13 Slovenian films to return to Slovenia from Belgrade

Ljubljana – The government has approved a draft contract on the basis of which 13 Slovenian feature films currently kept at the Yugoslav Cinematheque in Belgrade, Serbia, including the first Slovenian feature sound film from 1948 On Our Own Land, will return to Slovenia.

Producer Triglav Film sent these Slovenian classics to Belgrade because Slovenia did not have an adequate storage facility for movies shot on a very flammable nitrate film, the government said in a press release after a correspondence session on Friday.

Slovenia’s culture authorities paid the Yugoslav Cinematheque to keep these films under contracts the two parties concluded between 1968 and 1990.

After Slovenia gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it stopped the payments while the Slovenian Archives engaged in talks on the return of the films.

However, the Yugoslav or Serbian side would return them only if Slovenia also paid it a compensation for having the films kept in Belgrade after 1991.

The Slovenian Archives and Yugoslav Cinematheque eventually agreed on a compensation for 1991-2021, which was a basis for the draft contract the government endorsed.

The compensation of nearly EUR 44,000 will be covered by the Culture Ministry, which said the films were an invaluable part of Slovenian cultural and film heritage.

The films returning to Slovenia are Na Svoji Zemlji (On Our Own Land); Trst; Balada o Trobenti in Oblaku; and Svet na Kajžarju by France Štiglic.

Also on the list are France Kosmač’s Dobri Stari Pianino, and Ti Loviš, Jože Gale’s Kekec, Bojan Stupica’s Jara Gospoda, and Mirko Grobler’s Dobro Morje.

Jane Kavčič’s Akcija, Jože Babič’s Veselica; and Tri Četrtine Sonca, and Naš Avto by František Čap will also return to Ljubljana.

The Slovenian Archives, or its film section, will now start digitalising them, the press release also said.