Czech Republic

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Overview and productions

Czech Republic is proving as popular as ever. Since summer 2022, the capital Prague has been hosting Disney+ and National Geographic miniseries A Small Light, starring Liev Schreiber and Bel Powley, about the Dutch couple who sheltered Anne Frank and her family during the Second World War; season four of Sky’s Das Boot; Zentropa’s Danish period drama King’s Land starring Mads Mikkelsen; and Sony Pictures Entertainment/Hassell Free Productions’ reboot of The Crow, directed by Rupert Sanders.

Netflix’s Chris Hemsworth-starrer Extraction 2 moved from Australia to Prague for an early 2022 shoot, and Sky’s biopic Der Kaiser, about German football player and manager Franz Beckenbauer, filmed in the spring. Meanwhile Amazon and Sony Pictures Television returned for season two of The Wheel Of Time.

These follow a packed 2021 that saw Czech Republic host Netflix’s All Quiet On The Western Front, starring Daniel Brühl, and Spaceman, starring Adam Sandler; Starz and Lionsgate’s reimagining of Dangerous Liaisons; and Sky’s apocalyptic series The Lazarus Project.

“Dangerous Liaisons is set in 1780 Paris, but France and the UK were not an option because of the expense,” says series line producer Rob How. “Prague is a more economical place to film.” Other projects include Netflix’s action thriller The Gray Man, Searchlight Pictures’ 18th-century drama Chevalier (with Czech Republic doubling as Paris), and Amazon and Gaumont’s Totems. “Czech Republic is welcoming, with a high-­performing audio­visual industry, renowned film studios and highly skilled technicians,” says Totems producer Arnaud de Crémiers.

The second season of Legendary Tele­vision’s Carnival Row returned to film in 2021, including at Barrandov Studio, with around 900 local crew. “The massive sets were built out in such meticulous detail you wouldn’t know you’re on a backlot,” says showrunner Erik Oleson. “What would be prohibitively expensive to construct and film elsewhere is not only possible in the Czech Republic, the locals make it happen for a reasonable price.” All these projects have been drawn in by the appealing 20% cash rebate, which was boosted recently by a $22.5m (czk570m) increase in the production incentive budget for 2022.

Czech Republic offers a wide variety of locations — cities, castles, chateaus, reservoirs, forests, mountains, caves and sandstone cliffs. Prague is divided into numbered administrative districts and producers need a permit from each district in which they plan to shoot. Most productions also require a permit from Prague’s road and street authority Technicka Sprava Komunikaci (TSK).

The country also boasts impressive below-the-radar filming locations, including the recently renovated 1930s-style New Town Hall in Jablonec nad Nisou, about 15 minutes from Prague, which features a grandiose staircase with stone tiles, an observation tower and a cinema. Prague’s Charles University boasts a variety of historical interiors and exteriors, from gothic to minimalist, which are available to productions.

In addition, Czech Republic is growing in popularity as a post-production hotspot. Local company MagicLab spent a year creating the visual effects for Guy Ritchie’s 2022 action film Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre, as well as overseeing the creative and technical aspects of the production, which involved more than 900 VFX shots.

Locations

The country also boasts several impressive below-the-radar filming locations, including the recently renovated 1930s-style New Town Hall in Jablonec nad Nisou, about 15 minutes from Prague, which features a grandiose staircase with stone tiles, an observation tower and a cinema. Prague’s Charles University boasts a variety of historical interiors and exteriors, from gothic to minimalist, which are available to filmmakers.

In addition, Czech Republic is growing in popularity as a post-production hotspot. Local company MagicLab spent a year creating the visual effects for Guy Ritchie’s action film Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre, as well as overseeing the creative and technical aspects of the production, which involved more than 900 VFX shots.

Crew and infrastructure

Barrandov Studio is one of Europe’s biggest, with 13 soundstages and a vast 160,000 square metre backlot. Prague Studios has six stages and a 100,000 square metre backlot. Crews are usually fluent in English, German or French. Producers can bring heads of department, but international productions often hire locally. There is enough studio space, equipment and crew to handle multiple productions of various sizes at the same time.

Travel and logistics

Czech Republic is in the heart of Europe and has direct flights to all major cities as well as Toronto, Montreal, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Dubai and Doha. The studios are located close to Prague city centre.

European status

 Czech Republic continues to attract big international productions enticed by its 20% rebate, expert crews and stunning variety of locations.

 

Size matters

Czech Republic is in the heart of Europe and has direct flights to all major cities as well as Toronto, Montreal, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Dubai and Doha. The studios are located close to Prague city centre.

First person to contact

Pavlina Zipkova, film commissioner, Czech Film Commission: pavlina@filmcommission.cz

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