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Overview and productions

Slovakia has seen a spike in international film and TV production over the last few years thanks to its diverse scenery and a new enticing 33% incentive.

One of the standout projects to shoot recently in the central European country was Shira Piven’s historical drama The Performance, about the Jewish American tap dancer Harold May, who was scouted to perform with his troupe for Adolf Hitler. Produced by Daniel Finkelman of US outfit Sparks Next alongside Chris Milburn and Chaya Greenberg, the drama filmed for 30 days across some of Bratislava’s most historic sites including Reduta — the Slovak national theatre that is home to the Slovak philharmonic orchestra — and the Primate’s Palace.

“Filming went really well, and Slovakia was such a wonderful and diverse location,” says executive producer Alin Bijan. “On one of our last days of shooting, we managed to shut down a street in Bratislava and set up an entire green screen across the buildings, where we had cars from 1937.”

March 2022 saw the Slovak government lift most of the restrictions placed on public life to counter the spread of Covid-19; like most neighbouring territories, it has shooting protocols in place.

Another big project to shoot in Slovakia last year was season three of Amazon’s action series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. “We found a very talented group of filmmakers, and also developed relationships with a variety of businesses and some contractors, all of whom joined together to make our filming in Slovakia a wonderful experience,” says series producer Howard Ellis. “What I see is that Slovakia is growing into a future destination for international film.”

Warner Bros has also shot projects in the country, such as Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore, which filmed for two days, and fantasy feature World’s Eater, directed by Tomas Bencik, which filmed from September 2021. The latter applied for Slovakia’s 33% cash rebate, with local service provider Jumpcat supporting the production. It shot on location in the Low Tatras mountain range in central Slovakia, which is separated from the northern High Tatras by the Vah river.

Other striking locations include the city of Kosice, with its preserved historical centre consisting of baroque, renaissance and gothic buildings, and a vast number of castles — such as the white medieval Spis and fairytale-like Trencin — fortresses and old mansions. The Slovak forests provides the backdrop for upcoming horror remake The Strangers, currently in production on locations around Bratislava. Director Renny Harlin is planning a trilogy of films.


Locations and permits

Permits usually take about two days to secure for most locations, and about a week for downtown shoots.

Infrastructure and crew

A4 Studio in Bratislava has a spacious stage space (70x30 metres), a Spidercam camera system, underground corridors for cables and parking for 600 cars. Other sites include Koliba Studios, Shining Film Studio and Jumpcat, but most productions come for the locations. Slovakia’s skilled multilingual workforce is generally lower priced compared to other European countries. 

Most equipment rental companies are based in Bratislava, offering the latest grip equipment, generators, cameras, sound and light equipment, as well as cranes. Other kit can be rented from neighbouring Czech Republic, Hungary or Austria.

European status

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

Size Matters

Bratislava has direct flights from cities across Europe including Paris, Madrid, Rome and London. The mid and the north of the country are mountainous (Carpathian Curve), with lowlands in the south and east. The Danube river connects to Vienna and Budapest.

First person to contact: Zuzana Bielikova, head, Slovak Film Commission


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