Ivana Smilović – a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times. Born and raised in Dubrovnik, Ivana (or Smile as she is known to all) graduated Media Studies from the University of Dubrovnik. A book worm, coffee addict and want-to-be world traveller Ivana brings her unique local insight, connections and general optimistic and well smiley feel to the Times.
Shakespeare once wrote – All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Year after year, Dubrovnik proves to be a hit filming destination for world famous productions, but also for local filmmakers. That is a great chance for everybody to see what is like to be under the spotlight. Ante Volarevic really used this opportunity to play many parts, as he worked like an extra on many movies and series in Dubrovnik. We caught up with him and talked about his experience.
How did your adventure in movies and series start?
It all started with the Republic, a friend gave me the number to contact, even though I never planned to be an extra. I didn’t even know what I was starting and what it’s going to be like. After that, I was part of Knightfall filming and then also some Croatian productions like Doba uskoka…
You didn’t apply for Game of Thrones?
Sadly no, because I work during the season and it was hard to combine it with my job.
You often play ‘’warrior’’ roles, it seems that they suit you?
Yes, it seems I am good at that. (laughs) I really loved the Republic filming, we had a great team – from other extras to cameramen, director… And the surroundings were great. The atmosphere was really relaxed, filming didn’t last for too long because everybody worked so well together.
Just give us the idea: how does one typical day of filming usually look like?
It mostly starts really early in the morning – sometimes around 3 or 4 am, because you need to go to the fitting room first. It takes time for all the extras to put their costumes on. Then there is make-up, as well as wigs for those who need it for their part. Beards, too. After that, you need to wait for your scene, because everybody plays somebody else – warriors, locals… When it comes to the filming of Republic, I changed a lot of costumes. I was someone else almost every day! Then, at the filming, it’s really interesting, because you mostly don’t know what it’s going to happen – what is going to be filmed, where, what the scene is about. Uncertainty and spontaneity – that it’s what I love the most about this job.
How long does one day of the filming usually last?
It depends. Sometimes it takes a few hours and sometimes the whole day. It mostly depends on the role you play – every filming is different. We also filmed during the night or early in the morning.
What roles did you do?
I was a warrior a couple of times, commoner… Once a real peasant. We were really filthy that day, full of make up. (laughs) I was also a nobleman a couple of times.
Do you like trying on costumes and do you have your favorite?
Yes, it’s really exciting to see the costumes, because you never know what you are going to be on that day of filming. They choose it and you have to go with the flow. I loved one costume when I was a nobleman, it was great.
Since you played that many parts, do you even have to attend castings?
I met most of the casting team for the Croatian series. They mostly call me, because they have their list of extras.
Do you see a lot of the same faces at the filmings?
Yes, there are many people that use their chance to be an extra. We work really well together because we know what we need to do. That is one of the most interesting things about this – to meet new people.
How do actors act around extras?
Most of the actors are really nice and relaxed and there are no problems with them.
We are all used to seeing the final product, but what it’s like to be the part of the filming? Is it interesting or a bit tiring?
It’s really interesting because you can see it all behind the scenes. When you see the final product after being a part of the filming, you look at it differently than others. It’s fun to see how the cameras are placed, how it’s all managed, what is the director saying to the actors and how he changes the scenes… It’s really an amazing experience.
Is one of the most important things of being an extra trying to find yourself on the screen?
Yes, yes, of course! (laughs) It’s really great to see yourself on the screen because you mostly imagine it a lot differently, so it comes as a surprise. And it’s a great memory that will last for a lifetime.
You also got the chance to be a part of Bollywood filming of the movie Fan?
Yes, I was a tourist. There was one scene where the main actor, Shah Rukh Khan, enters the coffee place just after I left it. When it comes to filming, Bollywood was different than Croatian productions – a lot more people were included and it lasted longer, with much more repeating.
What it was like to work with Shah Rukh Khan, who is a big Bollywood celebrity?
He is, but we are not really familiar with Bollywood and its stars. I was sitting right next to him the whole time and I learned who he was during the filming. I didn’t know he was that popular, he seemed like a normal guy.
When it comes to money, is this job paid well?
It’s really worth it. You earn money, meet people and have some great experiences.
Being an extra is cool, but did you ever consider acting?
You never know what is going to happen, but I wouldn’t mind, for sure.
As summer approaches and temperatures go higher and higher, many travel websites publish their lists of the places you need to visit for your summer holidays. Many of them include Dubrovnik, but not the newest one by Ryanair, titled 12 incredible places to see this summer. This one put Plitvice Lakes on the first place, a national park that you surely need to visit at least once in your lifetime.
-If you’re anything like us, you’ve been working a lot this winter. When it’s absolutely bucketing down and the storms are so regular you’re on a first name basis with them all, summer can seem like a lifetime away – writes Ryanair, adding that the summer will sneak up on you before you know it so now it's the perfect time to start planning. They've found 12 of Europe’s most unbelievably beautiful sights, so stunning they’ll make you want to book your summer holidays right now…
Plitvice Lakes were put on the first place of this beautiful list.
-Plitvice Lakes National Park is like Europe’s very own Eden. Sixteen staggeringly beautiful lakes spill into each other through a network of cascading waterfalls over limestone dams, surrounded by miles and miles of beautiful forested landscape. You’ll get there in under two hours from Rijeka or Zadar, and you’ll probably never want to leave – writes Ryanair.
Some of the other locations on the list are Cofete, Fuerteventura, The Blue Hole, Gozo Malta, Sete Cidades and Navagio Beach, Zakynthos. See the full list here.
There are numerous beautiful beaches in Croatia, but only seven of them are mentioned in the interesting article by the Mirror, titled Best beaches in Croatia you'll want to add to your bucket list right now. Good news to all Dubrovnik lovers – two of them are in our beautiful city.
Mirror writes that holidays in Croatia have fast become a summer break staple, all thanks to Game of Thrones filming, breathtaking cities and spectacular scenery.
-It's Croatia's picture-perfect coast that's also proven a hit with holidaymakers, from the mainland shores filled with picturesque beaches and bays to the idyllic islands that can be found just a short boat ride away – states the article, adding that most of the beaches aren't sandy, but consist of pebbles and shingles, but numerous visitors still enjoy them and the glorious scenery.
Their article is truly a travel inspiration and their choice of beaches in Dubrovnik is… (drumrolls) – Banje Beach and Sveti Jakov. We can't help but notice that both of them have amazing views, so you can look at the Old City and Lokrum while you are sunbathing. It was surely one of the reasons why the Mirror decided to put them on the list.
Banje Beach is placed second on the list of seven beaches.
-As well as exploring the breathtaking Old Town of Dubrovnik, you may want to make space on the itinerary for Banje Beach, where you'll find everything from upscale bars and beach clubs to families enjoying a picnic on towels on the shore. Because of its close proximity to the city the beach can get quite busy, but it's well worth it for the incredible views you'll get of Dubrovnik, not to mention if you take a boat tour you can spot some of the eye-catching islands – explains the Mirror.
Sveti Jakov is on the fourth place of the list.
-One of the more well-known beaches amongst holidaymakers, Sveti Jakov is still a little less crowded than hotspots such as Banje Beach.There's a restaurant if you want to dine with a view, and although it's a pebble beach it's fine enough to lie out and soak up the rays - not to mention the turquoise waters are perfect for swimming! – states the article.
If you want to see the whole list, visit the original article here.
Due to the increased number of people that are crossing the borders because of the holidays, Police department of Dubrovnik-Neretva County wanted to warn everybody that the biggest crowds are expected on border crossings today in the afternoon, all to Saturday afternoon.
Considering that during border control police officers have to comply with the EU Directives on so-called systematic border control that involves the control of every passenger and vehicle, Police asks everybody to be patient and to plan their journeys in advance, so they can arrive at the destination at the planned time.
The Police of Dubrovnik-Neretva County will make use of all available human and technical resources to ensure a better flow of traffic across border crossings.
The City of Dubrovnik is going to revive the fish market in the Old City, known as Peskarija. Preparations are underway and the fish market should be completed before the beginning of June.
New fish market will be arranged in such a way that all requirements relating to the infrastructure of the facility for fish market activities will be met on the basis of EU food hygiene regulations.
-This would revitalize the existing space and allow small fishermen from the historic core to sell fish immediately after catching it. We would restore the old glow of the fish market and bring satisfaction to locals and to tourists – said Tomislav Tabak, Director of Sanitat, the company in charche for the revitalization.
Otherwise, the idea of reviving the fish market in Port has been running for many years, and it was re-launched after the new city administration took over the responsibility for managing the city. At the end of last year, several Dubrovnik fishermen expressed interest in using this area in Port to do some of their fishing trades - to clean and sell their catch.
Fishermen are supported by Mayor Mato Frankovic, who emphasized that the settlement of Peskarija is only one of a series of projects aimed at raising the quality of life within the historic core of the City.
The string section of Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra under the artistic leadership of Pavle Zajcev will perform in the Mirror hall of Dubrovnik Public Library on Friday, March 30th, at 8 pm.
E. Elgar Serenade for strings in E minor, op. 20
G. Holst St. Paul suite, op. 29
J. Suk Serenade for strings, op. 6
Pavle Zajcev graduated in 1998 at the Music Academy in Zagreb (Valter Dešpalj), went to postgraduate studies at the Musical Academy in Basel (Ivan Monighetti) and to master courses (M. Flaksman, S. Soundeckiene, D. Grigorian, V. Messermann , J. Chuchro, E. Schoenfeld, A. Meneses).
During his studies he held numerous solo recitals, and as a soloist he performed with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchesta, HRT Symphony Orchestra, Croatian Chamber Orchestra and Varazdin Chamber Orchestra. He is the winner of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra and American Express Award as the most successful young musician in 1995/96. In the same season he was a member of the World Youth Orchestra in the Philippines and in Korea, Malaysia and Berlin.
He is the winner of the Zagreb scholarship, Rector's Award for 1996/97. and the Dean's Award in 1998. As a finalist of the 2nd International Cello Competition Antonio Janigro in 2000 he performed as a soloist with the Zagreb Soloists and the HRT Symphony Orchestra. In April 2001 he co-produced the Concert for the Cello and the Strings of Pavle Despalj with the soloists of Zagreb, and the recording of the same work with the HRT Symphony Orchestra under his guidance was rewarded in 2005 with Porin award for the Best Performance.
As the chamber musician he performs in various ensembles. In 1997 with pianist Srebrenka Poljak and violinist Vlatka Peljhan he founded the Zagreb Piano Trio. With Trio, he won the Tribune Darko Lukic in 1998 and won the second prize at the International Competition of Chamber Music C. Hennen in the Netherlands. In September 2000, the Trio wins the first prize at the International Chamber Music Competition TICC in Trondheim.
From 2002 to 2010 he was soloist at the HRT Symphony Orchestra, and since 2005 he has been teaching at the Music Academy in Zagreb. Since 2010, he plays in Trio Zagreb (Danijel Detoni, Martin Draušnik). Since 2011, he has been studying conducting at the Zagreb Academy of Music (Uros Lajovic) and has had his conducting debut with the Croatian Music Youth Orchestra in Groznjan in the same year. He conducted the String section of the HRT Symphony Orchestra, Samobor String orchestra, and besides being the founder, for many years he was also the artistic director of the Chamber Orchestra HGM.
All the party lovers know it – if you want to dance all night, Culture Club Revelin is the place to be. This special club, located in the famous Dubrovnik fortress, has been recognized by DJ Mag, website that makes a list of the top 100 clubs from all over the world every year, by the votes of their readers.
Culture Club Revelin went nine places up compared to the last year and has been place 40th on the list.
-It's been a record-breaking year for Dubrovnik's Culture Club Revelin, the venue which is, rather uniquely, housed inside a 500-year-old fortress (they've still managed to get a state-of-the-art Martin Audio system in there, mind you, inside the club's three-metre thick walls) – DJ Mag writes, adding a statement by the promoter Filip Sulic, saying that Revelin broke the all-time record number of people coming to the club in a single season. The predictions for the summer season this year are even higher.
Last year success hides behind some great performers such as Afrojack, Claptone, Paul van Dyk, Mark Knight, R3HAB… And this will surely have some of the greatest names of the music industry too.
The first club on the DJ Mag list is Green Valley in Brazil. If you want to see the rest of the list, click here.
Dubrovnik is blossoming in spring! If you are planning your visit during the Easter holidays, this is what you need to know – Spring Gourmet Week will take place in our beautiful city from April 1st (Easter) until April 8th. This is a gastronomic event reserved for enjoying the fantastic specialties prepared in Dubrovnik restaurants.
If you adore good food and love to try new things, this is the event for you. There is variety of restaurants that you can visit and that have special offers: Azur, Banje Beach, Cantina Mexicana Chihuahua, Steakhouse Domino, Restoran Gusta Me, Kopun, Lajk, Langusto - Hotel Valamar Lacroma, Orka, Orsan, Rhea Silvia Wine & Tapas Bar, Konoba Rozario, Restoran Sphere – Hotel Kompas, Stara Loza, Restoran Taj Mahal (in the Old City) and Restoran Taj Mahal (at Hotel Lero).
Take a look at the brochure and pick your favorite. Hint: since the choice is so good, you can visit as many as you want – we won’t judge you.