Hungarian film industry on course for another prosperous year
All studio space in Budapest has been rented out for the remainder of 2021 as the Hungarian film industry experiences a strong recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Lionsgate and Disney’s Marvel Studios have chosen to shoot projects in the country, and the estimated amount of foreign investment in the region is excepted to near EUR488 million at the end of the year.
With major production companies enjoying a 30% tax rebate from the Hungarian government, interest from external investors continues to strengthen the national industry. The rebate scheme was raised from 25% to 30% in 2018 after the Hungarian National Film Fund negotiated a new deal with the European Commission. This particular incentive is available for international film production companies until the end of 2024.
Night scenes from Moon Knight – the Marvel Studios miniseries starring Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke – were shot in Budapest in April, before moving to the USA in October. Moon Knight follows the footsteps of Black Widow, another Marvel Studios production which was partially filmed in the country in 2019. Both Moon Knight and Black Widow were serviced by Mid Atlantic Films, a Hungarian production company that covers Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.
Liongate’s video game adaptation Borderlands was one of the biggest productions to visit Hungary in 2021. The film was shot entirely in the country between April and June, and Mid Atlantic once again assisted the project in partnership with Origo Film Group. Yorgos Lanthimos’s adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s novel Poor Things was also serviced by Origo. Shooting commenced in August 2021, and the film features Hollywood stars Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo.
In addition to Lionsgate and Marvel Studios’ forthcoming high-end productions, commentators anticipate that Netflix is set return to the nation. Shooting for the opening season of Shadow and Bone finished at the tail-end of February 2020, and it is suggested that filming for the second season will likely take place in the same country.
Domestically, the regional Hungarian filmmaking scene is similarly thriving. Péter Bergendy’s period horror film Post Mortem was this week selected to represent the nation at the 94thAcademy Awards for International Feature Film. The movie premiered at the Warsaw and Sitges film festivals last year, picking up awards at Trieste, Fantasporto, Sombra and Parma genre festivals, as well as sweeping up at Hungarian Motion Picture Awards with prizes for cinematography, editing, production design and make-up.
In response to the growing foreign and domestic demand for filming spaces in Hungary, a major new studio complex is currently under construction. Four new soundstages are scheduled for completion in Fót, on the outskirts of Budapest, by 2023 – marking the largest state-funded studio development in the country to date.
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