The box-office ratings of Slovenian films are on the increase, while the Slovenian Film Database and Slovenian Film Theatre will further promote Slovenian film with the national audience
In 2020, the shooting of four live-action features will begin: Hidden People by the director Miha Hočevar; The Space Within Us, the first feature by the director Rahela Jagrič Pirc; Grandpa Goes South by the director Vinci Vogue Anžlovar; and Wake Me by the director Marko Šantić.
At the tenders for 2019, the Slovenian Film Centre, Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia (SFC), supported two first films in the total value of EUR 445,981: The Space Within Us by the director Rahela Jagrič Pirc and Cent’anni by the director Maja Prelog. It also supported four live-action feature projects in the total value of EUR 1,928,500: Beanie by Slobodan Maksimović, Lunatic by the director Igor Šterk, The Last Hero by the director Žiga Virc, and The Man Without Guilt by the director Ivan Gergolet. Two documentary features in the total value of EUR 111,400 were supported as well: Through My Eyes by the director Igor Vrtačnik and Behind the Digital Curtain by the director Jurij Gruden.
Since the beginning of January 2020, the viewers in the Slovenian cinemas have already been able to enjoy Half-Sister by the director Damjan Kozole. At the end of January, All Against All, the new film by Andrej Košak, is scheduled for theatrical release, while in February it will be joined by Don’t Forget to Breathe by the director Martin Turk, a film shot entirely in the Bela krajina region. By the end of the year, the films Deadlock by Vinko Möderndorfer and Once Were Humans by Goran Vojnović will have arrived in the Slovenian cinemas as well.
According to the information gathered to date, in 2019, Slovenian films were seen by well over 160,000 viewers, which is an increase of over 20 percent in comparison with 2018, when the number of relevant viewers amounted to 133,173. The total number of viewers of all films in 2019 was 2.310,568, which means that the share of Slovenian film viewers amounted to 7 percent (in comparison with 2.549,093 viewers or 5 percent in 2018).
The SFC enters the year 2020 with a new strategy for the period from 2020 to 2024, which emphasises the increased accessibility of film contents and audience development as two of its most important goals, as we find that after the regular cinematographic distribution is completed, Slovenian films are no longer available to the public. It is therefore vital to ensure the accessibility of film heritage. Access to comprehensive information about the national film and audiovisual creativity is of crucial importance for the development of film culture and knowledge. To this end, the Slovenian Film Database, supported by the SFC, has been created in cooperation with Filmoteka, the institute for the promotion of film culture. It provides access to the continuously updated database of Slovenian film. In 2020, we are also preparing the project Slovenian Film Theatre in cooperation with the Ljubljana’s Kolosej multiplex, which is the largest film theatre in the Slovenian capital. For many years, Kolosej has been awarding Golden Reels in cooperation with the Alliance of Slovenian Associations of Filmmakers to support Slovenian films (a Golden Reel is given for every 25,000 viewers). In the last two years, Gaja’s World (2018) by Peter Bratuša and Let Him Be a Basketball Player 2 (2019) by Boris Bezić received five Golden Reels altogether. The latter will receive its third Golden Reel on Saturday, 25 January 2020, in Maribor’s Maribox cinema.
According to the director of the SFC Nataša Bučar, both of the projects mentioned above will promote Slovenian film with the national audience. “Because of the needs of the general and professional public, it was necessary to update the existing Slovenian film database, which should also be very useful for educational purposes. Meanwhile, Slovenian Film Theatre will screen new Slovenian films as well as show reruns of films from the past years and classics from the Slovenian film heritage. The Slovenian Film Theatre project aims to promote film culture, increase the accessibility of Slovenian film, as well as contribute to its importance at home,” Bučar added. The Kolosej Ljubljana multiplex will thus screen at least one Slovenian film every day of the year. The programme will be shaped independently by Kolosej’s programme associates. The first film to be shown – on 6 February 2020 at 20:00 – is the comedy Fuckit (2000) by the screenwriter and director Miha Hočevar.
The Slovenian Film Database represents the national online platform that provides the information about Slovenian filmography from the very beginnings of Slovenian film until today – from professional to amateur production, from commercial to experimental projects, and from cinema to videos. Along with the basic data, it also provides access to photographic, textual, and video materials, crucial for understanding the broader cultural-historical context of Slovenian film creativity. The Slovenian Film Database represents the primary online reference, intended for the professional as well as the general public – film lovers, connoisseurs, as well as those who will use it to only start discovering Slovenian film. For the public, the Slovenian Film Database represents an important first step to a better awareness of the broader national and international audience. Its development in the future will also contribute to the popularisation of Slovenian cinematography and accessibility of Slovenian films.
Among other things, the project leader Lev Predan Kowarski stated the following: “During its testing since November of last year, the Slovenian Film Database has already attracted more than 5,500 visitors, who have looked up various films 1,175 times. During this time, the team has added information for over 200 new titles and implemented 167 updates of the web application.”
In 2020, the SFC and its partners will proceed with the already established projects like Our Films At Home, Slovenian Film Premiere, and Slovenian Film Week, which will, in 2020, take place between 9 and 13 November. Another event that should contribute to the understanding of film will take place on 20 and 21 April in the Kinodvor cinema in Ljubljana: a regional film education seminar, as a part of the European Union’s project Film Education: from Framework to Impact. The project is led by the British Film Institute. Apart from the Slovenian Film Centre, the partners of this project include the Danish Film Institute, Vision Kino, and Cinémathèque Française.
The 23rd Festival of Slovenian Film will take place between 13 and 18 October 2020 in Portorož.