UK film Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher moved from Wales to Lithuania

The production spent 15 days filming in the capital Vilnius, which is attracting a lot of big projects 

By Melissa Kasule 16 Sep 2021

UK film Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher moved from Wales to Lithuania
Shooting of Prizefighter in Vilnius. Credit: Jonas Krivickas

UK-based Camelot Films has wrapped production on Daniel Graham’s Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher in Lithuania after relocating from Wales.

The film based on the true story of the youngest boxing champion in the world during the 19th century was pushed to relocate filming in Vilnius Lithuania due to a lack of funding in Wales.

“We are excited to be filming Prizefighter in Vilnius. This is my second film project in Lithuania, the crew and hospitality are world-class,” said the film’s producer, Matthew E. Chausse, who previously worked on Liam O’Donnell’s 2020 sci-fi Skyline in the city. “We are delighted to share this amazing project filmed in Vilnius.”

The Prizefighter was shot for 15 days in Vilnius and 17 days in Lithuania in general throughout August. As many as 100 people worked on the project, 80 of them being local professionals.

“Sometimes the challenges are management-related, other times—creative. When shooting Prizefighter, we had to recreate 19th century England, complete with specific architecture, and ambiance. It looked truly difficult at first, however, our team tackled the task admirably and astonished highly experienced partners by demonstrating ingenuity and a high level of professionalism,” said Kęstutis Drazdauskas, executive producer and founder of local outfit Artbox.

An impressive 13 international feature films have already shot in Vilnius this year, attracted by the crew and Lithuania’s film tax incentive, which provides up to 30% of funding. Last year was also a successful, record year with the country receiving about 27m from foreign productions.

Tourism and business development agency Go Vilnius reported an estimated 95% of film productions either take place in Vilnius or are initiated by companies operating in the capital.

Recent big projects to shoot in the capital include Netflix hit Stranger Things which was filmed at the Lukiškės Prison for its upcoming fourth season and HBO’s Chernobyl.

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