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The Netherlands

Overview and productions

There’s no question that the Netherlands’ 35% tax incentive is a major draw for producers. But it’s not the only attraction, says Netherlands Film commissioner Bas van der Ree. Speaking to KFTV, he pointed out that efficient, trustworthy and affordable crews and growing post-production expertise are making the Netherlands increasingly compelling. “The no-nonsense workforce is there to assist in any kind of form. We have an ‘8 o’clock on wheels = 8 o’clock on wheels’ mentality.”

John Trapman, head of Amsterdam Production Services, worked on Jason Bourne spin-off TV series Treadstone. In his view, Dutch crew are “up among the best to be found anywhere. They are greatly experienced and extremely practical.” They are also available in sufficient numbers to service multiple productions, he added. “Several major shoots could be crewed at the same time.”

Locations are another key reason why the Netherlands is such a robust option. Amsterdam’s canals and houses generate most of the headlines, but the country also has a beautiful coastline, contemporary cityscapes and diverse agricultural backdrops. The Hague made its reappearance as a location for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, while Haarlem featured in Black Book. Eindhoven, which has its own film office, appeared in the hotly-anticipated Flemish/Dutch co-pro Ferry (a prequel to Undercover) in 2021.

If Amsterdam is too busy then Dordrecht and Delft are interesting alternatives. As Trapman points out, it’s not just exteriors that the Netherlands can offer: “The Dutch have always been proud of their interior design and are not afraid to share it.”


Aside from Treadstone, other recent projects to have come to the iconic city of Amsterdam include feature film The Goldfinch. More recently, the third series of Amsterdam-set crime drama Van Der Valk filmed in Amsterdam from March to November 2022, with Marc Warren returning as the titular detective.

The run will comprise three, 120-minute episodes and is a co-production between All3Media International, ARD Degeto (Germany), Masterpiece (USA), ITV (UK) and NPO (Holland). Chris Murray continues as lead writer and showrunner alongside co-writer Maria Ward, and Michele Buck returns as executive producer for Company Pictures with NL Film. Buck said: “We’re delighted that this new season order of Van der Valk has been confirmed by our fantastic co-production partners and can’t wait to return to the streets of Amsterdam to investigate more intriguing cases.”

Louise Pedersen, CEO at distribution company All3Media International, added: “With its high production values, suspenseful storylines and beautiful backdrops, Van Der Valk has quickly established itself as a standout success globally. Long-running premium dramas are always high on the wish-list for our clients, so this new season commission will allow us to build on Van Der Valk’s international appeal even further.”

Other recent productions based in the city include Laura Hermanides’s debut feature The White Flash. Supported by the Netherlands Film Fund (NFF), the $527,000 (€500,000) budget movie shot for 19 days in the Osdorp neighbourhood during October/November 2022.


In terms of gritty, urban locations, Rotterdam’s mix of modern architectural skylines and industrial ports has made it a popular location for films, TV series and commercials. The city was shown to great effect in Netflix original thriller The Takeover, which tells the story of an ethical hacker. Produced by Fiction Valley and starring Holly Mae Brood, the film dropped in November 2022 and has been a success for the platform. Key locations visible in the film including the iconic Erasmus bridge. Built in 1996, the 802m-long bridge connects Rotterdam’s north and south.


The local outfit's latest projects include: 

  • Coldplay - Live from Buenos Aires 
  • Kendrick Lamar - Big Steppers Tour
  • Ted Lasso Season 3 - Apple
  • 'Home' - Apple
  • Stromboli - Netflix
  • Dirty Lines - Netflix
  • Moloch - Amazon Prime
  • The East - Amazon Prime
Overview and productions

Local partners

Belgian producers work especially closely with their Dutch partners. “We have the same language and more or less the same culture,” says Bart Van Langendonck, founder of Savage Film, which shot prison scenes for its gangster film Racer And The Jailbird in the Netherlands. “Obviously, the Dutch are logical partners for our projects.”

Co-productions between the two nations can make use of both the Dutch incentive and the Belgian tax shelter. There are also reciprocal arrangements in place between the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) and its Dutch equivalent, the Netherlands Film Fund. Crew members tend to work in both countries and often distributors will pick up rights for all of Benelux.

If Belgian producers are their natural partners, Dutch producers are also working with Scandinavian countries, for example, on Danish director Thomas Vinterberg’s The Alcohol Project, and with UK partners, including Vertigo’s London-set police series Bulletproof.

The main piece of practical advice Van Langendonck has for international producers coming to the Netherlands is to find Dutch co-producers “sensitive to your project”.

Thriving post-production companies such as Storm Amsterdam, Filmmore and Planet X are an added attraction for international productions, as is WarnierPosta, Netherlands’ market-leading audiopost facility for feature films and high-end TV drama.

Locations and permits

The Netherlands has always drawn in productions to its unique locations like the Amsterdam canals, and of course we see a windmill every now and then, says Erno Das, owner of local full-service light rental company Lux & Co, which provided equipment for The Goldfinch among other film, TV and commercial projects. 

But there also a vast array of other impressive locations to choose from. “The Netherlands offers a great assortment of classical European locations and cutting-edge modern architecture,” John Trapman, head of Amsterdam Production Services, tells KFTV.  

His company assisted with the Jason Bourne spin-off TV series Treadstone that partly shot in Amsterdam and the Netflix series Family Business. “The Netherlands also offers an assortment of residential homes and apartments not found in many other countries. The Dutch have always been proud of their interior design and are not afraid to share it.”

The film business is concentrated around the picturesque city of Amsterdam, which can get crowded, but Rotterdam, The Hague and other cities offer a variety of shooting options, and impressively, places like Dordrecht and Delft are even being used as doubles for Amsterdam.

The most popular shooting locations tend to be the canals, coastal landscapes (dunes and beaches) and farming fields and meadows. Rotterdam is also attracting interest with its architecture of modern skylines combined with large, industrial ports, says Melvin Kant from local production service outfit We Are Will, who have recently worked on projects for clients such as Amazon, Friso, Lysol and Betty Barclay.

For location back-up or additional ses there are also studios close by available within the cities' borders, adds Das at Lux & Co.   



One of the huge drawcards for international filmmakers is the beautiful Dutch light, a quality mentioned frequently by cinematographers.

The first port of call for any international production team looking to shoot in the country should be the Netherlands Film Commission. But there are also several city and regional film commissions easing the way for international producers. 

“The Dutch are practical people and it is relatively easy to shoot in The Netherlands. Each council has its own rules and it’s best to go through a local producer who knows the ins and outs of the process,” says Trapman.


Locations and permits

Crew and infrastructure

As for other attributes, Netherlands is home to several film and TV studios and has made a significant move into virtual production. Amstelveen is home to HeadQ’s virtual production facility while ReadySet Studios launched in Amsterdam in March 2022.

The latter is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and is already in high demand for productions within the Netherlands and abroad. The first production to use the studio’s facilities was Dutch drama series Rampvlucht, a conspiracy thriller about a flight crash in 1992. The Senate and House of Representatives feature in the series, produced by Big Blue, but it was impossible to physically shoot at these locations. “Virtual production offered a solution, and we had the locations remodelled digitally and completely credibly in 3D,” said ReadySet Studio co-founder Florian Legters. “Virtual production offers great perspectives for filmmakers who face these challenges.”

Regarding kit, Amsterdam’s Lux & Co is a full-service light rental company that supplies equipment to high-end international commercials, national and (parts of) international TV drama series, TV programmes and feature films. 2022 projects include: Apple TV series Ted Lasso; ABC’s The Bachelorette and Disney’s drama series A Small Light. Erno Das, owner at Lux & Co says: “Productions like to come over to the Netherlands because of the specific Dutch locations like the Amsterdam canals and, of course, we see a windmill every now and then. For back-up or additional sets, studios are close by within the city’s borders – including Ready Set Studios.”

Meanwhile Camalot, founded in 1997, is a high-end digital cinema rental and service company based in Amsterdam. They provide latest equipment, specialising in a wide range of lenses: from old glass to rehoused sets and the newest full-frame arrivals. 

Sebastiaan van Zuylen, managing director at Camalot says: “We always aim to provide the highest level of service, with experienced staff and an inviting testing environment. Our expertise includes everything from celluloid to the latest DIT workflows.“

March 2023 will see the launch of a producers’ residency programme for rising producers with at least one theatrical film to their credit from Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Canada. The four selected producers will live, work and network together for two weeks at a time in Hamburg, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Montreal, where they will attend workshops as well as meet local producers and creatives. The year-long programme will be rounded off by a final residency in Amsterdam in January 2024, followed by an optional visit to the festival in Rotterdam. 

Crew and infrastructure


The country’s main airport, Amsterdam’s Schiphol, has flights to almost every international destination. The country also boasts excellent road and rail infrastructure.

Sebastiaan van Zuylen, managing director at Camalot adds: ”Amsterdam offers beautiful scenery, experienced crew, state of the art studios and some really great rental houses for equipment. It's also pretty amazing that you can travel from the beach, to the big city and to a forest within one hour.” 


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