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Movie nation: Hungary is poised for even more blockbusters coming to town

Hungary has hosted numerous Hollywood blockbuster shoots and is being ranked as Europe’s second most popular filming destination after Britain – according to Variety online. Hollywood movies currently filming in the country include the sixth installment of the “Terminator” franchise, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Will Smith’s thriller “Gemini Man,” directed by Ang Lee. So beware, as you stroll around Budapest it is easy to bump into a filming crew and you might be able to witness some wicked scenes or you can even meet the stars chilling out in the Budapest night.

Other movies shot in Hungary in recent years include “Robin Hood,” with Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx; Jennifer Lawrence’s “Red Sparrow”; Charlize Theron’s “Atomic Blonde”; Keira Knightley’s “Colette”; “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon; and “Blade Runner 2049.” TV shows to have shot in Hungary include Nat Geo’s “Genius: Picasso,” starring Antonio Banderas, TNT’s “The Alienist,” starring Dakota Fanning, Daniel Brühl and Luke Evans, and season 8 of “Homeland.”

While Jamie Foxx was busy tweeting and instagramming his months spent in Budapest, the Mila Kunis-Ashton Kutcher duo gave a lot of work for paparazzi. Kutcher was in the city accompanying Kunis, who was filming ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’, an action-comedy also starring Kate McKinnon and Justin Theroux. Keira Knightley was more low-key when she filmed the indie drama ‘Colette’, directed by Wash Westmoreland.

Besides the big-budget Hollywood fares, TV shows are the biggest spender. According to newly released statistics, the biggest project in 2017 was the marathon-length shoot of TNT’s new drama series ‘The Alienist’, which spent 67 million euros in Hungary. The investment seems to be not at all bad: the show’s launch in January this year reached a cumulative 13.1 million viewers in telecasts in one week, making it the network’s most successful launch since 2012. The show, starring Dakota Fanning, Daniel Brühl and Luke Evans, is a psychological thriller set in New York City in 1896.

AMC’s ‘The Terror’ is the second biggest spender in Hungary with around 41.4 million euros. The horror-thriller series, starring Jared Harris and Ciarán Hinds. New seasons of ‘The Last Kingdom’, ‘Strike Back’, ‘Jamestown’ and ‘Mars’ were also filmed in Hungary this past year. And National Geographic’s ‘Genius’ was also filmed in Budapest: the season depicted the life of the painter Pablo Picasso starring Antonio Banderas. Rowan Atkinson’s ‘Maigret’ character has returned with two made-for-TV movies, and director Stephen Daldry himself directed a week-long shoot for the new season of his Golden Globe-winning series ‘The Crown’.

So how comes Hungary is becoming a small Hollywood industry even more these years?

The Hungarian National Film Fund submitted the tax rebate rise from 25% to 30% to the European Commission, which has given its approval. The support scheme, which is available for films, TV series, documentaries and animation shooting in Hungary, has been extended until the end of 2024.

The incentive has been increased to “preserve Hungary’s leading position and competitiveness in the European film industry,” according to a statement from the Hungarian National Film Fund. The country is Continental Europe’s most popular destination for international production shoots, and second only to the U.K. in Europe as a whole. “The Hungarian film support scheme provides significant contribution to the development of the Hungarian film industry and to the country’s GDP,” the statement added.

“In addition to the tax incentive, Hungary’s film industry has highly educated and experienced film crews, a variety of exciting and new film locations, and state-of-the-art sound stages,” Andy Vajna, Hungary’s film commissioner, said. “Budapest is the most popular location to shoot films in Continental Europe. With the increased tax incentive, we aim to strengthen the Hungarian film industry and to preserve our leading position in the international market.”

If you are eager to get close to the movie making vibe, we recommend you to book a session at Korda Studios in Etyek, where you can take part in special workshops around the studio.

Photo: Pixabay, industry infos via MNF and Variety portals

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