Film in Serbia



Los Angeles, July 19th, 2019 – The 6th LMGI Awards nominees are officially out and Serbia has been officially nominated in the category outstanding locations in a commercial thanks to the amazing work for Penny retail chain in the campaign “Organic Food For All”. Belgrade`s most famous sights and skyline have been invoked in a creative collaboration between director Martin Aamund and DP Julian Hohndorf, service produced by Serbian Emote Production in association with German Tony Petersen Film. This is the first time a project made on locations in Serbia has been nominated for this prestigious award in the world of locations alongside Nike’s Dream Crazy, National Geographic, Huawei and South India Bank shot in central Turkey. The full list of LMGI Award nominees includes HBO, Amazon and Netflix shows, films Roma, John Wick, Mission Impossible: Fallout…

This nomination is recognition to all crew members and Belgrade city government that offers easily-transformable and always fresh location. In this particular case, Belgrade’s Terazije and Student’s square play two dominant locations where all the action is packed. Rooftops of New Belgrade blocks and train bridge over Sava river got lavish greenery with set design in combination with CG extensions and done by Sehsucht. The final touch gave tender song of German pop icon Nena.

Production designer Tommy Stark and local production designer Sanela Spajić and their mutual team were in charge of making capital of Serbia more green, organic and blossom on screen. Over 400 extras participated just in the main scenes, and over one thousand people were involved in the entire project.

Serbia is the only country in this part of Europe that provides incentives for commercials and Penny was one of the 50 projects that benefited from 25% Cash Rebate in 2018. The list of premium brands, directors and clients Serbia has hosted is getting longer and this nomination is a milestone in Serbian long history of international film productions proving that Serbia takes the creative industries, including creative services very seriously. The Prime Minister Ana Brnabić has made creative industries development a key pillar of her government policy. She has personally championed the Serbia Film Incentive programme and it specifically includes television commercials – one of the few programmes internationally to do so –  in a commitment to provide exceptional support to the global TVC production sector.


Award ceremony will be held on Saturday evening, September 21, 2019 at the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica.


About LMGI Awards

The LMGI Awards spotlight international features, television and commercials in which the creative use of filming locations set the tone, enrich the character and enhance the narrative. The 2019 Eva Monley Award honoree is Oscar-nominated director, producer, screenwriter Peter Weir. The Lifetime Achievement Award honoree is Location Manager Michael J. Meehan, who has worked on over 38 movies and scouted more than 40 countries. Winners of additional awards will be revealed during the formal ceremony.

About LMGI

The Location Managers Guild International (LMGI) is an organization of experienced career professionals in the Motion Picture, Television, Commercial and Print production industries. LMGI members are dedicated to the establishment of professional standards of personal conduct, safety on the set and business ethics. They support the formation of strong links with business members, governmental agencies and local communities. The Guild promotes awareness of the goals and achievements of members to the general public and within the industry through creative, educational and philanthropic programs.



Los Angeles, July 19th, 2019 - The 6th LMGI Awards nominees are officially out and Serbia has been officially nominated in the category outst ...



Serbia Film Commission together with Film Center Serbia attended for the first time the Shanghai Film Market from 16th to 19th June, organized as part of the European pavilion led by European Film Commission Network, and represented benefits of filming in Serbia to Chinese production companies. The meetings held with production companies from China showed great interest for shooting in Serbia – primarily due to the visa-free regime, attractive incentive programme and new locations. It is certain that this relationship will be further strengthened in the field of film and TV production given the announcement of new Sino-Serbian productions that are in development.

Beside SFC and FCS, as a national representatives, production company Vision Team from Belgrade has also participated in both Shanghai TV and Film Markets. During the past year and this one, Vision Team has serviced the production of popular TV series “Lion’s Reflection of the Laying Cat” and famous Chinese writer Chen Danyan documentary about Belgrade titled “Where the Sava Flows” with highly expected upcoming premiere. Cooperation between Chinese and Serbian productions has also been established in the field of VFX, through Crater Studio participation in the production of visual effects for the film “Airpocalypse”.

A special short edition of film industry capacities Serbia for Chinese market is available in Production Guide to Filming in Serbia on this link.



Serbia Film Commission together with Film Center Serbia attended for the first time the Shanghai Film Mark ...

New Production Guide

New Production Guide

Serbia Film Commission has launched new edition of the Production Guide for 2019 available in digital and hard copy. This Production Guide provides an overview of some of the latest projects shot on location with insights from international professionals across the industry spectrum about the experience of filming in Serbia. Extensive attention is dedicated to the 25% cash rebate that proved to be the one of the most efficient procedures in Europe.

We focused on projects that are currently being shot or whose shooting was brought to an end in 2018 and 2019, such as the sequels of highly successful series – the BBC’s MC Mafia and The Outpost, commercials for Penny retail chain and ING Direct, as well as films made for Indian and Chinese markets, to whom successful cooperation with Serbian production companies is dedicated a whole chapter of this guide. We also presented many projects made by Serbian visual effects artists who launched our VFX industry into the world orbit, since it is currently experiencing quite rapid expansion. You will be able to read the interviews with Georgette Turner, a location manager who explained her special impression about one location in Belgrade, VFX supervisor Victor Perez, who talked about working with domestic VFX artists, Indian producer Siva Ananth, who shared his impressions about Novi Sad, and Dean Devlin from Electric Entertainment who reveals all the benefits of shooting in Serbia and why the second season of The Outpost is being shot in PFI studios. We put the light on some new

In addition to the production companies that are members of SFC, rentals and studios, we put the light on some unknown “film friendly” locations which are impatiently waiting for some new film crews. Through conversations with Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister for creative industries and tourism Ana Ilić, auditor Nebojša Stanković and Nevena Janković from Samardžić, Oreški & Grbović law office, we made more clear topics such as residence and working permits for foreign film crews, creative industries development and application procedure for incentives, and discovered future plans for further enhance of the incentive program and empowerment of the film industry, among other instruments, through platform Serbia Creates, pointing out the support it intends to provide to domestic creatives.


3Lateral becomes Epic

3Lateral becomes Epic

Leading developer of digital humans technology and creative content has joined with Epic in an acquisition that will bring significantly increased investment in the 3Lateral team’s efforts.

It has been officially reported that the two companies’ acquisition has taken place following the news of Epic’s $1,25 billion new investment round that happened end of 2018. Epic and 3Lateral share a track record of groundbreaking Unreal Engine-based collaborations, including the animated short “A Boy and His Kite,” real-time performance capture and moviemaking in “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice,” and the photorealistic, real-time “Siren” and “Digital Andy Serkis” demonstrations.

The Serbia-based team will continue supporting game industry, film, and television partners under 3Lateral brand while working to advance the state of the art in Unreal Engine’s support for virtual humans and creatures. Vladimir Mastilović will lead Epic’s worldwide digital humans efforts. Prosperous for more than 15 years in empowering innovative technologies for creation of digital life and expanding the number of employees each year, this was a strategic move for 3Lateral where their tech development plans align perfectly with Epic Games and their vision of the future.

“Creating digital humans requires deep understanding of every aspect of our appearance and motion, both of which portray our inner self and tell stories around us. We read all these visual cues with great precision as instinct to analyze an image of another human being is deeply embedded in our DNA”, said Vladimir Mastilović, founder and director of 3Lateral. “Observing, analyzing and reconstructing these mechanisms has always fascinated us at 3Lateral, and we are excited to have joined a like-minded team at Epic Games with such strong desire to solve this near impossible problem”.

3Lateral team will continue to support all of its partners and Epic’s new presence in Serbia will serve as a base for recruiting technical and creative talent in the region, turning the headquarters in Novi Sad into one of leading R&D centers.

“Real-time 3D experiences are reshaping the entire entertainment industry, and digital human technology is at the forefront. Fortnite shows that 200,000,000 people can experience a 3D world together. Reaching the next level requires capturing, personalizing, and conveying individual human faces and emotions”, said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games.

The vision of virtual production and future of their user base was one of the main topics during the recent CGA Belgrade Conference where Vladimir Mastilović and Unreal’s Ben Lumsden shared the floor in a panel conversation with Mike Seymour.

This ground-breaking news for Serbian creative industry and tech companies is yet another proof of the high-performance talent base that has been increasingly reaching global status and country’s efforts in incentivizing creative industry environment.

About Epic Games

Founded in 1991, Epic Games is the creator of Fortnite, Unreal, Gears of War, Shadow Complex, and the Infinity Blade series of games. Epic’s Unreal Engine technology, which brings high-fidelity, interactive experiences to PC, console, mobile, AR, VR and the Web, is freely available at unrealengine.com. The Epic Games Store offers a handpicked library of games, available at epicgames.com.

Follow @epicgamesinc for updates.

About 3Lateral

3Lateral is built around passion for creating characters and creatures. It gathers diverse people in an industry that has to marry seemingly incompatible skills – rebellious artistry and disciplined engineering practices. This is exactly the type of fusion of skills, and finding inspiration in the opposite character, excites and surprises us. This is where magic, the fundamental force that drives all animators, happens and makes us confident in the path we see to our visions.


3Lateral becomes Epic

Leading developer of digital humans technology and creative content has joined with Epic in an acquisition that will bring significantly increased investment in the 3Latera ...

Serbia Increases Incentives Budget for 2019

Serbia Increases Incentives Budget for 2019

The introduction of 25% cash rebate for film has been crucial game change of the decade for Serbian film industry. The programme has benefited over 100 projects since the launch in 2016 and it success is continuing with Serbian Government determination to support creative industries.

Since 65 projects benefitted from Serbian cash rebate programme in 2018, almost double the number to 2017, the Ministry of Economy has decided to continue incentivising projects in the upcoming year with additional 100 million RSD. This makes the total budget available in 2019 go up to €7,5 million ($8,6 million). Simultaneously the increase in the national funding for domestic and co-productions under the Ministry of Culture and Film Center Serbia to €9 million, represents significant investment in two very strong mechanisms for the film production and audiovisual sector in Serbia.

The extremely active year has seen the total of 11 feature films including “The White Crow” directed by Ralph Fiennes, “Anna” by Luc Besson and “Intrigo: Death of an Autor” by Daniel Alfredson, creator of Millennium Trilogy. The numbers show that total value of production spend in Serbia due to incentives amounts to €35,3 million.

Serbia is also one of handful countries in the world to offer cash rebate to advertising and special purpose projects. In previous year it was applied to 40 projects. Those that top the value are campaigns for X-BOX Game Pass and Penny retail chain which demonstrated strong creative and production support by Serbian advertising and service companies.

Due to the no visa regime introduced for India and China, Serbia is being rediscovered by these two big markets. “Belgrade Escape” was the first Chinese feature to benefit from incentives and returning Indian productions that shot 3 films including award-winning director Mani Ratnam, “Crimson Red Sky” and rising star Vicky Kaushal in “URI: Surgical Strike”. All mayor film centers in Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore experienced shooting in Serbia with over 100 shooting days in the past 12 months.

Locations juiced up with local talents and growing film infrastructure, Serbia has demonstrated the ability to double the face of almost every European capital city through its many incarnations on screen. Globally, filmmakers are showing interest in brutalist, dystopian locations like the New Belgrade. The (in)famous “blocks” are inevitable checkpoint on any filmmakers scouting list. And for whatever you can’t find in real locations Serbian production designers are ready to build in studio or digitally create in the well-established visual effects and CG industry.

With announcements of € 50 million investment in Avala Studios Serbia is making its way to more competitive infrastructure and services to other countries in Balkans and Southern Europe.

Serbia Film Commission continues to follow its mission, for further questions how to access incentives meet us at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival.


Serbia Increases Incentives Budget for 2019

The introduction of 25% cash rebate for film has been crucial game change of the decade for Serbian film industry. The programme has benefited over 100 projects since the launch in 2016 and it succ ...

The box offices success of “URI: The Surgical Strike”

The box offices success of “URI: The Surgical Strike”

Indian blockbuster “URI: The Surgical Strike“ is on the run for smashing the box office in the opening of 2019, having earned $ 15,000,000 in India, in only seven days after the premiere on January 11th, while at the same time ticket sales in cinemas in America, Canada and Australia have reached about $ 2 million. 

This will be one of the most successful projects produced by “RSVP Movies”, owned by Ronnie Screwala and shot in partnership with Clockwork Film Production in Serbia, during July and August 2018. Shooting lasted for 41 day, with more than 300 crew members and about 700 extras from every part of Serbia. URI is debut film of talented director Aditya Dhar, who also penned the script inspired by the real military event from September 2016 when the Indian soldiers in the URI base in Kashmir experienced a terrorist attack by Pakistani extremists and had 19 Indian soldiers killed.

Numerous attractive locations throughout the country and most specifically Old Mountain (Stara Planina) deserve the nickname “Serbian Kashmir”, since the director, originally born in Kashmir, was quite surprised by the incredible similarity of Serbian, still not so touristy explored mountain, and the famous Indian region. This was the second time Indian film productions used slopes of Old Mountain for Kashmir.

Production of this film demanded enormous effort regarding production design, stunts and SFX. The production designers once again confirmed their talent and professionalism. Sets made throughout Serbia managed to represent URI bases in Kashmir, Myanmar as the backdrop for Pakistani terrorist bases. This would be impossible without great support of local government and institutions to the film crew. Clockwork Film Production owes its greatest gratitude to the Army of Serbia and the Ministry of Defense, which once again demonstrated its expertise and readiness to cooperate with foreign film producers at any time. This is the third foreign film that was filmed at Batajnica military airport, and one of the locations of this film include the military barracks “General Pavle Jurišić Šturm”, in Požarevac, where the production team spent 15 days.

The cast, warmly welcomed by critics, lead Vicky Kaushal, Yami Gautam, Kirthi Kulhari, Paresh Rawal and Mohit Raina. While shooting URI, Clockwork Production hosted the most diverse acting and stuntmen crew from Thailand, Indochina, the Netherlands, France, Malaysia, Sri Lanka that made the working experience truly global.

Belgrade reimagined as Green City

Belgrade reimagined as Green City

Belgrade locations have been incarnated as Paris, Moscow, Rome, Barcelona, Baltimore, Stockholm among many other cities through hundreds of commercials and features. In collaboration between German Serviceplan, Tony Petersen Film and Serbian Emote the new commercial for German retail chain Penny brings a new very organic and highly inspiring face of Serbian Capital.

Campaign aims to raise awareness of organic products and features stunning set design works in combination with CG and VFX done by Liga01 / Sehsucht. The chant song of the video is led by German queen of pop Nena who’s visit to Serbian capital draw attention of small number of paparazzi.

Four days of shooting included the very heart of Belgrade downtown, famous New Belgrade “blocks” ending in the final scene of lavishly green train bridge over Sava river. Director Martin Aamund and DoP Julian Hohndorf with sort of a trademark in shooting massive scenes, inhabited over 400 extras in the main scene making it over one thousand extras in the entire project. The number of people in all departments spanned between 150-200 on each day which is a rare case for a TVC and there were doubts that Belgrade can pull it off, but Emote did it.

“This was the most ambitious project that we have ever completed in the city downtown due to the fact that a lot of greenery you see is real set dressing. The main kudos for this go to production designer Tommy Stark and local production designer Sanela Spajić and their mutual team. Liga 01 /Sehsucht than added some of CG magic in the establishing shots, inspiring us to see Belgrade in the new eyes”, says Marija Marković who line produced TVC on behalf of Emote Belgrade.

This is one of the more than 50 TVC that has benefited from 25 % Cash Rebate.

The abundant scenery and number of details in this TVC is such that we only hope to see more spin offs and inside stories. In the meantime enjoy the full video and behind the scenes gallery.

Agency:  Serviceplan Campaign

Client: PENNY

Production: Tony Petersen Film GmbH

Exec. Producer: Volker Steinmetz

Director: Martin Aamund

DoP: Julian Hohndorf

Director of Sound: Thomas Martin

Audio Production:  Jesper Gadeberg / Sizzer

Post Production / VFX: Liga01 / Sehsucht


Service Production: Emote

Exec. Producer SRB: Bogdan Petković

Line producer SRB: Marija Marković

Production Designer SRB: Sanela Spajić

Location Manager: Kristina Marković



Serbian Employment Agency has recognized the need for hiring more people in film industry due to increasing number of shootings in Serbia. That was the reason why it has included in its training catalog courses for scene, camera and lighting technicians, film accountants and VFX generalists. All these courses are intended to unemployed people, as initial training program for future specialization in the field of VFX production, animation and 3D computer generated images.

Serbia Film Commission, together with Mokra Gora School of Management, Crater VFX Training Center, Crowe RS and rental houses, organizes those courses in order to provide not only trainings, but recommendations for employment, aiming to enlarge number of film crews in Serbia.

Trainings are for free and designed for unemployed people registered in Employment Agency. They will last 3 months, and to attend them you need to apply at your employment advisers in municipal branches of Employment Agency. 

Visit Employment Agency website to find more information about this training program. 

Application deadline and info day when candidates will meet-up is scheduled for October 24th in Belgrade branch of Employment Agency (Gundulićev venac 22-24).

***NEW INFO DAY for training for scene, camera and lighting technicians is scheduled for November 6th, in Belgrade branch (Gundulićev venac 22-24).

List of Employment Agency branches find on link




Serbia Film Commission in synergy with Crater VFX Training Center and VFX Serbia portal, is hosting for the second time CGA Belgrade Conference on November 16th and 17th, 2018, dedicated to computer graphics and digital arts to which success community of over 12 studios of SFC members is contributing. Yugoslav Film Archive will serve as home of the gathering some of the most important world names from the industry of visual effects, animation, gaming and digital art, which makes event unique in the region, with ambitions to become a permanent platform for networking between artists, studios, producers and everyone interested in computer generated imagery.

After first CGA Belgrade Conference in 2017 attracted more than five hundred visitors for the second edition, we prepared even more programme tracks and content through the most interesting interaction of film, gaming and IT industry. The main program of the conference over the two days will include more than fifteen lectures, panels and presentations equally interesting to professionals, students, and those who are considering redirecting their career into the computer graphics industry.

The biggest star of this CGA Belgrade conference will be Mike Seymour, founder of VFX Guide and ambassador of technological development of computer animation, whose online platform was the starting point for generations of artists around the world. Designing the look and some of the scenes in Blade Runner 2049 movie will be presented by Shahin Toosi, while Victor Perez will talk about how the experience he gained on film series such as “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” can be applied on projects with a much smaller budget. Alongside a number of foreign lecturers from the academic and professional CG world, a number of successful Serbian studios and freelance artists will present projects realized in cooperation with international clients and partners in film, advertising, and gaming industry.

Virtual reality fans will be able to get into the experiences created by digital artists and production studios and directly in the virtual environment to walk through the largest domestic VFX studios. In addition to this, the CGA Belgrade Conference this year opens the opportunity for meeting recruiters from Framestore, Pixomondo and Cinesite, who will be introduced to local talents in Belgrade and exchange ideas on the projects they are currently working on, as well as on the possibilities for potential cooperation.

Together with the main program of CGA Belgrade, two workshops will be held: VFX Production Management Workshop  dedicated to producers in VFX led by Andrew Brasington from the London based Escape Studios. After the conference Film Skills Academy fifth workshop dedicated to the training of Maya Technical Directors will take place November 19-23rd, focusing on scripting ​​and architecture of Maya software under the hood led by Serguei Kalentchouk.

The Conference is announced by the teaser video “Awakening”, whose original idea and creation was a joint project over 14 studios of SFC members.

Organization of the Conference was supported in partnership with the leading global companies: Autodesk, Foundry, Chaos Group, 3 Lateral and Epic Games as diamond partner. The conference received institutional support from the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Embassy of Canada in Belgrade and the Spanish Cultural Promotion Agency, as well as the support of the Government of the Republic of Serbia within the Program for Business Capacity Building in the IT sector, which is being implemented in cooperation with UNDP. CGA Belgrade is being held under the patronage of the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, in cooperation with its Creative Industries Council, and within the framework of the Serbia Creates Platform, which aims to represent Serbian talents, innovation and digital community. 


Filming in Serbia – Do You Need a Residence Permit?

Filming in Serbia – Do You Need a Residence Permit?

Over the last few years, Serbia increased its efforts in supporting the film industry and encouraging foreign productions to shoot in Serbia.  Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Serbian Government doubled the budget for investment in the film industry in Serbia at the beginning of 2018 by introducing the Decree on Incentivizing Investments in the Production of Audio-Visual Works.  In this respect, the most noteworthy change is the improvement in the position of foreign actors and production crew members who are engaged for production of audio-visual work in Serbia.

As a general rule of thumb, foreigners who are members of production crews or actors’ groups no longer have to obtain work permits in order to shoot in Serbia.  However, if the filming period is longer than 90 days, foreigners will have to obtain a permit for temporary residence in Serbia.  This is a significant improvement as the procedure of obtaining a temporary residence permit in Serbia is less complex and more streamlined than the procedure of obtaining a work permit.

On the other hand despite the latest changes of the Foreigners Act and bylaws related to obtaining temporary residence permit, not much has changed, in addition to the general formal requirements, foreign production crew members and actors have to satisfy an additional prerequisite as to obtain a temporary residence permit.  Our practice has proven that in most cases they have to prove that they are members of a production crew and/or actors’ group – this is typically satisfied by providing an executed agreement with the producer of an audio-visual work and that they are seconded to Serbia to produce the audio-visual work, but Serbian Ministry of Interior, Foreigners Department authorities may require additional documents if the provided agreement does not suffice.

The procedure of obtaining a temporary residence permit usually lasts up to 4 weeks whereas the residence permits are issued for a period of up to one year.  If the filming lasts longer than a year, the validity of residence permit may be prolonged by an additional year and so on.

The significant decrease in administrative requirements regarding foreign production crew members, coupled with other incentives in Serbia, give rise to the idea that Serbia will become an even more attractive international filming destination.

This text is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Should you require any additional information, feel free to contact our memebers:

 Marija Oreški Tomašević, Partner

SOG / Samardžić, Oreški & Grbović Law Firm

Nevena Milošević, Associate

SOG / Samardžić, Oreški & Grbović Law Firm