Shooting in Vilnius

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Shooting in Vilnius

Co n t e n t s introduction

What others have to say about us. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Tax incentives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Vilnius. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Vilnius Film Office. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Locations:

Old Town. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Landscapes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Castles, Manors and Mansions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Modern and Contemporary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Museums and Churches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Soviet Style. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Rundown Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Nearby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Foreign Productions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

Distinguished actors, directors, producers, Film makers and television show developers, It is a great honour and joy for me to welcome you here and invite more film makers to join you, who may now be considering Lithuania and Vilnius as set locations. Welcome to Vilnius! And to those of you planning to come we await you and your creative ideas. I do so not just hoping, but rather knowing that Vilnius and Lithuania already occupy a niche among film makers: our space is well known, there has been a wave of artistic accomplishment here. World famous stars such as Jeremy Irons, Woody Harrelson, John Malkovich, Martin Freeman, Anthony La Paglia, Paul Dano, and Daniel Craig have filmed here, and they were all pleased with the working atmosphere and quality, as well as the living conditions. I hope that these names indicate once again what a great place Vilnius is for film makers from Europe and around the world who require high quality working conditions and infrastructure.

There is a great deal that goes into that. Vilnius is not too big, so any filming destination is no more than a half hour away. You can find any number of different facades here, from the middle ages to the renaissance to the soviet period. As I mentioned, film makers who work here know their craft well: they’re people who understand both Western and Eastern mentality and provide a high level of professional services at a competitive pricing. To sum up, their expertly organized filming shows just what professionals they are. So let me reiterate – you’ll be happy you came. The city leadership will do everything in its power for Vilnius to live up to its reputation as a film friendly city. You’re always welcome!

Remigijus Šimašius Mayor of Vilnius

I nvitation from the Vilnius Film O ffice Dear Filmmakers, Vilnius is a cost efficient location and a totally film friendly city. You can get back 20% of your lithuanian production budget (it could be film or part of the film) through tax incentives that were introduced in 2014. Vilnius is an optimal location for shooting movies, television dramas and all types of audiovisual productions. Our professionals are top notch. They are creative, are not afraid of long hours and have a Western work ethic. Vilnius has a lot to offer that will probably exceed any and all of your expectations. The fact that Lithuanians are highly educated counts for a lot, but the fact that they have a great sense of humor and

intrinsic skills that are demonstrated many times a day is extraordinary. Your work will go smoothly in Vilnius whether you are shooting a big budget film or a small scale production. We welcome and value every single filmmaker and the Vilnius Film Office will help to ensure a successful production. Film professionals from around the world, including the United States, Sweden, Italy, France, Finland, Great Britain, Spain and Germany have worked with our highly skilled Lithuanian production teams and produced award winning films. We look forward to welcoming you and your entire team!

Jurate Pazikaite Director


What others have to say about us


ilming in Vilnius was brilliant - I loved it – really lovely people, the facilities are great on a tight schedule and limited budget and the crew were wonderful. One of the main reasons we filmed there was the theatre we used to recreate the courthouse. It already looked pretty similar, and the production team were able to make it look accurate.

– Director Paul Andrew Williamson UK



ithuania is an excellent location for filming. The crews are highly qualified and the Vilnius Film Office was exceedingly helpful.


– Director MIKKO KUPARINEN Finland


ilnius is a cost efficient location with very professional local cast and crews.

ilnius is incredible. The space is excellent for filming. It’s a good place to be and I want to come back.



ne of the great things about Vilnius is that there are different types of locations all within 30 minutes of each other and that saves us time and money.




ilnius is a great place to film. Love everything about it.




20 % Tax I ncentives  Benefit – covers up to 20 % of Lithuanian production budget  Feature films, TV films, documentaries, animated films  Applications can be filed for national, foreign and co-productions  Applications accepted all year around  At least 80 % of the production costs have to be spent in Lithuania  Film spend in Lithuania has to be at least € 43 443 ($53,750)  The film meets at least two cultural criteria  The film meets production criteria





Application/ certificate

LITHUANIAN film center (lfc)

Agreement for donor


Investment certificate

Managed by the Lithuanian Film Centre



Vilnius – the Center of Europe


Compact and Easy to Reach

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and is the geographic center of Europe. It is a unique blend of the traditional and cutting edge contemporary. With a population of just over half a million, its scale is refreshingly human. Vilnius has a proud history, a sound economy and a vibrant cultural life. Few other European capitals combine urban sophistication with tradition as charmingly and seamlessly as Vilnius. It has one of the fastest internet speeds in the world and ranks third in WiFi accessibility in public spaces. Little wonder, then, that Vilnius is attracting more and more tourists, business travelers and film makers every year.

Lying at the crossroads of East and West, Vilnius is never more than three hours away from any European destination by air. Its airport is less than 15 minutes away from the city center. The labyrinthine streets of Old Town, its sleek business district and elegant center all stand side by side in harmony. There are many large open squares and parks as well as suburban areas with historical wooden houses that provide a variety of backdrops for filming. Manors and mansions with their lovely interiors are all a short ride away. Scouting for a wide variety of locations is fast since roads are well maintained and travel time is minimal.

Talented People

An Open History Book

The New York Times included Vilnius in its list of Top Ten Hip Cities that Think About How They Work. It wrote that, “The city attracts young professionals who see in Vilnius a rising star in business and appreciate all that the extensive cultural scene in the little capital has to offer.” Film professionals are experienced at working on foreign productions, have a strong work ethic, are reliable and highly creative.

The Old Town of Vilnius is among the largest in Eastern and Central Europe and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The Lithuanian capital is the largest baroque city in Northern and Eastern Europe. The city stands at a juncture of three cultures – Central, Northern and Eastern Europe and is vibrant and diverse. It is a city unlike any other in its magical charm that is just perfect for the movies.


We are available 24/7:  Comprehensive information about locations, logistics, crew, accommodations, technical support and special supplies  Free shooting permits, assistance with obtaining shooting permits  Free locations that are administered by the City of Vilnius  Premises rentals for filmmakers on easy terms  Information about the rules and regulations of shooting in Vilnius  Information about Lithuanian laws, taxes, visa issues, insurance  Contacts in every sector, whether public or private  City events calendar






Ol d To w n

Old Town


he Old Town of Vilnius boasts an abundance of every kind of architectural style. Just take a walk along the compact and winding streets of the Old Town of Vilnius and you will be enthralled with possible locations for filming. With meandering streets and interesting courtyards, Old Town is full of mystery and magic and a perfect setting for making movies. It has an enchanting range of architecture, from over the top Baroque to aesthetic Gothic. The Old Town of Vilnius is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and proud of what it can offer filmmakers. The Bohemian part of Old Town is U탑upis. This arts district in Old Town is often compared to Monmartre in Paris with a funky style all its own perfect for creating that special mood you need for your next movie.




Old Town



Old Town


25 13






rom gritty urban cityscapes to forests, rivers, lakes, rolling hills and quarries that look like desert locations, Vilnius pretty much has it all. More than forty percent of the region is covered in green areas. These include nearby hills with breathtaking views and picturesque lakes. Fields stand next to forests and rivers run through the city and countryside. Some are calm and quiet while others have dramatic cliffs and rocky shores that add to a film’s dramatic scope of production. There is a range of forests with various types of flora that can simulate anywhere from the barren lands of Siberia to the jungles of Malaysia. Lithuania has four seasons and they are distinct: lush green in summer, golden in the autumn, snowy white in winter and budding pastel in the spring.









C a s t l e s, Ma n o r s a n d Ma n s i o n s

Castles, Manors and Mansions


ilnius has mansions and manor houses that have been standing for a long time and are ready for filming. These homes to the aristocracy were built a century or two ago and have retained their original feel. Their outstanding historical character and the scenic beauty surrounding a number of them are ready made film sets. The grounds of many of them are outstanding with some set on the edges of scenic lakes. Interiors are authentic and some are quite elaborate. Filmmakers are welcome to have their work travel back in time using these grand settings. The Gediminas Castle tower stands high above the city and overlooks its domain waiting for new film crews to come in.






Castles, Manors and Mansions





Modern and Co n t e mp o r a r y

Modern and Contemporar y


he new and modern Vilnius business city center is located on the right bank of the Neris River, and can be accessed directly across a number of short bridges from Old Town. There are glistening skyscrapers and some gems of modern architecture. If you are looking to film scenes that take place in a contemporary setting, this is a compact area where a number of different styles are available. Office buildings with interesting exteriors and interiors, the municipal city offices, banks, a shopping mall, a large plaza, a brand new National Arts Gallery are all within a few blocks of each other and are quite ready for those cameras to roll.






Modern and Contemporary





Museums and Ch u r c h e s


Museums and Churches


leaming spires, domes and the spectacular interiors of Vilnius’ churches and museums will take your breath away on every single street in Old Town. And, once you recover your breath, have your cameras ready, because these sites are ready to welcome you for filming. When France’s Emperor Napoleon passed through Vilnius in 1812, he said that he wanted to take St. Anne’s gothically beautiful church back to Paris in the palm of his hand. It’s a good thing we didn’t let him do that St. Anne’s is still right were it was. The many churches and museums throughout Old Town attest to the rich architectural history of Vilnius. Baroque, Renaissance, Classical, Gothic. You name it – Vilnius has an incredible variety from which to choose.








S o v i e t S t yl e


Soviet St yle


ithuania was a forced member of the USSR from 1940 until 1991 when it regained its independence. Lithuania hasn’t looked back since but distinctive concrete remnants of Soviet architecture are still visible throughout the capital city of Vilnius outside of Old Town. There are a number of un-renovated concrete Soviet style apartment buildings built in blocks in the 1950s and 1960s that encompass entire neighborhoods. Large scale government buildings are still around and in good shape as filming locations that need a vintage look. There are also some uniquely preserved gems, such as the National Theatre and the Television Tower that you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere ready for filming.


soviet style



soviet style





Rundown Areas

Rundown Areas


f you need some buildings that look as if they have just been ravaged by war or streets that look like you stepped back in time, Vilnius still has an abundance of them. Filmmakers are particularly fond of the Šnipiškės area, located in the center of the city that looks like a deeply rural village thousands of kilometers away. Small wooden shacks and unpaved streets are perfect for creating a movie needing a backward environment. There are some areas in Old Town and Užupis that can stand in for World War II locations and slummy parts of town, if your film needs them. There are also some industrial areas with factories and worn down streets which have not been renovated that lend a feeling of reality to the movies made there.




Rundown Areas





N e a r by




rakai Castle stands totally isolated on a lake in a fairy-tale setting that would be hard to find anywhere else in the world. It is a half hour drive away from Vilnius and is spectacular as a filming location. The 19th Century Open Air Museum in the town of Rumšiškės has played a successful supporting role in a number of movies and is always hospitable to filmmakers. Its thatched roofs and authentic interiors help to recreate a genuine feeling of being in a different century. Kernavė was the medieval capital of Lithuania and the castle and tower hills have outstanding views of lakes and fields below. Pristine woods left untouched by man, lakes and wide open fields along with picturesque villages are all just a short ride away and waiting to be caught on film.


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GENTLEMEN AND GANGSTERS (2014 Sweden) PRODUCTION COMPANY: B-reel Feature Film DIRECTOR: Mikael Marcimain CAST: David Dencik, Ruth Vega Fernandez

Forei gn Produc ti ons War and Peace (2015 UK) Production company: BBC Director: Tom Harper Cast: Lily James, Paul Dano La Espera (2015 Spain) Production company: Tornasol Films, Lithuanian Film Studio Directors: Daniela Fejerman Cast: Nora Navas, Francese Garrido The EichmanN Show (2015 UK) Production company: FeelGood Fiction Ltd. Director: Paul Andrew Williams Cast: Martin Freeman, Anthony LaPaglia 2 Nights Till Morning (2015 Finland) Production company: Mjölk Directors: Mikko Kuparinen Cast: Marie-Josée Croze, Mikko Nousiainen Katilo (2015 Finland) Production company: Solar Films Director: Antti Jokinen Starring: Krista Kosonen, Tommi Korpel Parlor (2015 USA) Producers: Brett Donowho, Thomas Mahoney, Andrew Pagana, Tod Slater Directors: Devon Downs, Kenny Gage Cast: Robert LaSardo, Claire Garvey


MUSIC IN THE ICE (2014 Russia) PRODUCTION COMPANY: Media Art Studio DIRECTOR: Jurij Vasiljev CAST: Dima Bilan, Aleksandr Baluev THE ASSETS (2013 USA) PRODUCTION COMPANY: Lincoln Square Productions DIRECTORS: Peter Medak, Jeff T. Thomas, Trig Diesen, Adam Feinstein, Rudy Bednar CAST: Jodie Whittaker, Paul Rhys ANNA KARENINA (2012 Italy, France) PRODUCTION COMPANY: Lux Vide DIRECTOR: Christian Duguay CAST: Vittoria Puccini, Santiago Cabrera Stille Nacht In Stalingrad (2012 Germany) Production company: Broadview TV/ZDF Director: Saskia Weisheit Mythos Silberpfeile (2012 Germany) Production company: cas-film UG & Co.KG Director:Saskia Weisheit Mission Bayern (2012 Germany) Production company: Peter Prestel Productions Director:Saskia Weisheit Abenteuer Sibirien (2012 Germany) Production company: Spiegel TV / ZDF Director: Saskia Weisheit Locked Up Abroad “Escape from the Gulag” (2012 UK) Production company: Raw TV / NatGeo Director: Harry Hewland


SIBERIAN EDUCATION (2011 Italy) PRODUCTION COMPANY: Cattleya Srl DIRECTOR: Gabriele Salvatores CAST: John Malkovich, Eleanor Tomlinson

LES DERNIERES HEURES DU MUR (2009 France) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Maximal Productions, FR2 DIRECTOR: Jean-François Delassus CAST: André Dussollier, Féodor Atkine

ICE KISS (2007 Norway) PRODUCTION COMPANY: Filmhuset Produksjoner AS DIRECTOR: Knut Erik Jensen CAST: Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Aleksander Bukharov

VISAS FOR SIX THOUSAND LIVES (2005 Japan) PRODUCTION COMPANY: Fellah Pictures DIRECTOR: Takayoshi Watanabe CAST: Sorimachi Takashi, IIjima Naoko

BLOOD IN THE SNOW (2011 Spain) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Tornasol Films, Castafiore Films, Zebra productions, Lithuanian Film Studio DIRECTOR: Gerardo Herrero CAST: Juan Diego Botto, Carmelo Gomez

THE COURAGEOUS HEART OF IRENA SENDLER (2009 USA) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Baltmedia, CBS, Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, Jeff Most Productions, K&K Selekt, Most/Rice Productions, Telekompanija Forma Pro DIRECTOR: John Kent Harrison CAST: Anna Paquin, Marcia Gay Harden

L’AFFAIRE FAREWELL, ’ESPION DE LA VENGEANCE (2007 France) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Roche Productions, ZDF, ARTE G.E.I.E., YLE DIRECTOR: Jean-François Delassus CAST: Tomasz Bialkowski

ELIZABETH I (2005 UK, USA) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Company Pictures, HBO, Channel 4 DIRECTOR: Tom Hooper CAST: Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons

GENERATIONS (2011 Germany) PRODUCTION COMPANY: Team Worx DIRECTOR: Philipp Kadelbach CAST: Miriam Stein, Tom Schilling SURVIVING D-DAY (2010 UK) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Dangerous Films, Discovery Channel, France 2 DIRECTOR: Richard Dale CAST: Michael Ashcroft, Hal Baumgarten GEORGE CROSS HEROES (2010 UK) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Dangerous Films, Discovery Channel DIRECTORS: Charlie Smith, Harry Hewland KRONJUVELERNA (2010 Sweden) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Freelance International AB, Svenska Filminstitutet CAST: Bill Skarsgard, Michalis Koutsogiannakis I CERCHI NELL’ACQUA (2010 Italy) PRODUCTION COMPANY: Palomar Spa DIRECTOR: Umberto Marino CAST: Alessio Boni, Vanessa Incontrada MERRY WIDOW (2009 Ukraine, UK) PRODUCTION COMPANY: Tanarm Pictures DIRECTOR: Leonid Gorovitz CAST: Kamaliya, Marchin Mroczek


TRANSSIBERIAN (2008 Spain, Germany, UK, Lithuania) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Filmax International, Canal+ Espana, Filmax Group, Castelao Producciones, Universum Film, Telecinco Cinema, Future Films DIRECTOR: Brad Anderson CAST: Woody Harrelson, Ben Kingsley MOONSHOT (2008 UK, USA) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Dangerous Films, History Channel, ITV DIRECTOR: Richard Dale CAST: Daniel Lapaine, James Marsters THE BRIDGE (2008 Germany) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Herold Productions, Lionheart Entertainment DIRECTOR: Wolfgang Panzer CAST: François Goeske, Franka Potente WINTER IN WARTIME (2008 Netherlands, Belgium) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Isabella Films B.V., Fu Works, Isabella Films, Max TV, Prime Time DIRECTOR: Martin Koolhoven CAST: Martijn Lakemeier, Jamie Campbell Bower THE PALACE (2008 UK) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Company Pictures Ltd, ITV PRODUCER: Gina Cronk DIRECTORS: Maurice Phillips, Metin Huseyin CAST: Rupert Evans, Jane Asher

DEFIANCE (2007 USA) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: GHM Films, Tuvia Productions, Paramount Vantage DIRECTOR: Edward Zwick CAST: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber WAR AND PEACE (2007 Italy, France, Germany, Russia, Poland) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Lux Vide, RAMCO, Mosfilm, SF Projektor DIRECTOR: Robert Dornhelm CAST: Alexander Beyer, Clémence Poésy SNAPPHANAR (2006 Sweden) PRODUCTION COMPANY: Filmlance International AB DIRECTORS: Bjorn Stein, Mans Marlind CAST: Andre Sjoberg, Tuva Novotny 9/11 - THE TWIN TOWERS (2006 USA, UK) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Dangerous Films, BBC, Discovery Channel DIRECTOR: Richard Dale CAST: William Hope, Robert Ash

UNCLE ADOLF (2005 UK) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Company Pictures, ITV DIRECTOR: Nicholas Renton CAST: Ken Stott, Elaine Cassidy MATRIOSHKI (2005 Belgium) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Living Films, Independent Productions DIRECTORS: Guy Goossens, Mark Punt CAST: Peter Van den Begin, Axel Daeseleire SILENCE BECOMES YOU (2004-2005 UK) PRODUCTION COMPANY: IMS 3 LLP DIRECTOR: Stephanie Sinclaire CAST: Alicia Silverstone, Sienna Guillory DAS BLUT DER TEMPLER (2004 Germany) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Medienfonds GFP, Westside Filmproduktion GmbH DIRECTOR: Florian Baxmeyer CAST: Harald Krassnitzer, Mirko Lang Discovery Channel DIRECTORS: Charlie Smith, Harry Hewland

STORTEBEKER (2005 Germany) PRODUCTION COMPANY: Bavaria Film DIRECTOR: Miguel Alexandre CAST: Ken Duken, Claire Keim WALLIS AND EDWARD (2005 UK) PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Company Pictures Ltd, Atlantic Film Productions DIRECTOR: David Moore CAST: Joely Richardson, Steven Campbell Moore


P h oto c r e d i t s © BFL Press Photo Agency. Andrius Ufartas (pages 38, 48, 58) Tomas Urbelionis (pages 27, 69) Kęstutis Vanagas (pages 63, 79, 81) Redas Vilimas (page 67)

© Rumšiškės - Open Air Museum of Lithuania. Rimgaudas Žaltauskas (pages 82, 83)

© Baltic Film Services (pages 33, 37, 47, 82, 84, 87)

© Vilnius City Municipality. Saulius Žiūra (pages 2–8, 9–15, 29, 32, 33, 67) Simona Katilovskytė (pages 8,17–25, 35, 40–45, 50–53, 57, 60–61, 65–66, 68–69, 71–77) Vilma Daubarienė (pages 55)


Lithuanian Film Centre GRAPHIC DESIGN Vilija Bernotienė Cover design by Jumsoft


COPYRIGHT © 2015 Vilnius Film Office. All rights reserved.


Shooting in Vilnius

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