The Republic of Serbia is located in the center of the Balkan Peninsula, at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe. Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Serbia has emerged as a leader in the region with plans on joining the EU by 2025.
Nestled in the center of the Balkan Peninsula, the majority of the Republic of Serbia’s landscape consists of vast plains, with the lower third dominated by mountains. The terrain of the central part of the country consists mostly of hills populated with rivers. The variety of environments offers endless possibilities for locations.
The capital of Belgrade is home to many state-of-the-art production and post production studios. As a production hub to many regional and international projects, the Serbia can provide provide a variety of services.
Because of its location, the Republic of Serbia boasts a rich and varied history. With that history comes an incredible range of architecture.
In metropolitan Belgrade, buildings can go from Turkish structures built in the 1700s, to influences from neoclassical, romanticism, and the typical brutalist architecture of the former Yugoslavia. In the 1980s, a contemporary international style began to appear in the city.
Outside of Belgrade, you will find medieval architecture such as castles, keeps, monestaries and villages, as well as the neoclassical, romantic, and brutalist influences you see throughout the Balkans.
FILM PERMITS & PERMISSIONS:
As with many countries in Eastern Europe, with the appropriate budget and contacts, it is possible to arrange filming permits virtually anywhere in the Republic of Serbia, as well as nearby Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro. With enough lead time, permits are easy to arrange through our local partners.
FILM TALENT, CREWS & EQUIPMENT:
Our local film partners in the Republic of Serbia have access to a large pool of experienced crew members (directors of photography, grips, gaffers, hair/make-up, set design, wardrobe) who are fluent in English. The Republic of Serbia is home to a wide selection of multilingual, non-union talent on which a production can expect significant savings.
The Republic of Serbia also offers top-of-the-line equipment ranging from the latest ARRI, RED Phantom, Sony and Black Magic cameras, professional lenses from Zeiss to Cooke, as well as state of the art grip, electric and rigging gear. Rental houses also have modern trailers for talent, make up and wardrobe trucks, catering vans as well as power generator and lighting vehicles.
The Republic of Serbia is also home to several large film studios as well as post-production houses which offer all high-quality post services (editing, sound mix/design, VFX) at highly competitive rates.
FILM COST, TAX INCENTIVES & CO-PRODUCTION OPPORTUNITIES:
The currency in Serbia is the Dinar. The exchange rate is roughly 109 Dinar to $1. Major credit and debit cards are accepted in most banks, large supermarkets and international hotels. Compared to Western countries, Serbia is one of the most affordable destinations in Europe.
Depending on the topic of the production, Serbian production companies will provide additional financing for projects that are already funded in exchange for Balkan or ex-Yugoslavia rights, especially if international producers will cast one or two English-speaking Serbian actors in lead roles supporting roles.
For incentives, Serbia offers a Cash Rebate of 25% of qualified Serbian spend for features, TV series, documentaries, animated projects and post-production, 20% for TV Commercials, (€300.000 minimum spend, with €100.000 minimum per episode for TV series) and a 30% for feature films with a Serbian spend of €5.000.000. Productions that apply for the Cash Rebate must do so through a registered Serbian company. Pioneer Media can arrange for foreign productions to apply for the Cash Rebate through its local partners in Serbia.
ACCOMADATION & TRANSPORTION FOR FILMMAKERS:
For film productions in the Republic of Serbia, large passenger vans, StarWagons, cargo vans and box trucks are also available at affordable rates.
The Republic of Serbia offers various modes of transportation from private cars for hire, rental, taxis and public buses and trains. Air travel between major cities is also an affordable option. Depending on the location of your shoot, the road conditions vary from modern highways to less-traveled roads which require additional travel time to navigate.
Lodging is inexpensive, with four star hotels ranging between $60-110/night and lower prices available depending on location and ranking. Most hotels will offer discounts to groups or crews booking an extended stay. Rooms outside of Belgrade tend to be even less expensive. For extended stays, AIRBNB rentals are a cost-effective choice, with inexpensive, high-quality options and friendly hosts.
Individual meals at an expensive restaurant in Belgrade cost around $22. A three course meal at a mid-range restaurant costs around $10. Catering for films can be arranged 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
VISAS & TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR FILMMAKERS:
Work visas are not required for visiting film crews in the Republic of Serbia. Passport holders from 96 countries, including the US, EU and Canada, can stay for up to 90 days within a 180 day period on a tourist visa. Many other countries, including China and Russia, can apply for 30 day business e-visas ahead of their trip. Click here for more information on the Republic of Serbia’s visa policy.
The Republic of Serbia is currently listed as a “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution” on the US State Department’s 1 to 4 travel advisory ranking (4 being “Do Not Travel). The vast majority of the Republic of Serbia, and its capital Belgrade, remain very safe for foreign filmmakers and standard vigilance is enough to deter any problems with petty crime.