Central, Eastern Europe Eyes Bigger Slice of Production Pie

Variety | 2/9/2019 | Will Tizard
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Frictionless international film and series production is at the top of agendas in Central and Eastern Europe these days, with increasingly competitive territories adopting policy tweaks and launching new film promotion bodies.

The freshly minted Slovak Film Commission is looking to catch up quick to its longstanding Czech counterpart, the Czech Film Commission, with a high profile at major fests, partnerships with Western European counterparts and streamlined services for foreign producers now on the table, says Zuzana Bielikova, who heads the org.

Permits - Locations - Formalities - Bielikova - Years

“We would like to make obtaining shooting permits in locations easier and eventually handle the formalities,” says Bielikova, who has spent years at one of Prague’s topline production companies, Negativ. In that capacity she has been part of the team behind critical successes such as “Alois Nebel” and the recent work of Czech docu legend Helena Trestikova.

Now, says Bielikova, helping her native country to win more inbound productions is a top priority as the new commission aims to build on Slovakia’s rep, which already includes a deal for the eight-episode teen superspy series “Alex Rider,” produced by Sony and Eleventh Hour films.

Berlin - Film - Review - Golden - Glove

Berlin Film Review: 'The Golden Glove'

In Hungary, even the loss of the country’s most influential film figure, Andy Vajna, who served as film commissioner, won’t slow down the sector’s rapid evolution, say officials.

Andy - Professional - Competence - Devotion - Work

“Andy was a true professional whose competence, devotion and hard work led the Hungarian industry out of a deep crisis eight years ago,” says Agnes Havas, CEO of the Hungarian National Film Fund, noting the country saw some $400 million spent on new productions in 2018.

Vajna, who led a systemic transformation of Hungary’s state-run film support system, was credited in the country for greenlighting numerous commercial and critical successes including the 2016 Oscar foreign-lingo winner “Son of Saul.” The unconventional Holocaust drama’s bold visual style, employing heavy...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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