The scoop: Hungary boasts one of the most sophisticated studio infrastructures in Central Europe. In the past year, two major studios have opened their doors: the Korda Filmstudio and the Stern Filmstudio. Both are situated just outside of the capital, and both cater to foreign productions.
Hungary also has recently modified its tax laws, offering rebates and tax breaks, which make it one of the most production-friendly territories in Europe. Other attractions: Hungary’s Hapsburg architecture has styles reminiscent of many Euro capitals, while Budapest is regularly a low-cost location for films set in Paris, Berlin, Rome and even London. Locations and crews are still relatively cheap compared with Western centers.
Bonus: Tax incentives remain Hungary’s main calling card. Word is spreading that foreign productions can receive up to 20% rebate for every dollar spent in-country. But producers should note: Recent reform also offers tax savings to investors, which has spawned Hungarian private investment funds geared toward the film industry. The most prominent fund is the Concorde Film Trust. Note that foreign productions with Hungarian co-production partners may also be entitled to state subsidies through the Hungarian Motion Picture Foundation.
Shot there: “Nutcracker — The Untold Story,” by Andrei Konchalovsky; “Good,” directed by Vicente Amorim; U’s “Hellboy 2”
Hot spot: The Korda Filmstudio offers a facility that can be converted into a wet soundstage or water tank.