After Croatia was recently beamed to the world with the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi earlier this month, the nation stars again on screen when new BBC series McMafia premiers tomorrow night (1, January 2018).
BBC series McMafia wrapped filming in Opatija on Croatia’s northern Adriatic coast in July this year.
The BBC series, which was shot in various locations across Croatia, is based on Misha Glenny’s bestseller. The series takes place across ten different countries, though most scenes were filmed from Zagreb and Rovinj to Split and the Island of Pag.
McMafia is about internationally organized crime. The show is directed by James Watkins and stars James Norton, known for his roles in Happy Valley, Grantchester and War and Peace.
“The locations were consistently wonderful. Beautiful coastline, buzzing cities. The other big draw is the crew. They are all so good at their jobs, but also just such wonderful people, always making sure we were enjoying working. They are so proud of to be Croatian, their love of their country is infectious and spreads onto their guests,’ said Norton, describing his experience filming in Croatia.
The show was filmed in two parts: the first during the winter of 2016 when most scenes were filmed in Zagreb, while the second part of filming took place during May this year when the cast and crew moved down to the coast.
“Croatia was a wonderful place for filming, we loved the hospitality and enthusiasm of the Croatian team, and of the people in general. Croatia is obviously already known as a tourist location, but it is still not recognized from the UK production standpoint. With proper development and infrastructure in place, Croatia could be a world-class filming destination that can compete with any other location,” Watkins said.
The filming of McMafia was made possible through the Croatian Audiovisual Centre’s incentives programme.
More than 150 local film professionals were engaged on set, while more notable roles were played by Nina Violić, Lucija Šerbedžija, Goran Navojec, Željko Vukmirica, Vanja Matujec, Romina Tonković and Adlan Abdelmongy, along with more than 3000 extras.
“I am so excited to see a quality foreign production in Croatia, especially one like McMafia, which includes a significant number of Croatian film professionals as well as local residents. Just the fact that Croatian cities can play the roles of major global metropolises, as well as themselves, shows that local infrastructure, and local communities, are ready to offer all that is necessary for top quality productions at the highest level. Thanks to the synergy between foreign and local professionals, the resulting creative-artistic product is a constant reminder of the professional-artistic combination that has been successful here for some time. Of course, we need to also emphasise the financial resources that profit the Republic of Croatia,’ said Daniel Rafaelić, director of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.