Rodolfo Marincovich – photographer, film maker, documentalist…

At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries Fažana was surely the most photographed town in Istria thanks to Rodolfo Marincovich, entrepreneur, but above all professional photographer and film maker.
The number of postcards with motifs of Fažana of that time was so great that it could even make larger towns and fashionable resorts jealous. The reason for this lies not only in the fact that Fažana was the departure port for Kupelwieser’s Brioni, but also that the Marincovich family engaged in the publishing business since they had long ago realized that postcards, which started to flourish from the 1890s owing to the development of tourism and transportation, were an excellent way to advertise their catering and hotel offer. As the background of these black and white and color postcards, Rodolfo’s numerous photographs were used.
Although a native of Fažana, from the very beginning of the 20th century Rodolfo signed his postcards as a photographer from Pula. It is known that he worked for Studio Venus in Pula, perhaps even owned it, and from 1911 he headed the stationary store in Pula, Via Gulia 1, that in addition to postcards and photographs offered playing cards, cards to celebrate the most important Christian holidays, office and school material, etc. At that time his other passion, besides Fažana motifs, came to light – colorizing photos of Istrian peasants in folk costumes, taken in their authentic setting.
But, another curiosity is that Rodolfo was also the person who made, produced and screened the first film in Pula. The founding of of Adria film company in 1913 marked the beginning of his career as of a cinematographer, thanks to which he documented the city’s important events. His first film was “Procession on Corpus Christi in Pula” filmed on May 22, 1913, and the screening began only four days later in Pula’s “Edison” cinema of the Fragiacomo brothers in Via Sergia. The next film was “Great Celebration on August 18”, Emperor Franz Joseph’s birthday. Two more films were made, documenting the funeral of sailors and vice-admiral, victims of the cannon explosion in Saccorgiana cove in Pula. In May 1914 he made a film about the “Regatta of k.u.k. yacht clubs in Pula”
During World War I Rodolfo distinguished himself as a documentalist by photographing different motifs connected with the navy for which he had the permission of military authorities. One of the unavoidable motifs immortalized by Rodolfo Marincovich was the shot down rigid airship “Citta di Iesi” in August 1915. This zeppelin, which the Italian armed forces intended to use for bombing the Pula Arsenal, was hit near Porer island, and Marincovich recorded this through a series of photographs of the airship that was hauled to the Pula coast.
Marincovich continued with innovations and in 1916, through studio Venus, added yet another offer – photographs for personal documents within 48 hours.