Croatia As A Movie Set: Hollywood Movies Filmed in Croatia

If you’re a movie buff, you could be surprised with how many of your favorite scenes were filmed in Croatia.

During the 60s filmmakers discovered Croatia as gold mine of fantastic scenery that could portray anything from ancient Rome to the Wild West. Croatia had all of this and was more affordable to film in than Hollywood. This brought many iconic movie stars to the country and help spread images of our beautiful country throughout the world.

Here’s an overview of some of the most emblematic scenes, films and TV shows filmed in Croatia!

Velebit | Total Croatia

Screen tourism

In the early 90’s there was a silent period which was loudly interrupted in recent years when Croatian landscape became the backdrop of some of the most prominent TV series in the world,“Game of Thrones” and “Borgia”. This catapulted Croatia as a film location in the top of the charts and brought much appreciated attention. Screen tourism is quite the new thing in this area but will sure continue to pop up more and more, as new crews arrive on the stunning land of Croatia.

Spirits of the past

If you mention filmmaking anywhere from Grobik to Trogir you will surely hear one word– Winnetou. The bond between the famous saga and Dalmatian residents is eternal. Although many years have passed since the director Harald Reinl brought over his crew to film the miniseries, the stories of that period are still alive. But why wouldn’t they be, generations and generations grew up along this legendary tale that is being retold one more time. Currently a new Winnetou is being filmed on the old locations of Croatian grounds to bring this story to the new generations.

Winnetou | Total Croatia

“Transylvania is cute”

The absolute record holder, Oscar winning actress Meryl Streep, enacted her award-winning role in Sophie’s Choice in studios of Zagreb. Zagreb streets were also the background of Jackie Chan stunts in the “Armour of God” movie. Jackie was injured while shooting and even spent 2 days in Zagreb’s hospital to provide us with, at the time, jaw dropping action scenes of speed chase on Dolac food market. Neighboring city of Samobor in 1985 hosted a filming location for “Transylvania 6-5000” starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. “Transylvania is cute. Cute!” you can hear the leads saying with the backdrop of Samobor’s church.

Cult scenes

Probably the most important foreign production ever recorded in this region is Orson Welles “The Trial” after Franz Kafka’s novel of the same name. Orson fell in love with the country as an actor and chose Croatia as a location when he became a director. The cult scenes with the leading actor Anthony Perkins were shot in Zagreb. “From Russia with love”, the second Bond movie starring Sean Connery also includes cadres of the capital.

The perfect background

Scenes of the 2012 movie “Red tails” were filmed in Istria. The production hired numerous residents of the area as extras for this back-in-the-day story of african- american pilots. Inland Istria made the perfect background for air stunts.

Vanessa Redgrave embodied the graceful ballerina Isadora Duncan, the great love of Sergej Jesenjin in the movie ’’Isidora’’, filmed in Rijeka and Opatija. Opatija evoke the French city of Nice where Isadora tragically died when her significant red scarf entangled on the wheels of a Bugatti convertible.

Parts of the “Diana” 2013 movie about the adored Princess were also filmed in Istria.

Almodovar’s muse

Another leading actress was mesmerized with Croatian beauty. Almodovar’s muse Penelope Cruz stayed in Korcula and Peljesac while filming the movie “Venuto al mondo” directed by the famous Italian director Sergio Castellito. A couple of scenes were filmed on a tiny island of Plocica near Korcula. A perfect location for a theatrical expression of the seventh art.

Penelope | Total Croatia

Croatia is a great film set

Impeccably preserved architecture and abundant natural scenery with great landscapes makeCroatia the ultimate filming location. Croatian associates turned out to be professional and reliable partners to foreign producers. Great hotels, good food and restaurants make for a pleasant experience for the crew and provide them with all they need during the long hours spent on set. Filmmakers say Croatia is one great big film studio. Perhaps they still haven’t discovered it all as the abundant beauty of Croatia keeps blooming.


Author: Nikolina Dukic

Photo Credits : (1) clindested, Flickr (2) Pixabay (3) Karl Ludwig Poggeman, Flickr (4) WEBN-TV, Flickr