USAID helps Serbian film business

Fiennes helps tout pic push

Serbia is promoting itself as a film location for international productions — with the help of the local industry and America’s international development agency USAID.

The Balkans country — now recovering economically and politically following the fall of Communism — is keen to re-establish its once-thriving film industry.

A new Film in Serbia initiative — a joint effort of more than 20 Serbian production companies and the USAID Serbia Competitiveness Project — will be promoting the country’s film industry advantages at the Cannes Producers Network.

Effort is aimed to “respond to the increasing demand for information on Serbian film service providers and the appeal of filming in Serbia.”

“Serbia is now re-emerging as one of the leading film location destinations in Eastern Europe, building upon the legacy established in the 1980s when Serbia was second only to Britain in terms of the number of overseas productions,” Film in Serbia organizers said.

Ralph Fiennes, who chose Serbia as a location for his modern-day version of Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus,” will be in Cannes to help promote filming in the country at an event hosted by Film in Serbia, Magnolia Mae Films, Artemis Films, Icon Entertainment, Film & Music Entertainment and Serbian production company Work in Progress.

Serbia, which has skilled and experienced crews, has been host to several major productions in recent years, including “The Brothers Bloom,” which will have its U.S. premiere on May 15; RAI’s “Einstein” by Liliana Cavani; “Lo Scandalo della Banca Romana” by Stefano Realy; and EuropaCorp’s “District 13,” “Ultimatum” and “Human Zoo.”

The cost of filming in Serbia is at least 15-20% less than other countries in the region that have the necessary infrastructure, per Film in Serbia.

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