The film industry in Budapest is flourishing, considering each year the number of international and local films rises impressively. Budapest is firmly on the map.

Proof of which was seen in the partnership of Hollywood-based Raleigh Studios and Hungary’s Origo Film Group in 2010, to create a $76 million superstudio complex. Soon after, Origo’s soundstages hosted the 20th Century Fox romantic comedy Monte Carlo. Followed more recently by titles such as, A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), Spy (2015) and Inferno (2016). Using select streets as backdrops for multiple world wide cities, Budapest’s unique and diverse architecture and services provide dynamic and flexible production environment.

Hungary is not a stranger to International Film: parts of Red Heat (1988) and Steven Spielberg’s Munich (2005) to name a couple. However in that time period Budapest was losing a battle against Prague to be the location of choice in Central Eastern Europe. Owing to a successful campaign in the 1990s it became host to the first Mission:Impossible and The Bourne Identity.

That all changed with the introduction of an ingenious film-tax law which reignited interest in Budapest and Hungary. Resulting in a string of sequels of films initially shot in competing countries, such as Hellboy (2004) moving from the Czech Republic to Hungary for the shooting of Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008). Around the following period during the financial crisis, film production continued to rise, with 47 foreign films in 2008 and 52 in 2009, states the Hungarian National Film Office.

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Video source: Origo Film Group

More evidence is shown in the Czech Film Commision pushing its own tax-incentive programme, after a drop of 50% in its foreign film production from 2002 to 2010.

The reasons why Hollywood finds Hungary so attractive, ranges from english speaking low labour costs to Budapest’s chameleon-like architecture. This allows for it to pass for other cities such as London, Paris, Berlin and occasionally New York City.

The biggest factor that attracts international filmmakers, is the tax incentive. This allows producers to save as much as 25% on local costs. This is a strong and effective way of drawing in productions to Hungary and with each successful film, Hungary’s reputation spreads and grows.

The International prosperity that has been received by Hungarian Film groups such as Origo has had a trickle down effect into local production. Hungarian born director, Gábor Dettre states that the superstudios which now prioritise International film production are still providing work for Hungarian film crews and that the successful tax incentives apply to local production as well.

Hungary’s film industry has not rested after outdoing Prague and has its sights set on continental domination in becoming one of Europe’s top filmmaking centres.

 

First Appeared:http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2003733,00.html

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