Between 1996 and 2004 several important foreign film and TV productions took place in Slovakia. Among them was Dragonheart (1996)- a fantasy film produced by Raffaella De Laurentis of Universal Pictures; Kull the Conqueror (1997)- another fantasy film from the same Italian producer; The Peacemaker (1997)– an action thriller starring Nicole Kidman and George Clooney and which was one of the biggest US projects ever shot in Slovakia; Behind Enemy Lines (2001) - a war thriller with Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson; Uprising (2001) – a Warner Bros studio’s high-end TV film; and two projects produced by Hallmark, a TV adaptation of Boris Pasternak's novel Doctor Živago (2002) and the horror classic by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (2004).
Already at that time, Slovakia was able to offer uniquely interesting locations. It was not only the natural surroundings but also historical places that were ideal as "film decorations". The most sought-after locations included Bratislava, Košice, the High Tatras, and Slovak castles and manor houses- especially Oravský hrad, Spišský hrad, castle ruins Strečno, Červený Kameň, and others.
In autumn of 2014 the Slovak Audiovisual Fund started the new support scheme, based on the 20% cash rebate, in order to create an interest in the production of audiovisual works in Slovakia, to support the development of the local audiovisual industry infrastructure and to increase its international competitiveness. Thanks to this fiscal stimulus, foreign filmmakers returned to Slovakia. Several "high-end" TV series were shot in Slovakia, such as Marco Polo 2 (2014), Hanna (2018), and the co-production mini-series Maria Theresia (2016), directed by Robert Dornhelm, which captured the life of the Austro-Hungarian monarch. The iconic locations of socialist architecture from the second half of the 20th century, which are more and more often being scouted by domestic and foreign filmmakers, appeared in the Hollywood hit with Jennifer Lawrence, Red Sparrow (2018).
In just a small area, Slovakia offers many natural options as well as buildings of historical value, with good travel connections and importantly, with only short distances between. Slovak production companies can provide comprehensive services to foreign producers in terms of film crews, actors and extras casting, production facilities, office space, construction, props and costumes, transportation, accommodation, catering and more. One of the other benefits is, of course, a highly skilled and professional workforce, who are linguistically versatile, and generally, offer low-priced services compared to other European countries. Slovakia is therefore considered by foreign filmmakers to be a country with interesting exteriors, a skilled labor force, low prices for the rental of premises and technology, and relatively strong anonymity, all of which attracts foreign actors and artists.
The majority of equipment rental companies are situated in Bratislava. The latest grip equipment, generators, cameras, sound equipment, light equipment, and cranes are available in Slovakia, however, equipment can also be easily rented and picked up in neighboring countries (e.g. the Czech Republic, Hungary or Austria).
For post-production, all the standard equipment and facilities are available locally, including sound post-production, color grading, editing suites, VFX artists, 3D/2D animators, Oscar-nominated sound recording and mastering pros.
Local casting services are on offer, too. The actors and extras are generally fluent in English and predominantly white Caucasian (with Alpine, Nordic, Mediterranean and Dinaric features). There is some available talent of Asian, Indian and African extractions, but the choice is rather limited in comparison with most of Western Europe.
FILM INDUSTRY IN SLOVAKIA
5.44 m (2017)
Admissions per capita:
34,513,049 EUR (2017)
Number of screens:
Average ticket price in EUR:
Feature film production:
Market share, domestic films:
Annual state support for the film industry in 2018:
8.0 m EUR
Slovakia is a member of:
- Eurimages – a European fund to support the co-production and distribution of creative, cinematographic and audio-visual works
- Creative Europe MEDIA, which provides financial support to the EU film and audio-visual industries for the development, distribution and promotion of their work
- EUFCN – European Film Commissions network
- AFCI – Association of Film Commissioners International
- EFP – European Film Promotion
- EFADS – European Film Agency Directors
- FIAPF – International Film Producers Associations
- FIAF - The International Federation of Film Archives
- The Film New Europe Association