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Film in Serbia
• FILM PRODUCTION IS BACK IN BUSINESS
FILM PRODUCTION IS BACK IN BUSINESS
FILM PRODUCTION IS BACK IN BUSINESS
NEWS

FILM PRODUCTION IS BACK IN BUSINESS

FILM PRODUCTION IS BACK IN BUSINESS

Film productions are ready to resume with adoption of safety protocols by the Government of Serbia. Safety measures and guidelines for Film Productions in Serbia are introduced through work of Serbia Film Commission and Film Center Serbia. As elsewhere measures include standard sanitisation and PPE for the crew members, temperature measuring, social distancing whenever possible, limited number of people on set and as much online work in pre-production as possible. As of May 22nd public gatherings are limited to 100 people and there is no requirement on PCR test for entering the country but testing on request is becoming available with a fee of 50 EUR.

Production companies are actively prepping for the filming season and a number of them officially announced principal photography for last week of May. The first ones to be back to their daily routine are domestic TV series and projects that were interrupted by CoVid19 outbreak and state of emergency declaration on March 15th. Only this time their daily routine will be slightly different.

Vision Team are the first ones to be testing the new protocols for their upcoming historic TV drama „The King“ with a smaller show based in their new studio facility.

„The exercise has shown us that it is possible but requires a lot of changes in planning and shifts in between teams. We shot 4 seasons of Survivor in remote jungle locations where risk of malaria was present, so some of the health measures and attitude we are practicing now is drawn from that experience. Real locations will follow after we are done with studio. Even in quarantine we filmed the empty streets for plate shots that will be altered with VFX“, says Dragan Đurković, CEO of Vision Team and Board Chair of Serbia Film Commission.

Balkanic Media team who are shooting on the backlot in PFI studio is ready to go back to the set and diverse medieval locations around the country.

„We are working on travel arrangements for „Outpost“ cast from US and UK while Serbian crew is preparing extensively with respect to health guidelines. We are ready to restart shooting first week of June with teams split in groups so that overlap is avoided as much as possible“, says Ivana Vasić English, costume designer and partner in Balkanic Media.

Alongside TV series the advertising clients are getting ready to return to Belgrade and finalize contracted shootings. Production companies are introducing different systems for remote shooting to enable presence of only essential crew members on set. Local advertising projects are already in production.

Direct airlines to London, Vienna, Frankfurt and Zurich were resumed from May 18th, and further lifting of restrictions is expected to follow soon with global  measures. Hotel industry is open for business and in close communications with production teams our preferred hotel partners are ready to introduce additional measures specific to film industry.

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FILM PRODUCTION IS BACK IN BUSINESS

Film productions are ready to resume with adoption of safety protocols by the Government of Serbia. Safety measures and guidelines for Film Productions in Serbia are in ...

HEAD GEAR FILMS PARTNERS WITH BALKANIC MEDIA IN SETTING UP $25M CREDIT FACILITY FOR PRODUCTIONS IN SERBIA

HEAD GEAR FILMS PARTNERS WITH BALKANIC MEDIA IN SETTING UP $25M CREDIT FACILITY FOR PRODUCTIONS IN SERBIA
The Outpost set at PFI Studios – Courtesy of Electric Entertainment – Arrowstorm – Photo by Aleksandar Letić

April 24th, 2020 – London-based financier Head Gear Films announced today the largest investment in productions aiming to shoot in Serbia. Head Gear is known as one of the most prolific providers of production services and debt finance to independent media projects. The facility will be operated in partnership with Belgrade-based production outfit Balkanic Media, which has been founded by Ironclad filmmaker Jonathan English with Los Angeles-based producer James Gibb.

The fund will cash flow the government rebate in Serbia, which proved as one of the most efficient cash rebate programmes around Europe offering 25% for qualifying film and TV productions and rising to 30% for qualified Serbian spend on features with a budget €5M and above. Head Gear’s experience on locations in Serbia will be further advanced with Balkanic’s experience in successfully handling two seasons of CW’s The Outpost and the third season of CBS’s Seal Team that both benefited from Serbian cash rebate.

Head Gear Films, founded by Phil Hunt and Compton Ross, said the fund would focus on TV series but would also be available for single picture financing. This marks the largest commitment by a single film financier to Serbia and further advancement of international filming portfolio in post CoVid19 period. The fund is designed as revolving credit facility without sunset date offering debt and gap financing for Balkanic’s service productions but also its own original content.

“I’ve always been keen on expanding into other areas and this partnership with Balkanic will build on our growing television slate as well as continuing to lay foundations in other territories. I’ve known Balkanic partners Jonathan and James since the mid 90’s so this is a perfect fit for a new venture in Serbia”, said Hunt.

“Serbia offers producers incredible value for money, we are thrilled to partner with Phil and Head Gear Films, this deal enables Balkanic to provide third party producers, studios and TV networks a suite of financing options which includes funding the state rebate”, added Gibb.

“Serbia has positioned itself not just as a shooting location but as a reliable production partner. The government rebate combined with low production costs, world class studios at PFI and highly experienced crew, makes Serbia the unbeatable deal in Europe”, concluded English. Balkanic is currently shooting the third season of series The Outpost at PFI Studios in Belgrade for Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment and Arrowstorm Entertainment. The company has also produced indie films The Deal and A.I. Rising.

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HEAD GEAR FILMS PARTNERS WITH BALKANIC MEDIA IN SETTING UP $25M CREDIT FACILITY FOR PRODUCTIONS IN SERBIA

The Outpost set at PFI Studios - Courtesy of Electric Entertainment - Arrowstorm - Photo by Aleksandar Letić

April 24th, 2020 - Lon ...

The set of economic measures for mitigation crises caused by Covid-19

The set of economic measures for mitigation crises caused by Covid-19

On the 31st of March 2020, the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia has presented the set of measures for mitigation of crises caused by COVID-19 pandemic in the total amount of EUR 5.1 billion. The measures refer to the area of fiscal policy, maintaining the liquidity of the economy and direct support to companies. The adoption of these documents, enabling the implementation of the measures, is planned for the first half of April. Measures are intended to support film production companies and freelancers, too, so it is expected to be one of the Serbia`s first steps in helping film crews and industry. Serbia Film Commission member, Crowe RS has made an overview of all the measures that will be adopted and you can find them below.

Fiscal policy measures are:

 

  • The payment of taxes and social security contributions for private sector during the state of emergency will be postponed – the payment will begin in 2021;
  • Deferral of payment of corporate income tax in advance in the second quarter of 2020;
  • Donors are exempted from paying VAT.

Measures dedicated to private sector, to be precise to all freelancers, micro, small and medium entities, imply minimum wage payments, while assistance for large legal entities is 50% of the net minimum wage for employees who got fired.

Measures to maintain the liquidity of the economy will be implemented through: 

  • The Development Fund (for freelancers, micro, small and medium-sized legal entities) – EUR 200 million is foreseen;
  • A Guarantee Scheme for loans that should maintain liquidity and working capital for freelancers, micro, small and medium-sized legal entities. This type of support will be realized through commercial banks, and the total value of the guarantee scheme is about RSD 240 billion.

Speaking about large legal entities, introducing of regulation regarding corporate taxpayers was announced too, as one of the ways of financing economic entities. The aim of this measure is to enable large legal entities to borrow on more favorable terms.

However, entities that have reduced their staff numbers by more than 10% during a state of the emergency (not counting part-time employees whose contracts expired during the state of emergency) and those who have temporarily closed their businesses before the declaration of the state of emergency on March 15th, will not be able to use these measures.

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The set of economic measures for mitigation crises caused by Covid-19

On the 31st of March 2020, the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia has presented the set of measures for mitigation of crises caused by COVID-19 pandemic in t ...

Analysis of the Economic Effects of the Incentives for Investment in Audiovisual Production

Analysis of the Economic Effects of the Incentives for Investment in Audiovisual Production

Serbia Film Commission together with the Faculty of Economics conducted an Analysis of the Economic Effects of the Incentives for Investment in Audiovisual Production under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy in support to production of film, TV series and commercials. The analysis, done in common global methodology framework, was first in Serbian practice, giving an overview of the full effectiveness of incentives from their introduction in 2016 till present.

The aim of this research was to measure the specific economic effects of the service-oriented production sector and the incentive program beneficiaries, to improve its further incentive and monitoring mechanisms, to highlight the contributions that the audiovisual sectors have to the country’s economy, being a major pillar of the creative industries. The detailed data focused also on the comparison within the sector measuring the contribution of each sub-sector that is supported. The figures on the TV commercial performance made outstanding arguments in support to sustainability and effectiveness to the sector economic rational. The Incentive Regulation, from April 2016 up to now, with a total of 17 million EUR supported the realization of 24 films and 22 series, out of this sum 20% was spent on attracting 88 TV advertising project shot in Serbia, generating total of income of 67,7 million EUR to the economy till August 1st 2019.

The results showed that the utilization of the Incentives` budget is between 92% and 95%, while the total return on investment that the state receives from subsidies is 5.38. In 2019, the number of employees in the industry has increased by an average of 57% compared to 2016, and over the previous four years the number of full-time equivalent employees, the FTE index, reached 11.110. The analysis also estimated that the variety of formats supported by the incentive program was a great way to deepen the destination portfolio, encompassing better market and geo-targeting of foreign clients.

Proving of self-sustainability of incentive programme, 11.567.613 EUR of the total tax was paid on the basis of VAT, contribution tax and annual profit tax of the companies that participated in the survey.

Especially significant is the effect that the industry has on tourism, since foreign productions had 44.889 hotel overnights from 2016 to 2019, and generated a total tourism contribution of 3.680.898 EUR only on account of accommodation costs.

Long term goal of the Analysis was to lay grounds for specific methodology which will in future provide annual monitoring of the incentive effects and performance of the entire sector.

The full findings and Analysis are available in Serbia on the link HERE.

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Analysis of the Economic Effects of the Incentives for Investment in Audiovisual Production

Serbia Film Commission together with the Faculty of Economics conducted an Analysis of the Economic Effects of the Incentives for Investment in Audiov ...

World Drive of Lexus RX in Belgrade

World Drive of Lexus RX in Belgrade

Again, Belgrade proved its reputation of “the most transformable” city. Tuna+Icon have gain trust of The&Partnership UK agency and together with Stink Films London brought famous brand Lexus to drive their latest RX model around Belgrade streets, which, for this occasion, transformed to New York roads. Impressive CG statues opened the central Nikola Pašić Square with National Assembly and Belgrade City Hall in background, while Ada Bridge got modern business district background. Drone captured stunning moments of Belgrade downtown in the dawn.

For five days, director Salomon Ligthelm and DP Nicolas Karakatsanis filmed all amazing shots at Kralj Aleksandar Boulevard, in front of St Marko`s Church, Main Post Office Building, at Kneza Miloša, Kralja Milana, Svetozara Markovića, 1300 kaplara Streets, Terazije and in front of Hotel Moscow and Yugoslav Drama Theater. For scenes out of the city, Location Manager Ilija Nikolić Svetac suggested roads around Avala Mountain, and its greenery and car absence made this the best option. Each day crew had 120 members, 250 extras on set, and since filming most of the scenes was on the move, it was flawlessly executed with Russian Arm.

The production design sector, headed by Sanela Spajić, successfully transformed the Palace “Albania” and the street in front of it into an authentic venue for parades that are usually organized in front of New York’s Times Square. During this operation, they had to control traffic around the whole quart, as well as to hide bunch of glowing commercials but at the same time add new ones.

“The project was very challenging from the beginning since the production company together with the director had to choose between Belgrade and Budapest as a filming location. After all efforts to bring this job to Belgrade, it was necessary to justify their trust”, says Lada Stamatov, who was executive producer together with Uroš Lazić and Tom Farley, from Stink Films. “In addition, another challenge was also short 2-week deadline for client to accept the proposed sites and for us to obtain permits for them, having in mind that this shooting had to completely block most prominent streets. With the great understanding and the huge help of the Belgrade city authorities, especially the city secretary, Darko Glavaš, everything was ready for shooting on time, and according to the wishes and demands of the director and director of photography. Our collaboration was full of understanding and support. His assistance and commitment was crucial, especially because of the deadlines we worked on and the requirement to close the main streets of the city center.”

Incentive programme of the Ministry of Economy, whose good and quick implementation and simple procedure orderly makes additional distinction compared to other countries of Eastern Europe, was again crucial advantage. Producers had in mind Government support for shooting commercials, and together with experienced and professional crew Belgrade’s vivid streets became best choice for new Lexus RX.

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World Drive of Lexus RX in Belgrade

Again, Belgrade proved its reputation of “the most transformable” city. Tuna+Icon have gain trust of The&Partnership UK agency and together with Stink Films Lon ...

10 years of Serbia Film Commission

10 years of Serbia Film Commission

Last night Serbia Film Commission has celebrated 10-year anniversary at the gala ceremony held in Belgrade City Hall. Belgrade City Mayor professor Zoran Radojičić, and more than 150 Government and public sector representatives, together with industry members attended this event. It was a great opportunity to take a look at all SFC achievements, film and advertising projects, global artists that filmed in Serbia. To express gratitude to all who continually provide support to every shooting in Serbia during these first 10 years, Serbia Film Commission awarded 32 institutions and organizations with honors in three categories – the most attractive film location, best Film Friendly partners and best business partners.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić send a video message expressing congratulations on the achievements and the warm wishes for years to come with strong support to creative industries which reflect continuous increase of national film budget both through film fund and incentive scheme.

Since 2009, SFC has gathered about 60 members, including most relevant production companies, services, rentals, post production and business members. After years of advocacy, in 2015 we welcomed implementation of Incentive programme for filming in Serbia that enlarged number of foreign shooting in dozens of most attractive interior and exterior locations in Serbia – Sava Center and KPGT, Belgrade downtown, Kalemegdan Fortress, Royal Palaces, City of PančevoSmederevo Fortress, Novi Sad and Petrovaradin Fortress, mountains Stara planina and Tara.  Today, Serbian Incentive programme supported over 140 projects providing a 25% cash rebate on qualified Serbian spend for feature films, TV series, animation films and visual effects, TV commercials and documentaries, and continues to expand with 30% cash rebate on qualified Serbian spend for feature films whose budget is minimum 5.000.000 EUR.

Recently conducted analysis of economic effects of Incentive programme of Ministry of Economy produced in collaboration with Faculty of Economic in Belgrade demonstrates that the Incentives contributed to the rise of employment in the film sector by 57%. Each euro invested in servicing production of foreign films and commercials has returned to the state budget with 2,4 EUR, and direct income of our economy on 1 EUR invested is 5,2 EUR. The overall film sector for the past 4 years has generated over 100 million euros to the Serbian economy.

The latest recap of some of the most memorable locations and scenes proves that Belgrade and Serbia have so much to offer to international productions. 

 

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10 years of Serbia Film Commission

Last night Serbia Film Commission has celebrated 10-year anniversary at the gala ceremony held in Belgrade City Hall. Belgrade City Mayor professor Zoran Radojičić, a ...

Third CGA Belgrade conference set for November 1st-2nd

Third CGA Belgrade conference set for November 1st-2nd

Third Computer Graphics and Arts conference Belgrade, set to be held on November 1-2, 2019 at the Yugoslav Film Archive in Belgrade, will shed light upon outstanding local and international talents by bringing together prominent names in the field of computer graphics, visual effects, animation, design and digital arts.

As a joint effort between Serbia Film Commission, Crater VFX Training Center and portal VFX Serbia, CGA Belgrade is growing into a compelling platform for showcasing the development in Computer Graphics industry, further positioning Serbia as one of the CG hubs of East Europe.

The main programme of this year’s conference KNOW-IT-ALL is dedicated to artistic development and innovation in the CG industry featuring keynote speakers like Alwyn Hunt and Igor Jovanović. During the supporting KNOW-HOW programme, participants will gain the opportunity to familiarize more with technical aspects of the industry and enjoy masterclasses held by creative director of Full Scream Ced Pakusevskij, Jurgen Hagler of Ars Electronica as well as dedicated teams from Autodesk, Foundry and Maxon who are supporting the event alongside Epson, Escape Studios and Substance.

Free registrations are open at www.cgabelgrade.com 

Third edition of CGA Belgrade will have a strong focus on education and emerging talent, along with the presence of platforms like The Rookies, Access VFX mixed with studio case studies from 3Lateral, FullScream, The Mill, World Wide FX and Framestore. CGA Belgrade’s ongoing partnership with Escape Studios will put a spotlight on Klaudija Čermak, who has left her mark on some of the industry’s biggest titles and will be among panelists chatting about female representation in CG community.

Speakers list also includes local heroes Sava Živković, director and CG artist from Belgrade, directors Lazar Bodroža and Jovan Todorović, as well as Igor Simić, founder and creative director at the award-winning Demagog Studio, who will share his journey from contemporary art to gaming industry.

Check the full programme of CGA Belgrade 2019.

In partnership with Serbian Gaming Association a special block of programme is curated by leading gaming studios in Serbia – 3Lateral, Mad Head Games, Nordeus and Ubisoft.

Dedicated masterclasses led by both international and Serbian top notch specialist in Nuke, Houdini, Hyperreality, Sound design for gaming are open with limited number of seats and you can register HERE.

CGA Belgrade is part of the “Serbia Creates” platform created through the work of the Prime Minister’s Office of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and its Creative Industries Council with the aim of representing Serbia through a creative, innovative and digital community. Institutions that support CGA include Canadian Embassy in Belgrade, Austrian Cultural Forum, Ministry of Culture and UNDP Speakers programme.

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Third CGA Belgrade conference set for November 1st-2nd

Third Computer Graphics and Arts conference Belgrade, set to be held on November 1-2, 2019 at the Yugoslav Film Archive in Belgrade, will shed light upon outstanding lo ...

NEW DECREE ON INCENTIVES INTRODUCES 30% CASH REBATE

NEW DECREE ON INCENTIVES INTRODUCES 30% CASH REBATE

In order to encourage internationalization of the film industry and strengthen the position of Serbia for high-budget productions, the Ministry of Economy has introduced a higher rate of 30% cash rebate for feature films with minimum Serbian spend of 5.000.000 EUR. This decision became effective on August 10th, 2019.

The fourth year of the implementation of the Incentive Programme in Serbia was the most successful so far. In 2019 over 40 projects have already received funding from the incentives with call for projects being open all year round. The most prominent titles to receive Serbian cash rebate were Johnny Depp’s Minamata and Crawl, released in cinemas in July 2019.

This brings the total figures to over 150 supported projects since its inception in April 2016. The total level of attracted investments is expected to surpass 100 million by the end of 2019.

New Decree and other information regarding Incentives are updated on page INCENTIVES.

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NEW DECREE ON INCENTIVES INTRODUCES 30% CASH REBATE

In order to encourage internationalization of the film industry and strengthen the position of Serbia for high-budget productions, the Ministry of Economy has introd ...

SEAL Team Belgrade Shoot

SEAL Team Belgrade Shoot

The CBS Television Studios show, SEAL TEAM, will shoot 4 new episodes on location in Belgrade this Summer. Two of the episodes will open Season 3 and will actually be set in Belgrade. In other episodes, Belgrade will double for Paris and other parts of Europe.

The series follows Bravo Team, a unit of the US Navy’s elite Seal Team, as they plan and undertake dangerous missions worldwide. Its star is US actor, DAVID BOREANAZ, star of shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Slayer, FBI, and Bones. Boreanaz is also a producer of Seal Team and came to Belgrade for the shoot. The show is one of the most successful on US network television and Season 3 will premiere in October 2019.

The Seal Team production will be shooting on location in and around the city and working with a large crew of Serbian technicians and actors. In particular, local stars such as Nikola Kojo, Bojan Lazarov and Tamara Aleksić have key roles as guest stars in the episodes. The production is also working closely with Serbian police and Ministry of Defense as Serbian armed forces are featured in the episodes working in close collaboration and as a partner-force together with the Seal Unit. The Prime Minister’s office together with the Government, Serbia Film Commission and Mayor’s office have been instrumental in assisting the production and the shoot.

The show is highlighting the city of Belgrade as a modern international capital, full of culture and beauty, and with Serbian people playing positive roles. The show’s producers were drawn by great locations, the collaboration of the Serbian Government and the experience of local film professionals. The film incentive was also a key element in attracting CBS to shoot here.

The local production company is Balkanic Media who recently completed production of the television show, THE OUTPOST, in Serbia of which Season 2 was shot at PFI Studios and around Belgrade. This project, done for NBC Universal and CW Network, is currently playing on Sci Fi channel.

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SEAL Team Belgrade Shoot

The CBS Television Studios show, SEAL TEAM, will shoot 4 new episodes on location in Belgrade this Summer. Two of the episodes will open Season 3 and will actually be s ...

STUDENTS FROM ESCAPE STUDIOS IN CRATER VFX TRAINING CENTER

STUDENTS FROM ESCAPE STUDIOS IN CRATER VFX TRAINING CENTER

Summer internship programme traditionally organised by Crater Studio has got international participants this year. The partnership between Escape Studios and the Serbian VFX industry got three of London graduates to Crater in order to launch their careers in one of the most successful VFX studios and training centers in Eastern Europe. Escape graduates, together with 7 more interns from Serbia, got a chance to put all their skills into practice in a proper studio environment, meeting and working with a highly skilled team, who is always ready to help, share knowledge and give valuable feedback about any work aspect.

In the first month interns have been working on the non-commercial trailer for “Drava“ project, while during the second month of the internship they worked on commercial projects for real clients where main challenge was to work quickly due to tight deadlines. Working at the same pace as other professional artists have made all interns more productive as an artists. As one of the participants said, this internship has pushed them, not only as students stepping into the industry, but also personally. During these two months they made new friends, discovered new places, enjoyed Belgrade and Novi Sad culture and sport scene and even went on famous music festival EXIT.

Students also visited 3Lateral Studio in Novi Sad and especially enjoyed one-day trips with mentors on which they collected references in order to make more realistic 3D models of airplanes and ships they’ve been doing during the internship. 

Finally, Escape graduates have shared impressions about their internship experience in Belgrade on Pearson College London Blog. There you can read in details what Miguel, Sam and Maciej learned in Crater Studio, on which positions they did their internship, how they enjoyed time in Belgrade and Serbia and why they would always recommend Serbian VFX industry as perfect place for learning and starting career in CG, animation and gaming.

If you wish to launch your career in VFX or animation get in touch with us via training@filminserbia.com or school@craterstudio.com.

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STUDENTS FROM ESCAPE STUDIOS IN CRATER VFX TRAINING CENTER

Summer internship programme traditionally organised by Crater Studio ...