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New Law in Croatia at NEM Dubrovnik: operators and streaming services involved in financing national independent AV production

The special program New Law in Croatia, sponsored by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC), Agency for Electronic Media in Croatia (AEM), and the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media, became one of the most influential ones in this year’s edition of NEM Dubrovnik. Panels, presentations, and examples from practice presented and explained key aspects of the new legislation to the public.

Croatian Minister of Culture and Media, Nina Obuljen Koržinek, opened the program: “We all recognize the importance of content produced in Europe for our diversity, and identity but also for the media industry. Electronic Media Act came into effect in October last year and introduced several changes related to the contribution of market stakeholders, local production, and development of the audiovisual sector as a whole.”

During NEM, panelists from Europe and Croatia gave an in-depth look at the new law and highlighted how it will affect different AV organizations such as national televisions, operators, streaming services, and other audiovisual professionals in Croatia.

"For the first time, video-on-demand platforms and operators are involved in financing national audiovisual production. It's important to us for the financial aspect, but also for a broader view of the development of the media industry in Croatia," said Obuljen Koržinek for HRT. 

Minister Obuljen Koržinek explained the newly introduced obligation for operators to provide 10 % of annual gross revenue for works of Croatian independent producers. Media service providers on-demand, which are targeting Croatia, were introduced the obligation to contribute 2% of annual gross revenue for the implementation of the national program for the audiovisual creation and to directly invest 2% – either into production or purchase of audiovisual works of Croatian independent producers.

The first part of the program, Operators in Local Production, focused on the importance of local production. Decision-makers from different companies such as Movistar Plus+ International Division, Nadcon Film, yes Studios and Ampere Analysis pointed to business practices in different media markets that proved the effectiveness of investing in local production.

Krešimir Partl, Secretary of State in Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media, moderated the following panel as Danijel Pek (TV and film producer, Antitalent), Siniša Đuranović (Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Procurator, Croatian Telecom), Nikola Klisović (Director of Legal Affairs and Wholesale, A1 Croatia) and Chris Marcich (CEO, Croatian Audiovisual Center) joined him on stage. Gathered experts explained how crucial it is to integrate investing in local production and audiovisual products through business strategy.

Panel Co-production Among Players in Europe explained how new co-production models and deals between FTA's, streamers, and others are coming our way. Jonathan Broughton (Head of Strategy, EBU), Robert Franke (Vice President Drama, ZDF Studios), Nebojša Taraba (Producer and Partner, Drugi Plan), Rahela Štefanović (Editor in Chief HTV, Croatian Radiotelevision), Krisztina Gallo (Director International Television Production CEE, Sony Pictures Television International Studios) and Monika Kłosińska (Content Acquisition Director, CANAL+) debated how streamers must present their viewers about 30 percent of European content and then reinvest a certain percentage into local production. NEM's program New Law in Croatia accentuated the importance of connecting different European productions and their joint action in audiovisual activities.

NEM Dubrovnik is also bringing a private networking event that will gather speakers and representatives of the most prominent operators, streamers, national televisions, and other AV professionals and institutions. During lunch at Lenga restaurant, participants will exchange contacts, share their experiences, and discuss future collaborations, in line with changes that the new law will bring to domestic audiovisual bodies.

The special program New Law in Croatia successfully brought together key Croatian media and TV players faced with changes and connected them with prominent foreign companies and leading media experts.

NEM Dubrovnik is a B2B event, every year focusing on the TV industry development in the CEE region. Regular visitors are key representatives of pay-tv channels, FTA channels, streaming services, telecom operators, and other television services providers, but also actors, producers, directors, writers, and other participants in the audiovisual industry.

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