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Overview and productions

Diverse locations and manageable location fees all contribute to achieving a realistic budget, and crews at local market rates make Romania very competitive with other markets such as Hungary and Poland, according to Wayne Henry, managing director at UK-based Dramaworks, which has an extensive track record of producing throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

International projects filming in Croatia include European Alliance’s Around The World In 80 Days, A24’s fantasy epic The Legend Of Ochi and the Sky Original Prancer: A Christmas Tale, and Paramount Global’s six-hour US Civil War spy drama The Gray House, produced by Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman, which was shot entirely in Romania between April and August 2023.

Another international project coming to shoot in Romania in 2023 was Zentropa Entertainment’s Families Like Ours, Thomas Vinterberg’s first foray into directing a TV miniseries.

Romania’s cash rebate, which had been suspended for the past two years, is now set to restart in the first quarter of 2024 following the decision by the Ministry of Culture to establish the Office for Film and Cultural Investments, whose brief will include the administration of the cash rebate programme.

According to media lawyer Ana Mirea, who was appointed as interim manager at the new body, work was set to begin in October 2023 on resuming the ana­lysis of approximately 30 projects that were still awaiting payment of their outstanding cash rebates.

“At the same time, we have taken a detailed analysis of the existing European rebate market and EU legal framework,” says Mirea, pointing out that “the current plan is to maintain the existing annual threshold of €43m ($45.2m) and to amend the legislation for a faster project analysis procedure and more efficient allocation of the budget.”

First person to contact: National Centre of Cinematography:


Overview and productions


The striking variety of locations is often what appeals to international producers. Universals Dragonheart Vengeance filmed at the Râșnov Fortress, the volcanic crater in Racoș, and Bran Castle, commonly known as Dracula’s castle. While The Asset filmed in the beautiful capital city of Bucharest, dubbed the ‘Paris of the East’.

“There are amazing architectural masterpieces across Romania, like Hunedoara Castle, Sinaia Casino, Snagov Palace, and the Palace of Culture Iași,” Giuliano Doman, executive producer at local production service providers Family Film, tells KFTV. “Nature has also given us some of the most beautiful roads, like Transfăgărășan, Transalpina, Transrarău and Transbucegi. These are amongst the best-known places internationally, but our fields, mountains, rural landscapes are truly inspiring and rare, in every season.”

These locations can also double for other countries, adds Doman. “For example, the mountains resemble the Swiss Alps, the Eastern side of Romania can simulate Wild West landscapes, the forests are similar to the ones from Germany, and the Transfăgărășan road resembles St Gotthard Pass in Switzerland, Stelvio Pass in Italy or the Trollstigen in Norway.

“The cities in the Transylvania region in the north have been strongly developed with Austrian/German influence, so they can double easily for these countries,” Andrei Loghin, owner at local outfit Digital Spirit, tells KFTV. 

Producers can expect to have permits arranged within about 48 hours for most locations, while shutting streets in Bucharest can take a few days longer.

Infrastructure and crews

Buftea Studios covers an area of almost 100 acres with 21,500 square metres of studio space, 19 soundstages and four indoor water tanks, and is located 35 minutes from Bucharest in the town of Buftea. Standing sets on the extensive backlot include a Los Angeles street, Boston set, western village and six fully equipped contemporary houses. 

Castel Film Studios, north of Bucharest, has 10 soundstages ranging in size from 600 to 3,354 square metres, and standing sets including a Gothic church, suburban US and a western town, as well as access to an adjacent forest and an 11-mile natural lake near the studio.


Size matters

There are direct international flights to Bucharest as well as many other cities around the country such as Cluj, Sibiu and Iasi. Romania’s motorway network is one of the smallest in the EU, accounting for only 5.3% of the country’s total road length. In rural areas, the road quality tends to deteriorate, and drivers should always keep an eye out for random livestock, deer and animal herders suddenly crossing the road.

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