Adria Art Artist - the first ten years

Balancing between domestic and foreign films, between rarities and mainstream, Adria Art Artist continues its work aimed at satisfying more demanding film audiences…

The tenth anniversary of Adria Art Artist’s film distribution in Croatia is no small achievement. However, since we do not lack film distributors the focus shifts to what kind of films those distributors import and screen in Croatian theatres. In Adria Art Artist, under Željko Brkić’s leadership, the focus is on films that were successful throughout Europe and the rest of the world but did not reach domestic theatres. Looking back at the early 1990s, when European films were a rarity in domestic theatres, when there were no such influences as the Motovun Film Festival and audiences were deprived of non-mainstream films (that were in many cases nominated for Oscars), it was Adria Art Artist that first started to distribute non- commercial films of “other” countries.

The film Before the Rain (1994.) by Milčo Mančevski, recently shown in Tuškanac, is a really great example. This Oscar-nominated film is one of the most important films from the former Yugoslavia. At the time it was released, it offered fresh inspiration not only to Croatian cinema (which was then in a crisis) but also showed how one may create an outstanding piece of art with an unthinkably small budget.

Shine by Scott Hicks, nominated for an Oscar in 1996, followed a similar path - it was a unique film starring the unforgettable Geoffrey Rush (who won an Oscar).

Through Adria Art Artist, theatre audiences felt the atmosphere of far-off countries and cinemas; some of the Oscar-winning films that we saw include Farewell My Concubine (1993) by Chen Kaige, Tango (1998) by Carlos Saura, the Swedish Fucking Amal (1998) by Lukas Moodysson, Czech Kolya (1996) by Jan Sverák and Polish Quo Vadis (2001) by Jerzy Kawalerowicz.

Several small films such as Naked (1993) by Mike Leigh, Exotica (1994) by Atom Egoyan, Left Luggage (1998) by Edwin de Vries and Kat by Marie Trolle Larsen, found their way to the audience’s heart and became big hits.

Balancing between domestic and foreign films, between rarities and mainstream, Adria Art Artist continues its work, preparing DVD issues of Čaruga by Rajko Grlić (1991.), along with the recently published DVD Before the Rain by the Macedonian director Milče Mančevski. For such good results, you need a lot of good will, money and a sophisticated taste in film. Adria Art Artist’s team obviously has all of these.