Hungary invests in the expansion of Mafilm Studios
- As part of the economic protection programme adopted in view of the health crisis in Hungary, the NFI will significantly increase the capacity of the Fót-based complex
In preparation for the end of lockdown and the resumption of filming activities, the Hungarian authorities have decided to invest in and initiate a plan for the extension of the Mafilm studios (located in Fót, on the outskirts of Budapest), as owned by the National Film Institute. Four new soundstages measuring 2400 m2 are to be built, increasing the studios’ overall capacity to 12.2 km2. Primarily known for their medieval town sets, their Second World War barrack backlots, their collection of 100,000 costumes and accessories (including a particularly well-stocked weapons shelf) and continental Europe’s largest water tank which was recently used in a film shoot, Mafilm Studios have played host to the production teams of Blade Runner 2049 and Terminator: Dark Fate, to name but two.
This expansion will be implemented as part of the economic protection programme put in place in response to the health crisis, with a view to creating hundreds of jobs, but also so as to supplement existing studios in Hungary which are close to saturation point: after London, Budapest is the second most popular location for Old Continent film shoots, chiefly owing to the 30% rebate the country offers on locally-incurred production expenditure, which attracted dozens of internationals film teams last year (including several Netflix projects).
"The Hungarian film industry is a profitable sector for the national economy, attracting direct production expenditure of over €280m each year, since 2017. We are convinced that its leadership and international competitiveness can only be preserved if we focus on the sector’s growth with immediate effect", stressed Csaba Káel, the government commissioner tasked with developing the Hungarian film industry.
This public commitment in favour of Mafilm Studios is the last in a range of emergency measures taken by the National Film Institute at the beginning of April, with a view to supporting the sector which has been at a standstill throughout the current health crisis. These initiatives include the creation of a special fund for industry professionals now unable to work, the continuation of support commissions’ activities, new subsidies for TV productions, a relaxation of sector-related rules and the rescheduling of public funding for productions already underway, to name a few.
(Translated from French)
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