PROFilm Days/Croatia

Benjamin HendriksJohn RakichJohn RakichJohn RakichJohn RakichJohn RakichBenjamin HendriksBenjamin HendriksEJ RichardsEJ RichardsEJ RichardsEJ RichardsEJ RichardsEJ RichardsEJ RichardsBenjamin HendriksBenjamin HendriksBenjamin HendriksBenjamin HendriksBenjamin HendriksBenjamin HendriksBenjamin HendriksBenjamin HendriksBenjamin HendriksBenjamin Hendriks

by Angus Ledgerwood/LMGI

In September 2023, the Zagreb Film Office invited LMGI President John Rakich (Toronto), members Benjamin Hendriks (Netherlands) and Emma Jane “EJ” Richards (United Kingdom) to participate in a seven-day nationwide tour of Croatia’s most film-friendly locations, followed by a panel discussion at the fifth PROFilm Days Symposium in Croatia’s capital city, Zagreb.

“We believe experiencing Zagreb and Croatia in person is so much more impactful than just hearing about how great it is to film here,” says Mia Pecina Draškovic, Head of the Zagreb Film Office. “This is why we started PROFilm Days  Symposium six years ago and each year, we are more successful in attracting new projects to Zagreb.

“Zagreb is an amazing small city for big projects—it is in the centre of Europe, a bridge between Western and Eastern Europe. The architecture is a mix of both as well, which is the biggest draw for all productions, on top of very professional film crews. And Croatia has been a part of the European union for over 10 years now, making it very easy to travel to neighbouring countries without border restrictions.”

Jakov Kapetanovic, from the Zagreb Film Office, led the pre-symposium tour on behalf of the Croatian Tourism Board and the various regional film offices that generously showcased the country’s diverse locations and creative opportunities for filmmakers.

Landscapes range from dense rainforests, Pannonian plains, mountain ranges, rolling hills and some of the world’s most stunning Adriatic coastline.

“There were so many beautiful—and filmable—places that we were shown,” said LM Benjamin Hendriks. “I must have taken a record number of photos. We often asked to stop the car alongside the road just to snap a few shots before hopping back in.

“What surprised me is the vast difference in scenery between places, even though they are not that far apart. You can easily sell multiple countries within one. The nature and the architecture can differ a lot, which makes it very usable, depending on what you are looking for. Newly built buildings are in great contrast with many abandoned and neglected buildings. 

“On top of that, we visited places we simply had not seen before, like Željava, where we’ve visited an underground air base situated deep in a mountain.”

Added UK’s Richards, “Everywhere we turned, we were wide-eyed and amazed by all the beautiful vistas, architecture and landscapes, all bathed in gorgeous Croatian light. Not to mention how cementing it is to be immersed in the culture and spend time with our connections in each of the regions. We felt everywhere we went, there was such pride in the people and places—and a willingness to open doors and make it work—always a big factor when you’re trying to achieve the impossible—which is a big part of the Location Department day job!”

Over the past decade, Zagreb and Croatia have hosted many international projects, such as The Witcher, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, The Ipcress Files, Jack Ryan, Hotel Portofino, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Three Heists and a Hamster, The Witness and Game of Thrones. In the upcoming political thriller, Canary Black, Zagreb finally gets to play Zagreb throughout the story rather than doubling for other cities. The Zagreb Film Office is expecting a new level of interest in filming in this amazing capital city upon the film’s release.

At the time of writing, Croatia offers a 25% cash rebate and an additional 5% for productions filming in regions with below-average development (Croatian Film Commission).

For more information on Zagreb and Croatia and for attending the upcoming 6th Annual PROFilm Days in October 2024, please contact: or visit