Filming in Filming on location in Lisbon
The ancient Portuguese capital lies on the mouth of the River Tagus and enjoys a warm climate that delivers more than 220 days of sun every year.
Boasting an extensive architectural history dating back to the Roman era and earlier, the city has much to offer production companies looking for romantic urban views. Filmmakers also have access to the height of modernity, with eastern parts of the city having been transformed into a futuristic vision of Europe since the city's World Fair back in 1998.
This distinctive history means the city can offer starkly different looks within a relatively short distance. Traditional Mediterranean seafront scenes can be found near African-style buildings, while the modern city is only just around the corner. It's all useful for filmmakers looking to maximise their budget.
Lisbon is a very popular filming location, particularly for commercial projects. There is a host of location services and in 2012 the city hosted around 250 productions, most of which were commercials. About one in five of these shoots was an international project. Filming equipment can be hired locally and several studio facilities can accommodate small- and medium-scale projects.
The city – and Portugal as a whole – doesn’t offer any formal film incentives but the Lisboa Film Commission was launched at the end of 2012 and is specifically designed to reduce bureaucracy and streamline the production process.
Established as part of the City Council of Lisbon, the film commission helps connect production companies with local resources and makes location permits available within three working days. Applications can be made online in a bid to offer producers greater flexibility, and local taxes can sometimes be reduced or removed completely to ease the filmmaking process.