Filming in Slovakia
Slovakia is a small, central European country which offers advantages and opportunities for the development of the film industry. Due to its favourable conditions (regulated by the country’s government), security and political stability, and particularly its spectacular locations and unique castles, Slovakia has often been the chosen location of international film productions and has the potential to become their base. Currently, Slovakia does not have its own film studios; however, Imagine Filmtech offers complete services needed to support a film production. There are film studios in the nearby Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria. Despite not having its own film studios, Slovakia offers an abundance of natural and man-made locations and comprehensive, specialist services:
Since 2014 Slovakia supports ‘Cash Rabat’ scheme in the form of grants and subsidies of 20% for approved international film productions. And since 2020 Slovakia belongs to the foremost countries in Europe when it comes to the support of audio-visual industry. The government offers subsidies for productions made in Slovakia at 33% of the approved budget expenses (Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Netherlands offer 30 and Romania 35%).
Slovakia’s landscape varies greatly. Northern and central parts of Slovakia are mountainous, while the plains and lowlands are found in the south and east of the country. Slovakia has meadows and fields, deciduous and coniferous forests, alpine lakes, gorges and canyons, alpine lakes, waterfalls, caves, etc. The world-famous mountain range The High Tatras offers snowy peaks and valleys with the highest peak, “Gerlachovský štít”, reaching 2655 metres. River Danube is considered among the top 14 in the world for its beauty.
Slovakia’s architecture is as varied as its landscape. It offers historical city centres, medieval towns with cobbled streets, traditional villages (some with wooden houses), churches, manor houses, medieval townhouses, modern 21st-century buildings, buildings of the communist era, heritage sites with the traditional architecture, abandoned sites and buildings.
Slovakia has a mild climate with clearly defined seasons. It has warm and dry summers and cold winters. The average winter temperature is –2°C (with January being the coldest month) though temperature can regularly hover between -5 and -10°C, and can be much lower in the mountainous areas. Some mountainous regions retain their snow cover for up to 130 days/year. The average summer temperature is 21°C (with July and August being the warmest months) and the Danube Lowland is usually the warmest area. During the warmest days, the temperature can reach 37°C, especially in the south of the country. Sunlight in summer months lasts up to 16 hours.
Slovakia’s workforce is well-educated and professional, with a good grasp of foreign languages and is generally affordable when compared to other European countries. Working hours range from 8-12 hours a day with 5- or 6-day working week, depending on the employment field. The day off is usually Sunday (and Saturday). However, there are no laws or regulations in place and both employers and employees are usually flexible. Majority of the workforce is English speaking.Slovakia is a country with interesting exterior locations; experienced workforce; low rental fees for premises and other spaces. It also offers a relative anonymity which is desirable to many international actors and artists.
Slovakia is interesting due to its geographical and regional diversity, unique locations, natural wonders and historical sites, which often play an important role in a film or a series. It is unique as all these locations are easily accessible as they are relatively close to each other.Slovakia has the largest number of castles and chateaus in Europe. It has 425 manor houses and 180 castles and chateaus (including castle ruins). Slovakia has well-preserved historical city centres, medieval towns with cobbled streets, traditional villages (some with wooden houses), churches, manor houses, medieval townhouses, modern 21st-century buildings, buildings of the communist era, heritage sites with the traditional architecture, abandoned sites and buildings.In the past, Slovakia has been the location of some famous films and series, such as Marco Polo, Dracula, Behind Enemy Lines, Eragon, Dragonheart, Nosferatu the Vampire, The Peacemaker, Uprising, Red Sparrow, The Last Legion, Kull the Conqueror, the Lion in Winter and others.
Slovakia is a member of the Schengen Area – an area comprising of 25 countries with no border controls. To enter the area, a valid passport (or other travel documentation) is required and if necessary, a Schengen visa. Slovakia belongs to the same duty and customs union as other member states and import and export of goods within the European Union are not subject to the customs fees. Slovakia is a signatory party in the ATA carnets agreement allowing temporary movement of goods duty-free. This makes the movement of the filming equipment easier.
Slovakia offers complete services for film productions - from film crews, actors, extras, production equipment, costumes to transport, accommodation, catering, etc. The rental of the most up-to-date filming equipment, grips, generators, film and photo cameras, sound equipment, light and cranes is also available. In addition, Slovakia offers all the standard space and equipment for post-production, including sound post-production; colour grading; editing; visual effects; animation in 2D and 3D environment; and specialists in recording and mastering.