Film, video and photography
The Law on Audiovisual Activities (adopted in 2007, amended in 2011) regulates the performing, organising and funding of audiovisual activities as fundamental components of contemporary culture. It establishes a public institution – Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) – which isresponsible for the production, financing, promotion and distribution of audiovisual activities. The Law also introduced a new system for financing audiovisual activities, where funds are secured from the state budget as well as from the percentage of annual gross income gained from the performing of audiovisual activities by Croatian TV, television broadcasters at the national and regional level, as well as cable service providers and operators in fixed and mobile telecommunication networks and Internet service providers (see also chapter 2.9). The 2011 amendments were specifically designed to introduce financial incentives in the form of a 20% cash rebate for production costs incurred in Croatia for feature films, documentaries, animation and TV drama. These amendments marked a first step towards realisation of strategic goals outlined in the four-year National Strategic Programme for the Audiovisual Industry (2010-2014), devised by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and approved by the Ministry of Culture in October 2010. In October 2012, the representatives of HAVC presented the results of the first two years of the implementation of the Strategic Programme, and outlined the positive changes in four of five strategic goals – positive changes in audiovisual legislation, increased number of produced films, increased number of viewers of Croatian films, and an increase in digitalisation of independent cinemas and audiovisual (heritage) content (see chapter 2.4). New Strategy for the period 2015-2019 is still in the making.
Following the 2011 Law, the new Book of Regulations was put into force in 2012 introducing the Film Production Incentive Programme for investment in audio-visual production in Croatia. This Cash Rebate Programme is available to international and local filmmakers in the form of a cash rebate of up to 20% of production costs incurred in Croatia. In the period 2012-2015 this resulted with 24 international co-productions from ten countries; the spending on these co-productions in Croatia in this period amounted to 326,3 million kuna for services and goods incurred in Croatia.
Croatia has signed a Memorandum on the MEDIA 2007 programme (2007-2013) which was ratified in March 2008 by the Croatian Parliament. A Media Desk has been set-up within the Croatian Audiovisual Centre), which is now Creative Europe Desk – MEDIA sub-programme (see chapter 1.4.2).
Croatia is a member of Eurimages since 2003, is a signatory of European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production (2004) and is a signatory of the European Convention for the Protection of Audiovisual Heritage (2007). Since 2009 HAVC is a member of European Film Promotion (EFP), where it actively contributes in EFP initiatives and programmes; in 2013 a number of Croatian professionals have participated in several EFP programmes. In September 2014 during the Venice Film Festival an agreement on co-productions was signed between representatives of audiovisual centers of Slovenia, Croatia, and Friuli Venezia Giulia region. The RE-ACT (Regional Audiovisual Cooperation and Training) initiative aims to structure the current cooperation between these three funds on a formal level, and to develop film education and networking between these regions.
Following recommendations after the screening process for the Chapter on Information Society and Media, the government prepared the proposal for the new Law on Electronic Media in 2009 in order to bring Croatian media legislation fully into line with the acquis communautaire. The new Law on Electronic Media was adopted in December 2009 in order to respect the deadline set by the new Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The new Law on Electronic Media (2009, amended 2011 and in 2013) follows the main principles outlined in the Audiovisual Media Services Directive regarding the amount of Croatian and European audio-visual works as well as the amount of programmes produced by independent producers. It regulates commercial television and radio broadcasting and its provisions regarding content also apply to the public service broadcaster, HRT (Croatian Radio-Television), which is regulated by the Law on Croatian Radio-Television adopted in 2010 and amended in 2012. The adopted changes relate to the organisation (management structure and Programme council), functioning (programming and contents) and financing of the Croatian Radio Television.
The Law on Electronic Media also defines the basic criteria and procedures for awarding licenses. The Agency for Electronic Media (AEM) is managed by The Council for Electronic Media (VEM), an independent regulatory body that awards licences to radio and television broadcasters. Regulation of the new media and the Internet in particular has not been developed so far, although changes have been introduced in the last couple of years in regards to registration of portals and funding for them. However, this poses a problem for the functioning of portals and new media in general.
The Fund for the Promotion of Diversity and Pluralism of Electronic Media created by the new Law on Electronic Media obliges the HRT (Croatian Radio-Television) to contribute 3% of revenues generated from licence fees to the Fund. This support goes to the promotion of the production and broadcasting of electronic media content of public interest on local and regional levels, which is important for the right of citizens to public information, the rights of national minorities, promotion of cultural creativity, and development of education, science and art. The numerous discussions on media policy in Croatia have engendered a set of recommendations on the improvement of the legal structures regulating media. The government introduced amendments to the laws in order to revise the regulations, including the definition of electronic publications, while also enabling the non-profit media to compete for finance from the Fund. However, the new government disabled these amendments in 2016.
The Law on Media (2004, amended in 2011 and 2013) regulates the print media. The Law on Electronic Media and the Law on Media were modified and amended in July 2011 to help increase the visibility of media ownership. The changes to the Law on Electronic Media in July 2013 were related to eligibility of non-profit media for the funding from The Fund for the Promotion of Diversity and Pluralism of the Electronic Media.