Czech Republic draws in big projects to return to record filming levels

Major films and TV series from Amazon, Netflix, NBCUniversal and Sky set to shoot in the country

By Akvile Peckyte 29 Apr 2021

Czech Republic draws in big projects to return to record filming levels
Amazon and Legendary TV's Carnival Row

Several studio and streaming projects starring the likes of Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling and Adam Sandler, are set to film in the Czech Republic in 2021, which are expected to make it a record year for filming, according to new data from the Czech Film Commission.

Despite Covid, the growing demand from international studios to film in the Czech Republic shows that 2021 is set to bring similar levels of growth to 2019, which was a monumental year for the Czech film industry, with $420m in foreign investments flowing into the country.

Among the projects that are shooting or in prep in the Czech Republic are Netflix’s serial adaptation of the famous E. M. Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front, starring Daniel Brühl and directed by Edward Berger; a new adaptation from Lionsgate of the novel Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos; Sky’s apocalyptic series Extinction; and the Netflix feature films Spaceman of Bohemia, an adaptation of the novel by Czech writer Jaromir Kalfar starring Adam Sandler.

There’s also The Gray Man, a CIA thriller with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans in the lead roles, and Operation Totems, a Cold War-era story of love between two spies that takes place in East Berlin, Moscow and Paris, from Amazon and Gaumont.

In addition, filming continues on two large series that have previously shot in the Czech Republic – Amazon and Legendary TV’s Carnival Row, starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne, and Amazon and Sony’s The Wheel of Time, starring Rosamund Pike, which is finishing up shooting its first series, with the second to follow shortly.

Completed projects include ZDF’s fairytale The Dwarf’s Nose; the third series of Amazon and NBCUniversal’ successful series Hanna; and director Marco Forster’s feature film The White Bird: A Wonder Story from Lionsgate, starring Golden Globe winner Gillian Anderson and Helen Mirren, which tells the story of a Jewish girl hidden by a family in occupied France.

Anderson commented during filming in mid-March: “The crew was fantastic, highly skilled, friendly, professional. I know too the costume department specifically were very impressed by the craftsmenship.” 

Despite production levels falling last year, like most countries, during the pandemic, the country is clearly once again seeing huge demand for filming from international producers.

“The audiovisual industry has an extraordinarily strong capacity to adapt and recover rapidly, so it is also the perfect tool to jumpstart employment and entrepreneurship in the post-coronavirus period,” remarked Helena Bezdek Frankova, director of the Czech Film Fund. 

The Czech Film Commission, together with its parent institution the Czech Film Fund, worked with the Ministry of Culture to accommodate filmmakers by issuing certificates of economic activity, which allowed foreign filmmakers to enter the country and guarantee movement of crews between locations without restrictions.

With increasing numbers of multi-year projects being shot further from the capital, the growth of the Czech film industry is showing no signs of slowing down.

“Such projects are also filmed in the Czech regions, where the crews expend funds on location rental, accommodation meals, and other services, as well as the use of locals as extras and location security,” said Czech Film Commissioner Pavlina Zipkova. “It is a welcome decentralization of Prague, facilitated by a strong network of regional film offices aimed at assisting filmmakers.”


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