HBO series Chernobyl showcases Lithuania film potential
Vilnius is taking on Hollywood as a string of highly anticipated TV shows choose the Baltic state as their backdrop.
As HBO’s blockbuster success, Chernobyl, becomes IMDB’s highest rated show of all time, Lithuania is attracting global attention as the go-to film set for period dramas and docuseries.
Many of Chernobyl’s action scenes were filmed in Lithuania, with specialist tours of the set and real-life nuclear power plant available for visitors.
Lithuania recently introduced a tax incentive, exclusively for the film industry.
A policy named Lithuanian film tax incentive allows film production companies filming in Lithuania can save up 30 per cent of their budget by using a private investment scheme involving a local donor.
As per statistics from the Lithuanian Film Centre, the initiative became a success: during the period between 2014 and 2018, a total of 115 films used the tax incentive.
In particular, the capital city Vilnius is playing host to international film crews for a variety of projects.
Diverse historical backgrounds are imprinted in the city’s surroundings, making Vilnius a go-to location for shooting films depicting various periods.
A variety of reasons are at play when choosing Vilnius as a filming location, said Lineta Miseikyte, co-founder and producer of Baltic Film Services, a Lithuanian film production company that worked on Chernobyl.
“When speaking with foreign producers working in Vilnius, they all emphasize the benefits of Vilnius’ size.
“Contrary to other European cities popular amongst the film industry, everything in Vilnius can be reached within tens of minutes, instead of hours.
“The airport is close-by, so are the filming locations and studios, making the logistics seamless.
“In case of Chernobyl, the municipality of Vilnius played a key role: if it wasn’t for city’s welcoming approach, some scenes wouldn’t have been possible to produce in such an authentic way as they were.”