And the Oscar goes to… Zagreb!

A week has passed since the last Academy Awards. That’s a nice opportunity to remember the one and only Oscar-winning film produced in Zagreb.In order to do that, we have to go all the way back to 1962 when Zagreb Film, then a Yugoslav production company won the Academy Award for Short Subjects (cartoons) for its short animated film “Surogat” (1961), directed by Dušan Vukotić.

The plot is very simple – a man goes to the beach and brings with him all sorts of inflatable objects. Nowadays, this 10-minute cartoon looks a little bit strange (typical ’60s), but back then it was the first non-American animated movie to get an Oscar. You can check it here!

The original Oscar is now with the director’s widow, but a copy is held in the Museum of the City of Zagreb (photo by Roberta F.)


Zagreb Film produced hundreds of animated films, but their most notable one is probably Professor Balthazar, series of short cartoons about an old inventor. Balthazar is still for many children the favorite Croatian cartoon character.

450px-Profesor_Baltazar,_maketa_u_Zagrebu (photo by Silverije)

After “Surogat”, we weren’t so lucky with Academy Awards for Zagreb and Croatian production companies, but we’re lucky enough to have a double Oscar-winner living with us in Zagreb. His name is Branko Lustig and he is a very successful Hollywood producer, having won Academy Award for Best Picture for two of the films he produced – “Schindler’s List” and “Gladiator”. He is also the founder of Festival of Tolerance. The 12th edition of this film festival will be held in Zagreb in April. You can check the festival page here!


This completes my short Oscar-post this week.

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