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Overview and productions

A fresh incentive system, the construction of film and TV studio facilities and the promise of relatively inexpensive production costs are leading Austrian ambitions to attract inter­national film and high-end TV shoots.

Targeted at international services productions for TV and streaming, Austria introduced FISA+ at the beginning of 2023. An incentive programme from the Federal Ministry of Labor and Economy (BMAW), it is administered by Austria Wirtschaftsservice Gesellschaft. 

FISA+ offers up to 35% funding — including the green bonus — on eligible production costs and is separate to regional incentives. FISA+ can be combined with regional incentives, but not with the ÖFI+ framework, which supports cinema and national Austrian productions and Austrian majority or minority co-­productions. The automatic, non-repayable subsidy offers a maximum of up to $5.25m (€5m) per film and $7.9m (€7.5m) per series.

HBO’s Kate Winslet starrer The Regime and David Schalko’s six-part miniseries Kafka with Swiss actor Joel Basman in the title role were among the first projects to dip into the programme.

Amazon also tapped into FISA+ to fuel its first Austrian horror series Followers, a format developed by producer Constanze Schumann and mounted by Vienna-­based Rundfilm. The streamer’s eight-part horror comedy Mandy Und Die Mächte Des Bösen, produced by Germany’s Caligari Film, also accessed FISA+.

Last year saw the launch of the Vienna Film Incentive (VFI) and plans for a studio at Vienna harbour to ensure the capital strengthens its locations work and attracts international and local filmmakers. 

VFI is set up to help foreign productions shooting in the city for at least two days, with the Vienna tourist board the point of contact and processing body for the fund. Film In Austria, the first and central contact for filming in Austria, has received increasing inquiries from both Europe and the US alongside Asia.

The construction of HQ7 Studios — a $10.5m (€10m) production complex boasting two stages at the port of Vienna — is expected to be completed by spring 2024. “It’s going to be a game-changer for us, especially when coupled with FISA+,” says film commissioner Arie Bohrer from Film In Austria.

But it’s not all about Vienna. Austria’s eye-grabbing locations outside the capital include the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, the lake and village at Altaussee with its villas and hunting lodges, an array of castles including the fairytale-like Kreuzenstein Castle some 20 kilometres north of Vienna, and the country’s Tyrolean Alps, which include the ski resorts of Ischgl and Fiss. Shooting permits are usually straightforward to obtain but can be costly.

First person to contact: Marijana Stoisits, managing director, Vienna Film Commission:


Overview and productions

Locations and permits

“The scenery is so stunning people might think it’s CGI because it’s so beautiful,” enthuses Jo Homewood, the Ireland-based line producer of Downhill, which filmed in the Tyrolean Alps, including in the ski resorts of Ischgl and Fiss.

The Tirol region also hosted the Bond film Spectre, including a high-speed car chase. “Tirol offers the combination of stunning Alpine wilderness and highly efficient infrastructure nearby, with an experienced local crew,” enthuses the Cine Tirol Film Commission.

Other popular filming locations include the Grossglockner High Alpine road; the stunning lake and village at Altaussee, full of villas and hunting lodges; and the vast array of castles, including the fairytale like Kreuzenstein castle, 20km north of Vienna, which was used in the Nicolas Cage film Season of the Witch.

“We offer everything from big lakes up to almost 4000 meters high glaciers,” enthuses Arie Bohrer, film commissioner at Location Austria, to KFTV.

The Opera House in Vienna has also proved a popular backdrop for movies, including Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, which required a 300-person technical team and 1,200 extras.

Permits to shoot are usually pretty straightforward to obtain, but the high costs can be a problem, as well as the need to navigate local employment laws, according to Homewood. Hiring a local production service company is highly recommended. “You need someone who understands the Austrian tax system and employment laws that can be very paperwork heavy,” she says. 

Infrastructure and crews

Vienna is the main filming hub, with a wealth of resources. Crews are experienced and usually speak fluent English. Production office crew may be scarce as many are working on longer-term TV projects. Equipment rental is generally easy, including through Arri in Vienna.

European status

Austria is a member of the European Union and participates in the Schengen Agreement. Its currency is the euro. 


Size matters

Austria is well connected internally by air and land, and has a thriving tourism industry. International flights connect to several of the country’s key cities.

First person to contact

Marijana Stoisits, managing director, Vienna Film Commission:


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