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Packed house for American premiere of The Eighth Commissioner at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles

The legendary Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard was full on Thursday night for the American premiere of The Eighth Commissioner, Croatia’s candidate for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination. The presentation of The Eighth Commissioner and the country of Croatia to the American market as a desirable tourist and attractive film destination was held during ‘A Night of Croatian Film & Flavors’. This is the first international collaboration between the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) and the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) with the aim of creating conditions for the placement of this, and every future Croatian Oscar candidate, as well as the promotion of Croatia through the film industry.

The event kicked off with a walk down the red carpet which included members of The Eighth Commissioner’s cast and crew: Ivan Salaj (director), Jozo Patljak (producer), Frano Mašković, Borko Perić and Nadia Cvitanović (actors), Slobodan Trninić (cinematographer), Tomislav Bubalo (co-producer), Antonio Patljak (visual effects), Zorana Rajić (script) and Ivana Grubišić Perišić (art director), along with a number of Croatian film professionals living and working in the United States. Lending their support were actor Goran Višnjić, actresses Leona Paraminski and Marija Omaljev, CBS Sports creative director and 36-time Emmy award winner Pete Radovich Jr., cinematographer Vanja Černjul, producer and composer Bobby Boško Grubić, and director and producer Alen Petković.

Also present at the screening of The Eighth Commissioner at the Egyptian Theatre were LA Lakers player Ivica Zubac with his girlfriend Kristina Prišč, photographer Jadran Lazić, singer Željko Bebek, model Jasmina Hdagha, 7-time Emmy winner Helmut VonLichten, Bosnian & Herzegovinian actor Miraj Grbić, and most importantly – more than 50 members of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

‘A Night of Croatian Film & Flavors’ included reporters from approximately twenty American media outlets including: USA Today, REGARD Magazine, LA Weekly, West Hollywood Lifestyle, Global Glam Luxury Magazine, LA Times and LaLaScoop.

The Croatian National Tourist Board’s director Kristjan Staničić also attended the American premiere and addressed the audience ahead of the screening: ‘This turnout is proof of the quality of Croatian film and Croatian artists, as well as the interest Croatia has garnered as a hit tourist destination on this major, and for us, strategically important market. We are aware of the growing number of tourists visiting Croatian film locations which are becoming increasingly popular tourist destinations and we are confident that our country will continue to be interesting for Hollywood film productions,’ said Staničić, expressing his great appreciation to all who came at this, what is for California residents, an incredibly difficult time.

The screening was followed by a question and answer session at the famous Egyptian Theatre between the audience and the film’s director Ivan Salaj, cinematographer Slobodan Trninić, and actors Frano Mašković, Borko Perić and Nadia Cvitanović. The session was then concluded with a reception where guests had the opportunity to enjoy selected Dalmatian wines and delicacies.

It was really interesting to see and listen to the audience’s reaction from an American perspective. I knew that Europeans and those from the Mediterranean would have positive reactions to the film, because they are so familiar with the mentality. But the American viewers’ reactions were great which proves that what is most important in life is emotion which runs equally across the globe,’ said lead actor Frano Mašković.

The film’s director Ivan Salaj was also elated. ‘The Egyptian Theatre is a cult cinema at an excellent location, especially when you see the theatre is full from the beginning to the end of the screening. And the fact that fifty members of the Academy were present in the audience only increases the chance of the film being noticed. The rules have changed this year and members are no longer required to view more than 12 films so it could easily happen that from some 90 applicants half of their films won’t even be seen. If nothing else, this is an opportunity for our film to find an American distributor.’

The organizers of the American premiere of The Eighth Commissioner are AlkaFilm and American Cinemathique, and key partners are the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) and the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ), while sponsors include the City of Zagreb Tourist Board, Stina Vino, Grgich Hills Estate and Zagrebačka Banka.

Cover photos: Ivan Salaj, Frano Mašković, Nadia Cvitanović and Borko Perić; Goran Višnjić and Kristjan Staničić; Nadia Cvitanović and Frano Mašković

All other photos are available here.
(*All photos are credited to the HAVC and are free for use in all media. For high resolution photos please contact

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