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Estonia plans major Baltic film studio

Tower of St Mary's in TallinnA collective of production companies in Estonia has announced plans for a new film studio in Tallinn that would be the largest in the Baltic Sea region.

Tallinn Film Wonderland has been set up as a joint venture with a plan to develop the new purpose-built studio facility in Tallinn’s northern Kopli district for the end of 2018.

Producers will have access to three stages, the largest of which will span around 13,000 sq ft. 

A nearby former cotton factory will be adapted into office space and will offer additional production resources at a later date. 

“International interest towards Estonia as a film location has grown exponentially in the past few years,” said Ivo Felt, producer of Estonian movie Tangerines, which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards in 2015.  

“The only obstacle standing in the way of fulfilling our potential is the poor technical infrastructure, which could be remedied by a contemporary studio complex. 

“Foreign production companies have already discovered our beautiful nature and historically multi-faceted architecture, but high-quality film production requires proper indoor facilities as well.”

The planned studio is mainly intended for productions from the Baltic Sea region, Scandinavia and Europe, but Tallinn Film Wonderland also has ambitions to appeal globally.

Producers in Estonia had previously made plans to develop a studio in Tartu in the south of the country closer to the Russian border, but this has now changed given that Estonia’s production industry remains focused on Tallinn.

Estonia recently launched a 30% filming incentive backed with a €500,000 fund for 2016, a figure that will be doubled for next year.

Tallinn Film Wonderland could help boost Scandinavia’s broader production profile by building on steadily improving finances in the region. 

Norway introduced its first filming incentive in the autumn of 2015 and hosted Tomas Alfredson’s crime feature The Snowman earlier this year. Finnish production companies regularly work with their Estonian counterparts – Helsinki is just across the Gulf of Finland from Tallinn – and Finland plans to launch its own filming incentive in 2017.

For more on filming in Estonia see our production guide.