Bulgaria offers a wealth of unique looks as well as a depth of locations that easily double for other places. The country is known for its lush green forests, rugged mountains, pristine sandy beaches, Soviet architecture, Orthodox monasteries, and Roman ruins. Its well developed studio backlot infrastructure makes Bulgaria an ideal and inexpensive alternative to filming in London, New York, Rome, or the Middle East. Bulgaria’s forests, rivers and valleys have doubled for Northern California. Its rugged mountains can film for Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, the Swiss Alps, or Scottish Highlands.
Although Bulgaria is not a Schengen Area country, visiting crews travelling on Western passports can enter Bulgaria visa-free for stays of up to 90 days and work permits are not required.
Cast, Crew & Equipment
Bulgaria has a small pool of locally based directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are non-union. Bulgaria has a small pool of internationally experienced key and supporting crews. Its close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those crews should you ever need to look further. Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Bulgaria offers mainly ethnic Bulgarian looks with some Turkish and Russian looks available too. Bulgaria also has a sizable Roma population. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad. There are a couple of companies offering state of the art camera, lighting and grip equipment. More specialised equipment such Technocranes or camera mounts need to be brought in from larger European film production centres. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Bulgaria is an ATA carnet country.