As world producers proceed to grapple with the logistics of filming in a Covid-safe world, Greece has emerged as some of the engaging locations for worldwide movie and tv crews to arrange camp. Thanks to the federal government’s immediate response to pandemic protocols after the arduous lockdown final 12 months coupled with a rise in monetary and tax incentives, the European nation is within the throes of one in all its greatest manufacturing seasons to this point, with a raft of native and worldwide tasks all profiting from the nation’s stunning and numerous locations.
“Right now, we’re basically full for the summer season,” says Panos Kouanis, President and CEO of EKOME, The National Center of Audiovisual Media and Communication in Greece. “We’re working with continuity and are currently in discussions for the fall projects – from end of August through to November. We’re also in discussions for 2022 and have set up a number of projects from the U.S., Canada and the UK already for next year.”
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Indeed, Daniel Craig and the starry ensemble solid of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out 2 are presently filming on the Greek upscale island of Spetses (near Athens) for Netflix whereas Millennium Media’s noir thriller The Enforcer with Antonio Banderas and Kate Bosworth is capturing in Thessaloniki, for a Miami-set script. Apple TV Plus’ sequence Tehran is capturing its second season within the territory and David Cronenberg’s upcoming sci-fi thriller Crimes of the Future is anticipated to start capturing within the nation subsequent month.
Aaaaaaaand WE’RE OFF! Day one in all filming on the subsequent Benoit Blanc thriller. Thanks to all the stunning affected person individuals right here in Greece for letting us do all this murdering on their peaceable shores. pic.twitter.com/SUFptCpl3G
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 28, 2021
The uptick in inward funding is a welcome flip for Greece, which remains to be recovering from a decade of financial torment. For the three-year interval from April 2018 to April 2021, EKOME supported a complete of 125 productions, 60 of which have been worldwide, with complete investments reaching €127M ($150M). Kouanis arrange the strategic state physique in 2017 in an try to save lots of a sector that had been hit arduous in recent times. Ekome, which has three pillars – make investments, digitize and educate – labored tirelessly with the Greek authorities to create two aggressive funding incentives, a money rebate and a tax reduction, to lure in productions from across the globe.
The nation’s money rebate was not too long ago upped from 35% to 40%, which has proved vastly standard due to the low minimal eligible Greek spend, which sits at €100,000 ($118,785) for function movies, €60,000 ($71,000) for documentaries, shorts and animations, €15,000-€25,000 ($17,818 – $29,700) per episode of TV sequence and €30,000 ($35,637) for digital video games. To up the ante even additional, the Greek authorities created a 30% tax credit score which kicked off in January and can be utilized together with the rebate so long as the quantity doesn’t exceed 50% of a venture’s complete manufacturing spend.
“Our aim, when we started EKOME in 2017, was to create an audiovisual ecosystem that would turn the landscape of Greece into an industry, which is wasn’t back then,” says Kouanis. “We have succeeded in doing this because we created the financial incentives, the cash rebate program and the new tax relief program. Last year, not only did we change the cash rebate up to 40% but we also changed the whole process so it’s a much simpler and faster process.”
He provides that the mixture of those choices has been “a game changer for us and has created a huge impact and that’s why we have all of these high-end projects coming to Greece.”
These adjustments to the considerably outdated funding choices that have been beforehand provided within the area are, he says, essential to constructing a stable home business. He and his colleagues are eager that Greece isn’t simply positioned as stunning and pure panorama for purely Mediterranean-set tasks. Rather, it’s a rustic that’s creating an setting for an incredible stage of providers throughout quite a lot of settings.
EKOME has been energetic in supporting a raft of teaching programs and internships to be able to elevate the bar and construct a stable, home business that may have the ability to give a excessive stage of providers to native and worldwide productions lensing within the territory. The company is supporting internships via its partnership with Nu Boyana Film Studios, the Bulgarian manufacturing complicated run by Nu Image and Millennium Films. Nu Boyana Studios plans on opening a department in Thessaloniki in Greece to assist construct the native infrastructure.
Kapa Studios in Athens has the capability of 10 soundstages (between 400 sq. meters and 1600 sq. meters) and Kouanis says that there are presently ongoing conversations with different native and worldwide companies to look to construct a couple of extra studios within the nation.
“Everything we do, we do it with being mindful of how we can use the knowledge, experience and expertise that foreign productions bring to Greece in order to create our own local industry,” says Kouanis. “We want the local companies to become stronger and also the local crew and cast will gain more experience, more knowledge and will become more extroverted.”
Greece’s response to the pandemic has additionally helped to deliver this flurry of exercise to the area. The nation managed to get a greater deal with on the pandemic in comparison with a few of its European neighbors and it’s been working arduous since to maintain Covid numbers low. During the arduous lockdown within the nation final 12 months, Ekome saved its funding program open and totally purposeful, permitting manufacturing firms to proceed to submit their functions as typical. When lockdown ended and journey corridors started to open up, this meant that productions that had been authorized may start shifting rapidly to movie.
“We were constantly keeping our local production companies and our international partners informed,” says Kouanis. “Once the native market opened up to start with of June , we have been in a position to have our native protocols in place in order that overseas productions may come to Greece in the summertime. Local Greek productions additionally restarted. It was nice as a result of we have been in a position to get all of those individuals to work through the summer season.
“Because we had a very good handling of the Covid crisis, we had many unexpected productions from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East come to our shores last minute during the fall and winter season.”
For occasion, Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson starrer The Lost Daughter, an adaptation of Elena Farrante’s novel, written and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, additionally descended on Spetses final 12 months, with the island posing as an Italian village for the film. Ruben Östlund’s Triangle Of Sadness, starring Woody Harrelson additionally accomplished capturing within the nation.
“We’re moving fast in order to be able to accommodate everything,” says Kouanis. “Right now, Greece has managed to become one of the most sought-after destinations for foreign shoots and this is just the beginning.”