Bulgaria is one of the most popular locations for filming in Europe. Over the past 10 years, more than 300 foreign film projects have been filmed here, which led to the flourishing of the local film industry. Along with an attractive location, you will find high-level professionals and decent technical support here.
1. Country, location, visas
Bulgaria borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and has a long shoreline along the Black Sea to the east with many beautiful beaches and lagoons.
Sofia city, the capital of Bulgaria, is located closer to the western border, but the driving distance between Sofia and the Black sea is only 380 km (240 ml), so you can easily reach another side of the country in less than 4 hours.
The northern landscape is flat and hilly and goes to the Danube River. But in the central and southern Bulgaria there are quite high mountains, so in winter you can ski and snowboard.
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, but is not yet part of the Schengen Agreement. Bulgaria issues its own visas by the European procedure, and also permits entry with Schengen visas for non EU countries.
With a tourist visa you can stay in the country up to 90 days within six months, counting from the day you enter the country.
The Bulgarian Lev is pegged to the Euro at a rate of approximately 1.95 (1 Euro = 1.95 Lev). The general price level in the country is quite low, which makes it possible to implement projects within the framework of modest budgets.
The tax refund was prohibited by the president of the country, but partial cost recovery is possible and can be discussed with local line producers.
3. Film Crew
All Bulgarian production companies and rental services are concentrated in Sofia, but since the country could be crossed within a few hours, there is no problem to setup a movie shooting at any other location.
A lot of films, TV shows, commercials, sitcoms have been produced on the Bulgarian market. In addition, many professionals have been working on well-known American and European film projects, and are highly qualified and in demand.
We can help you find the best film crew for your projects depending and based on your needs.
Sofia has all the necessary equipment for shooting movies, as well as special transport. Any additional equipment, if necessary, can be quickly delivered from Europe without borders and customs.
5. Sound Stages
Sofia has a large number of different sound stages, specialized in a movie shooting or television shows and available for a custom set construction. As well as some of them have pre-designed and pre-built sets. All of them come with plenty of office space and makeup rooms. Some of them have a vast territory with diverse vegetation attached to a sound stage building, which you can use for a location set construction and filming without having traveling to a country site.
6. Water Tank
YES! Sofia has an amazing new cutting edge technology Watertank!!! It was built recently and is one of the largest covered water tanks in Europe (20x20x6 meters). Water is heated for a comfortable underwater filming all year round.
7. Movie Sets
Bulgaria has a large number of qualified specialists for designing and constructing movie sets.
Currently, there are various pre-built outdoor full-scale movie and television sets for various projects: New York, London, ancient Rome, Paris, an Arab village, an American town, country town, a fragment of a Victorian building and a cemetery, a war-torn city, a Persian wall with a Gate, and more.
8. Props, costumes
Sofia has an impressive collection of household and military items, firearms from the Turkish war to modern times.
There is a workshop for creating realistic miniatures, robots, dummies of excellent quality.
There is a large fleet of modern and vintage cars, military trucks — all on the go.
The wardrobe warehouse contains a huge collection of costumes from different periods from antiquity to modern times, plus fantasy-style costumes. As well as military uniform of several countries and periods, including Nazi and Soviet ones.
A huge number of various American and European projects being filmed in Bulgaria, have been creating more and more pieces of props available for your new upcoming projects.
The country has a huge variety of urban and natural landscapes. Here you can successfully shoot Russia, Middle East, New York, London, Paris, Italy, Malta and practically everything except Gothic. However, Gothic could be easily built by professional constructors.
In Bulgaria you can find modern buildings, panel houses, administrative buildings of the Soviet period, classical European buildings as well as original Balkan buildings.
The country has a large number of fortresses and castles of the Byzantine and Turkish periods, both in ruins and restored. As well as the palaces of aristocracy with preserved interiors and park areas. In the mountains there are many picturesque villages, in the seaside zone there are villas with pools and gardens.
You can also find hotels of different classes throughout the country.
In the mountains there are many preserved monasteries with original architecture – the temples of different denominations.
There are abandoned industrial buildings and airfields with the remnants of aircraft. There is a yacht marina, fishing areas, as well as cargo and passenger seaports.
The mountains of Bulgaria are full of lakes, forests, rocks, caves, waterfalls, ancient stone bridges. All plains are covered with fields of sunflowers, alfalfa, lavender (depending on the season) and look really vivid. The Black sea shoreline has many undeveloped areas with wild beaches and cliffs. The famous wide river Danube, of course, is a great place to shoot a film.
10. The Summary
Many world movie production companies and studios have been successfully using Bulgarian shooting locations for over 20 years. The policy of low prices and a wide variety of landscapes, access to the seashore, a wide choice of locations for adventure, action and military scenes, a large number of sound stages and technologies make this country attractive for shooting in any genre.