies of the private business sector in Croatia, with a heavy emphasis on Ivica Todorić and his Agrokor empire. As seen on the cover photo above, the documentary was promoted under the clever slogan “this is not a film about Ivica Todorić”. It’s worth noting the first screenings took place before the ongoing Agrokor scandal started to slowly unwrap, and in those days, every single TV station in Croatia avoided ‘Gazda’ like the plague.

The biggest multiplex chain operating in Croatia also turned down the film; ‘Gazda’ was thus screened mostly in independent, arthouse cinemas in various cities all over the country and a few international cable networks. The film, of course, resonated in public and drew a lot of interest. Juričan launched a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo to cover filming and distribution expenses in September 2016; he reached his fixed goal of $3000 in two days. Before the end of the campaign, the project raised funds in the amount of $7.789, 260% of the original goal. People wanted to see the film. Major networks didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

A year later, on October 16, a criminal investigation was launched in the Agrokor case. The police searched the Todorić family home and the homes of the former members of the Agrokor board; multiple arrests were made. In days leading to this culmination, Juričan suddenly started getting calls. A lot of calls, reports Novi list on October 17, 2017.

“RTL reached out at the end of last week. This morning, everybody else called as well”, the director said on Monday.

In the light of recent events, RTL pulled a great move by broadcasting the film last night. As they stated, they were the first to report on the arrests in the Agrokor scandal, and they were also the quickest to reach out to Juričan and secure the exclusive right to broadcast ‘Gazda’ in Croatia. Juričan said he had been offering the film to all the networks for six months, but didn’t get a single reply from the public service broadcasters until yesterday morning, even though he sent an open letter to the director of HRT Kazimir Bačić. Numerous trade union organisations and GONG (NGO that oversees elections in Croatia) called for the film to be publicly broadcast on many occasion, to no avail. The film was first picked up by a cable network ‘Klasik TV’, then by Al Jazeera.

Reporters asked Juričan whether he feels any satisfaction due to this recent course of events. None, he said, adding that the reality is a couple of million times broader than what he managed to show in the scope of the documentary. He’s currently preparing a new project – a film about the age of privatisation and “the golden age of Croatian investigative journalism”. We can only speculate whether this next undertaking will also be a cinematic pariah until a couple of arrests go down. In the meantime, you can follow the latest news about Gazda here and watch it on demand here.


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