Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
Star Wars VIII is in full swing in Dubrovnik and The Dubrovnik Times have got our hands on an exclusive video of a behind the scenes action scene from the movie.
This video was sent to us by Courtney Gacek an American tourist who presumably stumbled onto the filming of a stunt scene in the historic old city of Dubrovnik. Her reaction at the end of the video, “oh, my God!” shows her surprise at walking onto the set.
Star Wars VIII started filming on the 9th of March in Dubrovnik, with the first two days being set ups and rehearsals, and will continue until the 16th of March. The leading actors arrived in Dubrovnik yesterday and Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, was spotted filming on a well-known Dubrovnik beach.
It is rumored that Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, will not be coming to Dubrovnik however her “body double” has arrived in Dubrovnik and she might well be filming the shoots from this video in the Star Wars VIII.
For the first time ever a match of Australian Rules Football will be played in Dubrovnik! As part of the “Trece Uho” festival a game of Australian Rules Football will be played on Saturday the 12th of March at 2pm on the football field in Kupari. When the Ploče Eagles and the Barbarians run out onto the pitch in Kupari at 2pm this year’s festival will officially open.
Every year the“Trece Uho” festival highlights the traditions, cultures, art and diversities of a different country, and this year is the time for Australia. “The history of this young, successful and multicultural country can bring us wisdom from which we want to learn,” commented the organisers of the festival.
The main events will be held in November this year, however in an attempt to spread the whole project throughout the year other events, such as the Australian Rules Football game, will also be held.
This Saturday will be a unique opportunity to see a sport that has never been played in Dubrovnik. The game starts at 2pm and entrance is free of charge. You will also have a chance to hang out with the players after the game, and maybe try it for yourselves.
The Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel and The Dubrovnik Times have teamed up to bring you some fantastic prizes for all the family for this Easter period in Dubrovnik. Over the next few weeks the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera is offering a host of prizes, from a Sweet Afternoon at the Sheraton Dubrovnik to a family Easter meal. Follow The Dubrovnik Times and the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to see how you can win this Easter!
11th March to 15th of March
“Sweet Afternoon at the Sheraton Dubrovnik”
Spend an afternoon in the Sheraton Dubrovnik with warm beverages and a variety of specially desserts and cakes. Enjoy an afternoon in five-star luxury with a loved one and let your taste buds explore our sweet surprises. This prize is valid for two people.
To enter this competition all you need to do is send in your photos of either Dubrovnik or the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera, the best one wins! You can add your photos to any of The Dubrovnik Times social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Just don’t forget to tag them with #sheratondubrovniktimes the winner will be announced on the 16th of March.
Competition is open from midday Friday 11th of March and closes at midnight Tuesday 15th of March 2016.
The Dubrovnik Times and the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera join forces for a great Easter Competition
Lately, the entire city has been going crazy over the filming of the latest Star Wars movie on our streets. Ever since the initial announcement, the wave of media hype has been building up and the peak of it is going over our heads just about now. I don't mind. I love Star Wars, and I love it when we're in the spotlight. Most of us locals do.
Of course, not everyone is happy with another foreign production making a film here. Ever since HBO's Game of Thrones became such a big deal and Dubrovnik's role in it so important, there has been an explosion of interest in the city from people who otherwise might not even have heard of it. While this is a positive thing for a city oriented towards tourism and hospitality, it has certainly generated plenty of themed attractions tied to the TV show, some people fear we might end up being known solely for the roles the city gets in big film productions.
I find those fears silly. To truly believe our fair city will be reduced to an extra in a Hollywood movie is nothing short of an insult. With all the centuries behind it and the repeated global recognition gained over and over again, who can upstage Dubrovnik? Dubrovnik IS the stage. It was a perfect stage to showcase what can be achieved by developing your own community instead of trying to take over others, all those years ago. It was a great stage for showing the world how through diplomacy, common sense, and positive business endeavours, a society can prosper more than through fighting and conquest. Today, it's a stage for showing the world how great achievements have a lasting appeal, and how all the technological advances of the world cannot compete with truly classic values of moderation and measure.
When the filming is completed, the sets will go down in just a day or two, leaving the exposed stone cobbled streets that have stood the test of time so well that people will travel the world just to see them. So, I say, let the actors in. We have nothing to fear.
Bozidar Jukic is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.
The filming of Star Wars VIII is dominating the news in Dubrovnik and as filming has just begun, although mainly rehearsals, the pace of news is coming thick and fast. Today, the second day of filming, saw the crew moving out onto the Adriatic Sea as the Sea Star event boat was used as a filming platform.
The ship sailed out of the Old City harbour in the afternoon and sailed around the city walls. It is believed that the crew were gathering footage of the outside of the city and the walls were illuminated for the filming. Nothing was left to chance and the ship was escorted by maritime police as well as a team of divers.
It is rumoured that the main actors, as well as the producer, will arrive in Dubrovnik tomorrow.
Photos - Tonci Plazibat
For the first time since August last year the number of unemployed people in Croatia fell. At the end of February there 289,429 people out of work in Croatia, which is 3,807 less than January, and the first month of a fall in unemployment after five months of growth.
Compared to February 2015 the number of people unemployed in Croatia has decreased by a healthy 12.2 percent, or 40,322 people.
The fall in unemployment in February can in some terms be attributed to the beginning of the seasonal employment in tourism, especially considering that this year Easter holidays fall relatively early at the end of March. The pattern of a decrease in unemployment has also continued into the early stages of March.
The Croatian Bureau of Employment has stated that there are 285,416 people out of work, as of the 10th of March, and that there are currently 15,969 job vacancies on their records.
Star Wars VIII started filming in Dubrovnik last night! At around 6 o’clock in the afternoon the main street of the old city was closed to the public, large panels were placed to keep away prowling camera lenses and hundreds of security guards blocked all side streets to the set. Dubrovnik’s position, front and centre, in the latest episode of Star Wars had begun.
Filming for the VIII episode went on long into the early morning hours and crashes, bangs and high speed noises could be heard coming from the set. It is believed that last night and tonight will be a rehearsal for the main filming, the cast are rumoured to be arriving on set on the 12th of March.
Cars towing probable space ships were spotted on the main street earlier in the afternoon, and high performance car was photographed carrying a camera just before filming started.
Check out our gallery by Niksa Duper of the first night of Star Wars filming in Dubrovnik.
“When we see the movie we will feel part of it, we have been there, we have touched that set, we have been in Dubrovnik!” explained Charlene Kavanagh and Heather McCrimmon to The Dubrovnik Times.
Dubrovnik has been in the spotlight, or limelight, of international film productions for the past few years. There can be no doubt that the moment HBO said - that is a great location to film Game of Thrones - five years ago that the ears of the rest of the movie community pricked up. And the moment Dubrovnik was shown in the second series of Game of Thrones the world saw, it somewhat computer enhanced, the beauty of this unique city on the Adriatic.
Charlene Kavanagh on the Star Wars VIII set in Dubrovnik
Game of Thrones not only brought with it the movie caravan it also brought a new type of tourism to the city. Far from the standard sun, sea and sand destination Dubrovnik, almost overnight, became a must see destination for movie fans. Last year the second most numerous tourists in Dubrovnik came from the US, even with the fact that there are no direct flights to the US from Dubrovnik or in fact to Croatia at all.
If the Game of Thrones effect is massive just how big will be the Star Wars effect? Dubrovnik is the eye of a storm at the moment; the historic Old City has been transformed into a galaxy far, far away as filming begins of Star Wars VIII in the city.
“This is my first time in Dubrovnik, I have always wanted to come so when my friend, who lives in Zagreb, said lets come to Dubrovnik and see the Star Wars set, I jumped at the chance,” explained Charlene Kavanagh to The Dubrovnik Times.
Kavanagh and her friend, Heather McCrimmon, are not only Star Wars fans, they are fans who have travelled half way across Europe just to visit Dubrovnik and see the Star Wars set. The two friends, both from Canada, live in different sides of Europe, Kavanagh in Lisbon and McCrimmon in Zagreb, but Dubrovnik brought them together for a few days again.
“I flew from Lisbon to Rome and then to Dubrovnik, it took me almost a day of travelling to get here, but it was more than worth it,” added Kavanagh.
Charlene Kavanagh and Heather McCrimmon get up close and perosnal with Star Wars in Dubrovnik
Even before the eighth episode of Star Wars has hit the big screens the tourism effect has already kicked in. What will the effect be when Star Wars VIII is released and Dubrovnik is splashed across the cinema screens.
“I am not a big fan of Star Wars, but I do like the genre, but I am a huge Game of Thrones fan, so to be able to combine the two in one glorious destination is really attractive,” said Kavangh.
These very sentiments were echoed by McCrimmon, “When we saw the news and blogs we saw that there was a good chance of seeing something up close and personal. We thought that there might be high levels of security and we wouldn’t be able to see the sets, not only have we be able to see them, we have touched them, sat on them and had our photos taken.”
The chance of catching a glimpse of one of the stars in the movie, perhaps Mark Hamill or Benicio Del Toro, wasn’t that important to the pair, they just wanted to experience Star Wars in Dubrovnik. Neither had actually travelled to a movie set before, but the pull of Dubrovnik and Star Wars was too great to resist. “Star Wars was an iconic movie for our generation, we can both remember seeing the first movie as children, we feel connected to the movie,” added McCrimmon.
These two Canadian ladies were part of a small band of tourists, and a larger group of international media, who visited Dubrovnik whilst the scenes for the movie were being set up, however over the coming years a wave of movie fans will sweep over the city. Just over 68,000 American tourists visited Dubrovnik in 2015, a large proportion thanks to the Game of Thrones series, by what factor will this number be increased this year, or in coming years, with Star Wars fans only time, or maybe Yoda, will tell.
“There are so many reasons to come to Dubrovnik, our tour guide told us that Dubrovnik will represent the most beautiful planet in the galaxy in Star Wars, and we agree,” concluded the Canadians.