Written by Shona Smith on Feb 18, 2020. Posted in General Interest

The Czech Republic sees increased interest in filming

Nearly eighty films and series were shot in the Czech Republic in 2019, marking a rise in film fund applications and number of shooting days than in 2018.

A large portion of projects were filmed for online platforms such as Netflix or Amazon. Significant projects including the second series of Amazon’s Carnival Row, The Wheel of Time for Amazon and Sony, while Netflix productions filmed in the Czech Republic included family film A Boy Called Christmas, fantasy series The Letter for the King, and the sci-fi drama Tribes of Europa. Other significant projects included the mystery thriller Shadowplay, the second season of the wartime drama Das Boot, as well as the second season of Miracle Workers starring Steve Buscemi and Daniel Radcliffe.

Daniel Radcliffe in Miracle Workers Dark Ages © Stanislav Honzik TBS

Head of the Czech Film Commission Pavlina Žipková confirms this increase in foreign productions, particularly television series: "In 2018, series made up about 65% of the total; in 2019 that increased to nearly 80%. More and more often, entire series are filmed here, not just several or even individual episodes, as was the case in the past. The primary attraction for foreign producers is and will be film incentives – there's no question. But the wide variety of Czech locations, the architectural diversity, and more also play a huge role, not to mention our highly-skilled Czech craftsmen. Our film professionals are some of the best in the world – Czechs excel not only in directorial positions but also in individual production departments."

Figures illustrate that interest in filming in the Czech Republic continues to rise. In 2019, the Czech Film Fund received 117 applications for registration of new projects that would be filmed here. These included not just turnkey production for international projects, but also co production projects. In comparison, in 2018, 112 applications were received and 76 in 2017. Moreover, International productions spent over 1400 shooting days in the Czech Republic last year making it over 400 more than in 2018.

Louis van Beethoven © EIKON Media Photo Dusan Martincek

This has had a direct impact on the Czech economy. Helena Bezděk Fraňková, director of the Czech Film Fund notes "we have calculated the revenue from projects filmed in the Czech Republic last year at CZK 8.9 billion. Foreign productions alone almost doubled compared with 2018, and are at their absolute peak since we began following this indicator. For the state it is most advantageous to provide as many film incentives as possible because higher incentives generate higher returns for the Czech economy".

Atlantic Crossing © NRK, CINENORD Photo Julie Vrabelová

In 2019, the Czech Film Fund paid a total of CZK1.2 billion (EUR48.3 million) in incentives to seventy-one projects including some projects, such as the first series of Carnival Row, that had filmed in the Czech Republic in previous years. It is estimated that implemented projects brought in a revenue of almost CZK9 billion (EUR363 million) to the Czech economy.

The Czech Republic operates a 20% cash rebate on qualifying Czech spending. The rebate applies to film and TV as well as all post-production work. Minimum expenditure levels and a cultural test is required but there is no cap per-project grant.

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