The Balkan nation of Serbia is known for its unique and diverse locations that have been used to double for other places. Agricultural film locations include fields of maize, wheat, raspberries, plums, apples, and sunflowers. Industrial locations include factories for automobiles, machinery, and chemicals. Serbia has Europe’s largest deposits of lithium.
Cost & Rebates
In general Serbia is a cost competitive place to shoot. Serbia trades in the Dinar which offers a favorable exchange rate for visiting western productions. Belgrade is the main production centre and all must travel from there adding to those costs.
Serbia offers eligible productions a 25% cash rebate for feature films, TV series, animation films and visual effects, TV commercials and documentaries.
The program requires minimum local spend of:
• EUR 300.000 for feature films (at least 70 minutes) and TV series (at least 3 episodes, 40 min per episode)
• EUR 150.000 for animation (at least 70 minutes) and post production
• EUR 100.000 for TV commercials
• EUR 50.000 for documentaries (at least 70 minutes)
Film production firms are also eligible for VAT rebates for locally purchased commodities and services. VAT in Serbia is 20% with accommodation and catering incurring a 10% VAT.
When To Shoot
Serbia has hot, humid summers (June to September) in the north and hot, dry summers in the south. Summer is the best time to film for weather. Winters (December to March) are very cold with snow in the mountains.
Serbia is not a Schengen Area member country. Crews travelling on western passports can enter Serbia visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Work permits are not required to film in Serbia.
Cast, Crew & Equipment
Serbia has a good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are hard working, speak English and have extensive experience in servicing international productions. Crews are non-union and day rates are among the most competitive in Eastern Europe. Serbia’s 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. Serbia offers mainly Serbian looking talent with minorities from the former Yugoslavia also available. Its close proximity to other major European production centres allows easy access those pools of talent should you ever need to look further. All the camera, grip and lighting standard equipment is available locally in Serbia. Additional and specialised gear can be easily brought in from nearby European production centres. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Serbia is an ATA carnet country.