EUFCN Spotlight on: Slovak Film Commission

The Slovak Film Commission was born in 2018, as a new organizational unit of the Slovak Audiovisual Fund. It provides expert guidance for anyone seeking to film in a country with picturesque landscapes, still to be fully discovered by international filmmakers.

In this week’s interview, Film Commissioner Zuzana Bieliková presents the benefits of filming in Slovakia.

Vysoke Tatry

Which main productions were shot recently in Slovakia and which ones were postponed due to the global emergency? 

“In February this year, just before the coronavirus struck, NBC Universal/Nomadic Pictures finished filming part of the fifth and final season of fantasy TV series Van Helsing. Other major projects recently shot in Slovakia include action film Red Sparrow starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton, Amazon’s series Hanna, and the BBC/Netflix series Dracula created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.
The filming of part of the second season of Netflix’s The Witcher had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.”

Oravsky hrad

What’s the biggest production you have ever supported in your territory?  

“The biggest production that has received cash rebate is the second season of TV series Marco Polo which was shot in the Low Tatras and in the Liptov region. The locations doubled for Mongolia, where the story of the explorer takes place.”

What do you think is something unique the Slovak Film Commission can offer?  

“As Slovakia is a relatively small country, in case of emergency, we are able solve many problems fast, within few phone calls. The country is only recently starting to be discovered by international filmmakers. People tend to warmly welcome film crews and pay special attention to their needs.”

Chmarossky Viadukt

What activities has the film commission been carrying on during these challenging months and how are you handling the gradual restart of production in your country?

“We tried to stay connected with our local and international film professionals and gave them as much support and information as we could. Together with other local film institutions, we reached out to our governments and policy makers in order to stress out the financial and creative crisis in our sector. We prepared materials, collected data and used them to try to obtain better positions for those who have lost their job from one day to another and stayed without any source of income. Least but not last, we proceeded with the necessary protocols in order to restart film production as soon as it was possible.”

Are you interested in filming in Slovakia?

The European Film Commissions Network is a non-profit association that supports and promotes the European film industry and culture. It currently represents 97 European film commissions and film institutions from 31 different countries.