Wednesday, 29 January 2020
Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović

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.


For the 20th year in a row, Folklore Ensemble Lindo will hold a traditional humanitarian concert on the Saint Lucy's Day, Friday, December 13th at the Marin Drzic Theatre, starting at 8 pm. All the collected money will go to the Association of Blind and Visually Impaired persons of Dubrovnik.

Tickets that cost 40 kuna can be purchased at the Lindo Souvenir Shop in Lazareti every weekday, from Monday to Friday, December 9th to 13th, from 9am to 2pm or be reserved during opening hours phone 099/833-0679.

The deadline for picking up your reserved tickets is Friday, December 13th by 2 pm.

Dubrovnik Heritage and the City of Dubrovnik with Pixel desing are organizing the first Dubrovnik Festival of Light LUMIART and it will last for three days, from December 7-9. The Festival takes place in Lazareti.

The program, which includes interactive audience participation in the magic of light, is tailored for all ages. The space of the Lazaret Plateau, the interior and the outer part, as well as the facade of the High School will be transformed by light installations.

At the opening of LUMIART, Dubrovnik Heritage also organizes a music program with renowned Croatian musician Jacques Houdek, who will perform at the opening on Saturday, while the music section of the program will be continued on Sunday by DJ Petra and Zac the Sax.

The festival starts on Saturday, December 7th at 6pm with the Lazareti Dance Studio, while Jacques will perform at 8pm.

The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik Mato Frankovic and his associates met with the representatives of Celebrity Cruises, the world's leading cruise ship company, for the most part Vice-Presidents in charge of public administration and marketing strategies and representatives of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

-Partnership with CLIA and harmonization of arrival times for cruise ships have resulted in significant shifts in pressure on the historic core in the summer seasons of 2018 and 2019, compared to 2017 and earlier - Mayor Frankovic said during his introductory presentation about city's strategic project Respect the City. He also emphasized that cruise tourism is an important segment of the economy in Dubrovnik and that it is not a problem in the number of people but in the flow, and a better flow can be achieved by an organized flow schedule.

The delegation was also presented with measures of traffic coordination, new rules for conducting business activities in public areas, smart city projects and programs planned for 2020 and years ahead. As key factors, Mayor Frankovic singled out the takeover of cruise ship shuttle services and the gradual elimination of traffic around the contact area of the Old City, except for locals.

-Some of the measures we introduce are unpopular and the City has lost some of its budget money, but such moves are necessary if we want to reach the sustainable tourism we seek. Our task is to put the needs of citizens first. Everything we have done and will do in the future will greatly contribute to creating a unique destination experience and increase the quality of the overall service for all visitors - said Mayor Frankovic.

Celebrity Cruises is also on the same track as it is developing a marketing campaign that puts sustainable tourism in its destinations in focus.

- All desirable cruise destinations in the Mediterranean and beyond are currently facing the same challenges and fully support the aspiration to preserve the local heritage culture. Celebrity Cruises is developing the Positive Impact Tours project, which aims to educate guests about sustainability, local culture and customs, enabling guests to support the visiting society. The project will offer trips to areas away from the hustle and bustle of the city, giving guests an authentic experience of the destination while relieving the overburdened city centers - said marketing strategy representative Dominique P. Taleno.

They expressed their willingness ti be a part of Respect the City project, praising the step forward in managing the destination that city government has achieved in a relatively short period of two and a half years. It was also emphasized that the joint efforts to achieve better organization on the ground also helped the image of shipping companies because of their willingness to cooperate.

Mayor Mato Franković thanked the delegation and the CLIA for their repeated willingness to cooperate in order to resolve the existing problems in the spirit of partnership. Opening conversations and working in the common interest of the local community and the cruise companies can gradually align the needs of the destination with the needs of the cruise market, the Mayor said.

When it comes to saints, Saint Nicholas is favorite to many, especially in Croatia. It's said that he protects mariners, poor, bakers, fishermans, pharmacists, women... But most importantly – he loves children and children love him!

Croatian tradition is really sweet: children clean their boots on the night of December 5th, preparing them for the arrival of their favorite saint and placing them on the windows. Those who've been good are really excited and those who have been naughty have a fear that they'll find a birch stick in their boot, connected with punishment.

Saint Nicholas is not celebrated like Christmas and children usually get a boot full of candy, without any pricey gifts. If they are not behaving good, they are told that Saint Nicholas will come with his colleague – Krampus – who looks like a devil and is, honestly, a bit scary.

First thing in the morning of the December 6th for the most of Croatian children is running to the window and checking their boots. They usually discover that they got candy and a birch stick – which means that they've been good and naughty throughout the year.

US Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia Robert Kohorst commented on the possibility of Croatia entering the program of abolishing US tourist visas for N1.

- The visa abolishing program depends, among other things, on the percentage of refusals being below three percent, which is counted on September 30th for the period of the previous 12 months. So, that calculation for this year will be made next September. If Croatia meets all other documentation, it will take another couple of months to complete the process. So the real possibility is that everything will be completed by the end of 2020 - Kohorst said for N1.

Asked if the only condition for Croatia to enter the program was a percentage of rejections, Kohorst explained that there are other conditions with which the Croatian government is familiar. He added that the government is working on them and it is expected that these conditions will be fulfilled by next September.

Although Croatia has been waiting to enter the program for years, Kohorst is optimistic. -I believe that if the Croatian government and our embassy are serious and focused, we can achieve that - he said for N1.

NEM Zagreb, an event aimed at the development of TV and movie industry in Central and Eastern Europe announced the agenda with panels, speakers, workshops and other events.

You can watch exclusive pre-premiere screenings of the new series, special presentations, case studies and Q&A interviews from the 11th to the 13th of December at NEM Zagreb at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, through which the participants will get an insight into TV and movie industry trends.

NEM Zagreb will be the host of the first screenings of TV shows from the biggest production companies such as CBS Studios International (USA), BBC Studios, all3media international (UK) and Keshet International and yes Studios (Israel).

HRT and RTV Slovenia will present new TV series from their own production – a pre-premiere screening of a live action documentary show The Age of Uskoks and series The Lake (Sebastian Cavazza). After the screenings, interviews have been organized with the main actors and series’ creators. Kris Marshall (Love Actually, Death at a Funeral) will give us an insight into filming the TV series Sanditon, produced by BBC Studios.

The panel about character world creation and series atmosphere

What is necessary to create an indispensable character in the eyes of the viewers? When does it become clear that the new legend is born? The creation of the character and its development is probably the hardest part of the writing process and precisely that will be one of the interesting topics discussed by the producers and writers who work on character development daily. Besides characters, the thing that keeps us watching intently are the beautiful locations, shots, colors and costumes - an atmosphere created by series' creators. Vanja Cernjul (Orange is the New Black, The Deuce, Crazy Rich Asians) and Allan Starski (Schindler’s List) will teach us how to create original series and characters from the visual department perspective, as well as from the camera and sound department perspective.

Various TV experts and content creators are coming to the NEM Zagreb stage and the visitors will have an opportunity to hear the news about the unscripted series formats, the expansion of the original productions, the growing production of non-English content and learn the secret recipe for the creation of extremely popular Nordic series. The event will also feature a screenplay writing workshop for successful TV projects, and hit-series like Killing Eve, Money Heist, Stranger Things and Fleabag are just some of the examples that will be used.

Keynote speaker: A man responsible for the global distribution of the TV series Breaking Bad

AMC Networks International is an American company which produces many successful drama shows like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, HUMANS, The Night Manager, Mad Men and Mr. Selfridge. Their program and marketing executive Harold Gronenthal will give a keynote speech and share his experiences with working on the global distribution of broadcasting rights of these TV series. Dariusz Jablonski, CEO of Apple Film Productions will introduce the TV show The Pleasure Principle, the first co-production of three Eastern European countries (Poland, Czech Republic and Ukraine), distributed by Beta Film.

Beta Film (Germany) with Nova TV (Croatia), HRT (Croatia), RTL (Croatia), RAI (Italy), Keshet (Israel), Zig Zag Productions (UK) and CineLink Industry Days (Bosnia and Herzegovina) will form the judges panel for TV Writing Contest competition organized by NEM Zagreb. The best candidates in each category (scripted and unscripted) will have the opportunity to present their project to all the participants in the panel room, and the winners will get a 5000 € prize which will help them to further develop the submitted screenplay. To encourage potential cooperation, NEM Zagreb will organize meetings during the conference with the judges’ representatives for all the candidates that entered the final round.

The creator of X-Files and The Man in the High Castle also coming

During NEM Zagreb, American producer and writer Frank Spotnitz (Big Light Production) will speak about his work for Netflix and Amazon. His portfolio contains projects like X-Files, for which he got three Golden Globe nominations and an Emmy nomination in the best drama series and best screenplay categories. His newer achievements include the production of drama shows The Man in the High Castle and Medici. He is currently working with the British writer Stephen Thompson (Sherlock) on the series Leonardo, the first big-budget project of European Alliance, a special alliance of the biggest FTA televisions in Europe (ZDF, RAI and France Télévision) whose goal is to match the greatest global content producers.

Actor Billy Campbell, the star of legendary TV shows like Dynasty, Frasier and Merlose Place, who is nowadays known for his role in the TV show Cardinal (available on SVoD Pickbox NOW), is coming to share his experiences from shooting in cold Canadian conditions. British producer Gabrielle Tana, nominated for an Oscar and two BAFTA Awards for the movie Philomena will talk about financing of independent films. At the moment she is working with the actor and director Ralph Fiennes on the movie The White Crow.

You can find the complete NEM Zagreb agenda here.

Once again this year, on December 6th, in order to honor Dubrovnik Defenders’ Day, 3D mapping will be projected at the Festival Palace, Od Sigurate Street, from 7 pm to 8 pm.

A video projection on the facade of the Festival Palace will include a projection of shelling, fires and damage of the building, recalling the most severe attack on Dubrovnik during the Homeland War on the Feast of Saint Nicholas on December 6th, 1991, when this 17th-century baroque palace was almost completely burned down and suffered severe damage.

It must be noted that projection includes sounds of shelling, sirens and fire, which can make some people uncomfortable.

Katarina Mamic is Croatian contestant on the Miss World competition this year, which will take place on Saturday, December 14th. 

This beautiful young lady is 23, studying to be a journalist and loves fashion and everything connected with it. The promotional video published two days ago on Youtube shows Katarina at her best, but also beauty of Croatia, which makes it a great promotion for our country. It already has over 24 thousand views and you can watch it below. 

Miss World 2019 will be the 69th edition of the Miss World pageant. It will be held on December 14th at the ExCeL London. Vanessa Ponce of Mexico will crown her successor at the end of the event.

The 2019 contest will gather 111 beautiful ladies from all over the world. We wish good luck to Katarina!

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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