Greece boasts "incredible cultural heritage" says Hellenic Film Commission

The HFC supports international audiovisual productions planning to film in Greece as an intermediary in providing information, advice and guidance, free of charge

By Priyanca Rajput 27 Apr 2023

Greece boasts "incredible cultural heritage" says Hellenic Film Commission
The Lost Daughter. Credit: Netflix

Greece has become one of Europe’s most-friendly production hubs in recent years, aided by the way the country handled film shooting during the pandemic and the way local companies have either serviced big-budget projects showcasing Greek locations or co-produced feature films that scooped major awards of the industry. Greece has also enticed film projects by the increased 40% cash rebate incentive.

The Hellenic Film Commission (HFC) is a directorate of the Greek Film Centre (GFC) supervised by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and subsidised by the state. The principal aim of the Hellenic Film Commission is to promote and develop Greece as a filming destination for international film and TV productions.

International projects and collaborations

HFC has collaborated with the production and creative teams of international productions on all scales — from high-profile feature films and art house films, to TV series’ and reality shows.

HFC has recently collaborated with the production and creative team of the film The Return directed by Roberto Pasolini that reunites Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, in a gritty retelling of Odysseus’ return home from war. Shooting is scheduled for May, 2023 in Corfu Island and the Peloponnese, and includes filming in archaeological sites.

Amazon Studios’ thriller Killer Heat, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodleyand Richard Madden begins production in May at the island of Crete and in Athens the capital city of the country. It is directed by Philippe Lacote and produced by Brad Weston.

Other recent high-profile shoots include:

Triangle of Sadness by Ruben Östlund, Jack Ryan season 3 (Paramount), Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery by Rian Johnson (Netflix), Tehran TV series backed by Apple TV that filmed in Athens that successfully doubles as Tehran, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 written and directed by Nia Vardalos, Haunted Heart by Fernando Trueba, Crimes of the future by David Kronenberg and The Lost Daughter by Maggie Gyllenhaal and more.

Greece as a filming location

The country o­ffers incredibly diverse locations and landscapes — some of which can double for other countries; beautiful light and a Mediterranean climate. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean basin and is the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 Km (8,498 mi) in length. It consists of the mainland, the Peloponnese, and thousands of islands, out of which 227 are inhabited.

Capital city Athens, with its archaeological sites (the Acropolis being the most important one) as well as Corfu, Crete, the Peloponnese, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes and Spetses are among the most popular filming locations.

Nisyros, a small island in the Dodecanese with a film-friendly volcano is also starting to be regularly requested for filming. The region of Central Macedonia Greece and the city of Thessaloniki has also attracted high budget international productions.

All archaeological sites around the country are subject to availability for filming — they are under the jurisdiction of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport and they are not off limits as long as the scenes requested to be shot on these sites are not offensive to the monuments and their authenticity.

Greece’s tax incentives and funding opportunities

The financing tools administrated by EKOME are: 40% cash rebate and 30% tax relief. A major selling point for the cash rebate program concerns high budget productions, where eligible expenses over 8€m that take place in Greece can include non-resident labour invoices.

Greece o­ffers a 40% cash rebate supporting feature – films (minimum amount of eligible expenses €100,000), documentaries, animated films and short films (minimum €60,000), TV series (minimum €15,000 - €25,000 per episode) digital games (minimum €30,000).

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