Belarus is best known for its bucolic landscapes, deep forests, and thousands of beautiful rivers and lakes.
The country has not hosted many international productions so locations remain undiscovered.
Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park (called Białowieża National Park on the Polish side of the border) is a primeval forest home to a population of bison, wolves and bears. Other nature locations of note include Pripyatsky National Park, Braslaw Lakes National Park, and Naroch National Park.
Minsk is the capital and main production centre where crew and equipment are based. Locations of note include Minsk’s Soviet-era metro stations and apartment blocks, the National Library, Great Patriotic War Museum, National Academic Grand Opera and Ballet Theatre, Belarusian State Circus, Minsk Tractor Works, Church of All Saints, Victory Square, and Minsk Government House complete with Lenin statue in front.
Cost & Rebates
Local Belarusian costs such as locations, talent, crew and equipment are relatively inexpensive. Imported goods and hotel accommodation can be expensive.
Tax Incentives. There are no tax incentives for foreign feature films or commercials in Belarus.
When To Shoot
Belarus has a temperate-continental climate with high humidity and rainfall throughout the year. Winter (December to March) is cold and snowy. Spring (April to May) is damp and rainy. Summer (June to September) is warm. This is the best time to film for weather. Fall (October to November) is damp and rainy. Kupala, a Slavic festival celebrating the summer solstice, is celebrated on July 6th and 7th.
Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Western passport holders entering Belarus via Minsk National Airport can stay visa-free for a period not exceeding 5 days. Visitors to Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, can enter visa-free by land, for a stay of up to 3 days. Crews travelling with film equipment may be required to have additional documentation.
Cast, Crew & Equipment
Belarus has a very small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Some English speaking key crew is available locally. More specialised crews should be brought in. Belarus’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those pools of creative and technical crew should you need to look further.
Talent day rates and buyouts are reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis. Belarus offers mainly Slavic looking talent. All other looks are best cast abroad. Belarus has some standard lighting, grip and camera equipment including cranes, Fisher dolly, Alexa and RED cameras. More specialized equipment is best brought in from abroad. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Belarus is an ATA carnet country.