He spent more than 50 years in the film industry, began making films such as "Don't Look Back, My Son" and "Kozara", worked in foreign co-productions in the 70's, and that work and acquaintances allowed him to leave in the 80's to Los Angeles. He soon met Steven Spielberg, with whom he made the movie "Schindler's List," won an Oscar and thus became an influential producer in Hollywood. After "The Peacemaker" with George Clooney and Nicole Kidman, he began working with Ridley Scott, with whom, after winning an Oscar for "Gladiator", he made the films "Hannibal", "Black Hawk Down", "Kingdom of Heaven", "Good Year" and "American Gangster". Ten years ago, Lustig decided to return to Croatia where he was president of the Festival of Tolerance - the Jewish Film Festival. In an interview with Nacional, when asked why he decided to return to Croatia from Los Angeles, he said, "Honestly, I came back to die. Hollywood is beautiful, I met great actors, worked with them, but still this is my country and I have experienced a lot here - both beautiful and distressing. I also have a lot of friends here, I have a lot of acquaintances in America, but only Spielberg is my friend. "
This year, he was named an honorary citizen of the City of Zagreb for his outstanding contribution to promoting the values of a democratic society, film art and a culture of understanding among the various, thereby permanently indebting Croatia.
Branko Lustig was born in Osijek in 1932. Because of his Jewish background, he was a prisoner of the infamous Auschwitz and BergenBelsen concentration camps during World War II. Most of his family members have disappeared in concentration camps across Europe, including his grandmother who was killed in a gas chamber and his father who was killed in Čakovec. His experience from the camp is embedded in the movie "Schindler's List".