Sunday, November 11, 2012

Filming of American Series 'Missing', starring Ashley Judd and Sean Bean, moves from Dubrovnik to Croatia's Premier Island, Hvar, The latest film set to arrive on the island of Hvar is the backdrop of ABC's new series Missing starring Ashley Judd and Sean Bean, which is due to start shooting scenes for two days on Tuesday, May 24 2011, according to a report in Croatian daily, Slobodna Dalmacija. From Prague to Dubrovnik to Hvar The scheduled two-day filming on Hvar is the latest East European stop for the series, which started in Prague and is now moving from a successful stint in Dubrovnik. In the series, Judd plays a distraught single mother in search of her 18-year-old son who has gone missing in Europe. Bean plays her deceased husband, through a series of flashbacks, having been blown up in front of their sun in an earlier episode. Filming Tradition on Hvar The decision to film on Hvar signifies the latest filming to be based on the island, described by Forbes Magazine as one of the world's sexiest. The island has a long tradition of providing locations for films in the former Yugoslavia, and has an international movie heritage dating back to 1967 and the shooting of the Orson Welles film, The Deep. There has been a lot of media interest in the filming of the series in Croatia, with local residents queuing up to sign up as extras for the two-day shooting, with payment of 350 kuna (approximately $70) a day. While the filming of such a prominent American series is an obvious boost to tourism in the run up to the main season, Missing is not the only film set currently on the island. Former Croatian President, Stipe Mesic, grabbed the headlines last week, with his bit part role in Filip Šovagovic's new movie, Visoka Modna Napetost (High Fashion Tension) which is currently based in Hvar's third largest town, the pretty northern coastal resort of Jelsa. Celebrities on Hvar While the filming will be welcomed locally, residents are unlikely to be star-struck with the invasion of famous names, used as they are to very high profile visitors. Billed as the new St Tropez, Hvar Town is becoming known as a must-see destination on any Adriatic tour, with the yachts of Bill Gates, Bernie Ecclestone and Roman Abramovich a small cross-section of the island's illustrious victors. Few Hollywood actors left a bigger impression than Kevin Spacey, who hit the headlines in 2008 for grabbing the buttocks of an unidentified male while partying on Hvar.

More details emerge regarding Croatia's surprising decision to lift visa requirements for Taiwanese citizens earlier this year, a move not reciprocated.
Croatia Grants Taiwan, PRC Visa-Free Status: Unreciprocated Move - Miranda Milicic Bradbury (http://)
More details have emerged surrounding the Croatian Government's surprising decision to relax visa restrictions for Taiwanese citizens earlier this year in an interview with a government official in the Taipei Times on May 22 2011.
The Croatian decision means that Taiwanese visitors are able to visit the former Yugoslav republic for up to 90 days without any visa requirement, effective January 1, a move which went down well with the Taiwanese Government:
"We welcome this decision by the Croatian Government," a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on January 7.
It appears, however, that that the new visa regulations were not only accepted as a compromise by Taiwanese authorities, but were not reciprocated, as Croatian nationals still require visas to enter Taiwan, something that is not the case with other countries who have recently relaxed visa regulations with Taiwan; citizens of Bulgarian, Cyprus and Romania are all EU members, but outside the Schengen zone, and their citizens can now travel freely to Taiwan.
It appears that part of the reluctance to waive visa conditions for Croatian citizens relates to the official portrayal of Taiwan by the Croatian authorities. Taiwan has long struggled for independence from China and the latter has brought significant pressure on other countries to prevent the promotion of Taiwanese independence.
Taiwan of Taiwan, People's Republic of China?
According to the Taipei Times report, Croatian lists Taiwan as "Taiwan, People’s Republic of China" in its visa regulations, a compromise on Taiwanese dignity that its government decided to accept in the interests of fostering easier tourism and trade access with Croatia.
“We know about this and have been continuing to work on it as it is a matter concerning the dignity of the country,” said James Lee, head of the Taiwanese Ministry of European Affairs. The decision not to reciprocate the visa abolition was in part due to this, in part due to concerns about passport security, he added.
The Taiwanese decision to accept the PRC reference is a practical compromise, given that China exerts large influence over former socialist countries.
“We understand how deeply rooted the influence China holds in Croatia and countries in the former Yugoslavia is,” said Lee. “It has taken strenuous effort for countries under socialism to transform themselves to market economies and to come to where they are today, but they are still unable to resist pressure from China.”
Relaxing Visa Requirements to Boost Tourism
The Croatian authorities have relaxed visa requirements for other countries recently, particularly in the summer months in a bid to boost the country's tourism, an import source of revenue. Visa requirements for tourists from countries such as Russia, Oman, UAE and Jordan have been waived from April 1 to October 31. Click here for a more comprehensive overview of Croatia Visa Requirements.

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