The National Film Institute’s impressive complex in Fót, near Budapet, will have four new 2,400 sq m soundstages built [which could be used in pairs as two 4,800 sq m stages], making it Hungary’s largest state-funded film studio development project.
The Studio complex already has three sound stages, the largest of which is 19,375 square feet, as well as a medieval town and WWII barracks backlots, and 100 000 pieces of wardrobe, accessories, and a large inventory of weapons.
The expansion is intended to attract large-scale blockbusters, as well as smaller local and international film and TV projects, once the Covid-19 situation allows for them to return.
In recent years, the studios have hosted several high-profile productions, including Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi film Blade Runner 2049, starring Harrison Ford, and Tim Miller’s Terminator: Dark Fate, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, which both used the studios’ outdoor water tank (the largest of its kind in continental Europe).
“The Hungarian motion picture industry is a success sector of the Hungarian economy with the volume of direct film production spending exceeding HUF 100bn every year since 2017. We firmly believe that the Hungarian film industry will only be able to keep its leading position and competitiveness in the international industry if we are focusing now on the development. We welcome the government’s decision. NFI Mafilm studios capacity will be extended by almost five times,” said Csaba Káel, government commissioner for the development of the Hungarian Motion Picture Industry.
Budapest has proven to be a hugely popular European shooting location, partly thanks to its enticing 30% rebate based on local expenditure.
In an effort to support the industry during these difficult coronavirus times, the National Film Institute has introduced a set of economic protection programme measures, including new funds for television productions and the rescheduling of financing of ongoing projects. The institute also launched an emergency fund to support freelance film industry workers.