Lithuania is positioned in the Baltic region of northern Europe. The largest of the three Baltic republics, it is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea and borders Latvia, Belarus, Poland and Russia. The country is a member of the European Union, Eurozone, Schengen Agreement and NATO (US citizens can visit Lithuania without a visa). The country has an estimated population of three million.
Lithuania has become more film-friendly since launching its first production incentive in 2014 and has seen more activity over recent years. The capital, Vilnius, is the main production hub for film projects and one of the largest 'living' Old Towns in Europe. Local crews usually speak two to three foreign languages.
The country has four distinct seasons.
Transport links are easily available, with good rail links and motorways.
In 2018, Lithuania was the main filming base for Sky/HBO's major period drama mini-series Catherine the Great, starring Helen Mirren as the iconic 18th century Russian monarch, and also for Sky/HBO's TV drama Chernobyl, directed by Johan Renck.
The country has also been chosen for Scandinavian productions including Swedish thriller The Conductor, Norwegian comedy drama The Oil Fund and Conspiracy of Silence, a co-production between Sweden, the UK and Belgium.
Netflix drama Tokyo Trial filmed locally, as did the BBC and The Weinstein Company for major TV adaptation War and Peace in 2015.
A filming permit is required to film in Lithuania. For filming in cities or villages it is necessary to contact local authorities.
The Vilnius Film Office and the Kaunas Film Office can help arrange filming permits. Vilnius' application process is online and takes up to five working days.
Lithuania has two main film studios for films and commercials that are based in the city of Vilnius.
KS Film Studio is just outside Vilnius and offers green screen facilities, equipment and wardrobe alongside two sound stages of 1,000 sq m. KS also includes 2,000 sq m of warehousing within a total area of 15 acres that includes a 7.5 acre back lot.
Vilnius Film Cluster is a base for nearly two-dozen production companies. The studio's facilities include a large greenscreen cyclorama and makeup room.
Lithuania offers a wide range of locations, including vast rural landscapes, manor houses and castles. The medieval Old Town in Vilnius is a UNESCO World Heritage site with archiecture ranging from Baroque to Gothic.
Beyond the Old Town there are Soviet-style apartments and a modern business centre. Art Deco buildings are a delight in Kaunas. The ice-free port city of Klaipeda is just a short ferry ride away from the sandy coastline with Curionian Spit offering white dunes.
Cameras and lighting instruments from all major film industry manufacturers are available locally.