Big Budget International Productions Heading to Hungary

    Dune by Denis Villeneueve Dune by Denis Villeneueve

    BUDAPEST: Hungary is ready to welcome new international productions in 2022, including Dune: Part Two by Denis Villeneuve and the Netflix miniseries All the Light We Cannot See, after a record-breaking year of 585 m EUR production spend. The Academy Award received by Hungarian set designer Zsuzsanna Sipos for the production design of Dune is fuelling the local energy to improve the number and quality of services for international productions.

    “It’s electrifying to witness the post-COVID boom in our screen industry. Film and TV production spend hit a record high in 2021 in Hungary, the total spend (registered at the National Film Office) reached 585 m EUR / 218 billion HUF last year, a new record, almost 30 percent (54 billion HUF) higher than for the pre-pandemic year 2019”, Csaba Káel, the Government Commissioner for the development of the Hungarian film industry, told FNE.

    It seems that all the efforts are being put into the development of local infrastructure on all levels. “Our industry is a focal strategic sector for the Government, as Hungary’s largest state-funded film studio development is in the works. We are expanding the historical studios in Fót, in operation since the 70s and managed by the National Film Institute – Hungary (NFI) since 2013, increasing the NFI studios’ capacity fivefold, to 12,700 square metres, with four new soundstages.

    The construction began in August and will be completed at the end of 2023. Beside new soundstages, Hungary is offering new locations as the National Castle and Forts Programme will see the reconstruction of 15 forts and 19 castles to preserve cultural history and to enrich the diverse range of unique locations. The renovation project includes Hungary’s largest and most splendid baroque building, the Esterházy Castle in Fertőd. Certainly, the outcomes will open new horizons for filmmakers and aid in discovering Hungary’s countryside too”, Csaba Káel also said.

    Despite the pandemic and due to its 30% cash rebate, Hungary has managed to host several international projects in 2021, including the Marvel series Moon Knight starring Ethan Hawke and Oscar Isaac, The Continental with Mel Gibson, and Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos starring Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo.

    Among the projects set to be shot in Hungary in 2022 are Dune: Part Two by Denis Villeneuve, produced by Legendary/Warner, with the shooting set for later this year (Mid Atlantic Films will service), and the Netflix miniseries All the Light We Cannot See directed by Shawn Levy and starring Mark Ruffalo, Aria Mia Loberti and Hugh Laurie, which will be serviced by Pioneer Services and shot in Berlin and Budapest 14 March – 22 July 2022. Pioneer Pictures is servicing in Hungary.

    In 2022 Mid Atlantic Films will also service the feature film The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die, produced by Carnival Films, the season four of Jack Ryan, produced by Paramount and starring John Krasinski, and the second season of Shadow and Bone produced by Netflix.

    Pioneer Pictures will also service the series FBI International, produced by CBS, Wolf Entertainment and Universal Television, according to the National Film Institute – Hungary.

    “The most exciting stars, showrunners and creators are working continuously together with local crews and creatives. We have to be proud of all Hungarian pros contributing to the outstanding success of Dune. The Hungarian film tradition, unceasing for 120 years now, is highly praised worldwide. Expertise is growing, filmmakers pass on their knowledge and experience from generation to generation. The country is completely safe and offers world-class standing and leisure for the international film community working in Hungary. It is hard to imagine a better promotion than Scarlett Johansson teaching Jimmy Fallon in the Tonight Show how to pronounce Budapest, or Will Smith giving his birthday concert in the Hungarian capital”, Csaba Káel told FNE.