Serbia Film Commission promotes Danube locations with regional conference
The Serbia Film Commission promoted filming on the Danube last week with a regional conference involving producers, film commissions and tourism operators. Two days of events concluded with the Serbian Danube region being awarded certification as a film-friendly region.
Martin Cuff, an economic development specialist and former Executive Director of the Association of Film Commissioners International, delivered the keynote speech. Discussions focussed on how to manage and market Danube locations for international producers, and how to promote ‘green filming’ locally.
The conference included a scout of key regional locations including the historic town of Sremski Karlovci and the 15th Century fortress of Kalmegedan. Just outside the city, producers have access to eight sound stages at PFI Studios.
“The Serbian capital offers diverse filming locations,” said Juan Carlos Loza, a Location Scout and Manager, “from Ottoman-style architecture and the Austro-Hungarian buildings all the way to socialist architecture and ‘blocks’ of buildings in New Belgrade that I consider unique and interesting for filmmaking. The wide Danube is another great location – it could have a starring role in the movies as a river, but also as a sea.”
Ana Ilic, Executive Director of Serbia Film Commission, commented: “We want to make the Danube a film-friendly area but also to get the industry to learn about all of its potential as a perfect location for creating movie magic. The conference we organised was a very important milestone on this road.”
Serbia is also working on a formal filming incentive. A 15% cash rebate was set up as a year-long pilot programme in 2011 but it wasn’t extended. “Additional bylaws need to be adopted for the programme to go into effect,” Ilic added: “The government is taking this task quite seriously with an intention to create a programme that will be efficient and sustainable over a longer period of time.”
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