American Film Market 2012: Global Locations - Eastern Europe
Bizzers here fondly recall David Lynch’s Polish shoot of “Inland Empire” in 2006 and location shoots for “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” in 2008. But since then it’s been more about West European shoots such as last year’s Agnieszka Holland Holocaust drama “In Darkness,” a Polish-German-Canadian co-production, and Vincent Gallo starrer “Essential Killing,” with Irish, Norwegian and Hungarian partners in 2010.
Although Poland, with a population of 38 million, is one of Eastern Europe’s economic tigers comprising backdrops that range from coasts to mountains to Old Europe-style cities, the country has yet to introduce film production rebates or tax incentives. That’s something the Film Commission, along with the well-funded Polish Film Institute, is pushing for.
In the meantime, says Szczerbak, industryites have aggressively developed alternative attractions such as regional funds and a healthy body of local shingles to partner with, thanks to the 2005 Cinematography Act, which established the former East Bloc’s most robust local film funding system.
Biz-friendly Alvernia Studios outside Krakow has hosted U.S. legal thriller “Arbitrage,” plus Amy Heckerling horror laffer “Vamps.”
The country has not adopted the euro and its currency, the zloty, has a Hollywood-friendly exchange rate against the dollar. That makes shooting there a serious bargain “that enables us to compete even with countries that provide tax incentives,” Szczerbak says.
With a new American Film Fest that fills Wroclaw with U.S. talent, Poland is clearly focused on drawing more Western productions.