“Igor, you could have done this earlier,” said actor Zdenko Jelčić after the director of Cinehill Motovun Film Festival, Igor Mirković, presented him with the 50-Year Award for his half-century dedication to acting and film. Prior to that, Jelčić delighted the audience with entertaining anecdotes from the world of cinema and shared his memories from different stages of his life.
“I believe I’ve done everything I wanted to do. Occasionally, I might still take on a role in a film, but I don’t need a big role,” said the popular commander Ljubo from “Kapelski kresovi” (Kapela Bonfires), also known to the younger generations as Blago Antić from the TV series “Novine” (The Paper).
Among numerous reasons for the success of “Novine” (The Paper), Jelčić mentioned his understanding of political systems. “I brought my 187 cm and my face. I didn’t act, I portrayed myself. It’s the pinnacle when you achieve that,” Jelčić joked.
Comparing Yugoslav cinematography to today’s Croatian film industry, Jelčić said, “If it required ten million, they invested thirty million. Now, they spend two to three million on a film, and with that, you can’t make much. If the Ministry of Culture provided 300 million per year for Croatian cinema instead of 30 million, you would see what kind of films we would have.” His words were met with approval from the audience.
Jelčić concluded the conversation with a beautiful recitation of “Balada ohridskim trubadurima” by Branko Miljković, and the audience rewarded him with a long applause, thus giving their farewell to the legend of the Croatian film scene.