Hope House

The EBU New Neighbours collection of documentaries is being filmed in nine European countries. One of them, in the middle of the Zagreb neighbourhood of Gajnice. Surrounded by apartment buildings, there was an ugly house that used to be a police station. It was abandoned over 30 years ago, and it has been in a state of decay ever since. When Croatian Baptists got the permission to renovate the house and turn it into an asylum protection centre, the local community did not like the project. They are asking what they would gain from getting asylum holders in the neighbourhood, and they worry about safety. The Hope House that was meant to be an integration point caused a clash. The renovation was stopped and the future of the House is uncertain. HRT’s team: award-winning director and cinematographer Nebojsa Slijepcevic, HRT’s senior editor and producer Daniela Drastata and production manager Ana Saronja decided to tackle the hottest immigration topic in Zagreb – the case of Hope House – to showcase the complexity of integration. We will be filming till the end of September and, at this moment, it is impossible to predict the end of the film. However, getting to meet local neighbours and refugees is both very inspiring and uneasy, although it clearly shows how Croatia struggles with reducing the gap between refugees and the rest of Croatian society explains Daniela Drastata. The film director, Nebojsa Slijepcevic adds: The situation we follow evolves right now, in front of our camera. I have no idea how it will end, but what I do know is that this story truthfully represents the complexity of the process of the integration immigrants into Croatian society.