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100th Ann of the Premiere of the First Croatian Motion Picture

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About 100th Ann of the Premiere of the First Croatian Motion Picture

On August 28th, 1917 the premiere of the first Croatian motion picture entitled Brcko u Zagrebu took place at the Metropol Cinema (later known as the Zagreb Cinema) in Zagreb. This was a short comedy about Brcko who came to Zagreb from the countryside seeking fun.

The film was shot and produced by Croatia film k.d. (owned by Hamilkar Bošković and Julio Bergmann), Arsen Maas was the film director, and the actors included Irma Polak, Tonka Savić, Stjepan Bojničić and Arnošt Grund, who was also a screenwriter. In 1912 he wrote a stage play entitled Alaj su nas nasamarili (They Played a Trick on Us) about Brcko's adventures and performed it at the Zagreb Theatre. The chubby bald-headed figure of this Czech immigrant was the inspiration for the award sculpture entitled Veliki Brcko (Big Brcko) given by the PSST! Silent Film Festival dedicated to lost Croatian silent films.

The film has not been preserved, but there are preserved photographs of the film scenes and actors, newspaper articles about the film shoot and announcements of the film showings from that era as proof of its existence. The photographs of the film are kept at the Croatian Cinematheque while the newspaper articles from Jutarnji list (Croatian newspaper) from 1917 are held at the National and University Library in Zagreb.