Period piece Maria’s Paradise now filming in Estonia
Zaida Bergrot’s new project Maria’s Paradise is bringing the past to life in Tallinn, Estonia. The period piece dives into a religious movement founded by Maria Åkerblom which found popularity in Finland during the 1920’s. The script centres on the disappearance of a young girl in connection with the mysterious sect which was plagued by allegations of criminal activity.
Filming, expected to continue into the autumn, is concentrated in Tallinn’s old town and the rural Olustvere county in central Estonia. Stellar location services, based in Tallinn, are co-producing with Finnish production company Kaiho Republic.
With a budget of EUR 1,654,023, it has received funding from both Finnish and Estonian sources. The Finnish Film Foundation approved EUR805,000 of funding for the project, while the Estonian Film Institute contributed a further EUR100,000. In utilising local crew and services on location in Estonia the project was approved for a tax rebate of EUR219,995.
Estonia currently offers a cash rebate of up to 30% of local production costs which is dependent on the involvement of local professionals. The incentive is available for Feature Films, TV Films or Series and post-production and special effects services with a budget of over EUR 1 million. National, foreign and co-productions all qualify and there is no maximum budget.
Since the introduction of the tax rebate in 2016, Estonia has seen an increase in production being attracted to the country. As a result, investment in the national filming infrastructure has been reinvigorated. The Tallinn Film Wonderland complex, fitted with three sound stages and green screen capabilities, set to open in 2020 is expected to be the biggest studio complex in the Baltic area.
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