The Zagreb Student Centre is an institution established in 1957 with the aim of tending to the student standard through three basic activities: accommodation, food and culture. Soon after its establishment, the SC professionalised its cultural activity and made a name for itself as the pioneer of urban, alternative and experimental scene thanks to the activities carried out by &TD Theatre, SC Gallery, Music Salon and SC Cinema and MM Centre.
SC’s cultural programme today acts under the aegis of Culture of Change (Kultura promjene), that directs its work at the revitalisation of organisation, production, programme and space, and unifying the Student Centre’s venues. In late 2004 it brought together and back to life all the locations of Savska 25 and turned them into a unique art production hub open to both acclaimed authors and emerging up-and-comers. The support in terms of infrastructure and organisation created a unique venue for different types of productions, co-productions and networking beyond the boundaries of genre.
The MM Centre, established in the mid-1970s, focused from the very beginning on intermedia and multimedia trends and art practices, as well as on the presentation of non-commercial film art, leaning to experimental and art-house cinema. From the very beginning until today, the MM collaborated on its interdisciplinary activities with all other cultural sections at the SC, opening its space to different aspects of media and artistic expression, making it first and foremost a mixed-use space. With the development of new technologies, going hand in hand with which has always been, in an artistic sense, a basic principle of the MM Centre, and a lack of funds for their procurement, as well as many years of inadequate investment in the venue, MM Centre’s film programme gave in to passivity in the last few years, hosting only occasional screenings and lending space to other forms of artistic expression (stage plays, concerts, artist-in-residence programmes and research). Until recently the MM was primarily a mixed-use hall and very rarely a cinema.
MM Centre today
Since 2015, MM Centre’s film programme takes place under the concept of Short Images (Kratke slike) and focuses on the short film form, neglected in regular cinema listings, and on the presentation of in the broader public insufficiently represented aspects of film art and poetics, like experimental film and works by young filmmakers, as well as the sociological and cultural aspect of film festivals in smaller environments.
The Short Images programme runs in four sections – From 25 FPS Short Basis (Iz Kratke baze 25 FPS-a), Round of Shorts (Runda kratkog), and The Younger the Better. The programme is scheduled once a week, and every week one programme section is presented, in addition to film screenings and thematic discussions and conversations referring to the understanding of contemporary film culture. The aim of the programme is to establish a continuity of cinema activity with a focus on short film and its production and creative methods, to present and valorise experimental film works, highlight creativity in the field of film, and foster artistic film production at the age of commercialisation, to present works by emerging younger authors, to establish collaboration with the most important players on the independent film scene, and to foster independent film production culture. Series of thematic discussions and moderated talks offer and open the question of film language, genre, theoretical ideas, production, socio-cultural and economic phenomenon of small festivals, current trends in art film. The discussions create a conceptual backdrop to understanding art film and its relation to reality, other artistic expressions and individual viewer, as well as the society as a whole. Every programme section in the discussions before or after a screening focuses on an issue specific for or close to this matter.
Since 2009 the MM Centre has also been housing Klubvizija SC, the only Croatian laboratory for 16 mm and super 8 film tape, organising training sessions and film screenings.