For decades, Hollywood has been synonymous with the film industry, and the glitz and glamour that come with it. However, in recent years, a new destination has emerged as a favorite location for filmmakers, producers, and celebrities: Budapest, Hungary. Let’s take a closer look at how Hollywood found Budapest and what makes it such an attractive location for the movie industry.
Budapest’s Rise as a Filming Destination
Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, has always been known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and cultural heritage. However, in recent years, the city has emerged as a popular location for the movie industry. The first big-budget Hollywood film to be shot in Budapest was “Evita” in 1996, starring Madonna. Since then, numerous films, TV shows, and commercials have been shot in Budapest.
One of the primary reasons for Budapest’s rise as a filming destination is its affordability. Budapest offers excellent value for money, with competitive production costs, favorable tax incentives, and a skilled workforce. The city is also known for its diverse and well-preserved architecture, making it an ideal location for period dramas and historical films.
Notable Movies Filmed in Budapest
Budapest has played host to a plethora of notable movies over the years, from action films to romantic comedies. Some of the most significant films shot in Budapest include “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (2008), “Spy” (2015), “Blade Runner 2049” (2017), and “Red Sparrow” (2018). Budapest has also stood in for other locations around the world, such as Paris in “Munich” (2005) and Berlin in “Atomic Blonde” (2017).
Famous Celebrities in Budapest
Budapest’s rise as a filming destination has attracted a bevy of A-list celebrities to the city. Actors and actresses who have filmed in Budapest include Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Ryan Gosling, and Jennifer Lawrence, among many others. In fact, Jennifer Lawrence is said to have fallen in love with Budapest so much that she purchased an apartment in the city.
Producers and Studios in Budapest
As Budapest’s reputation as a filming location has grown, so has the number of producers and studios setting up shop in the city. The Hungarian National Film Fund was established in 2011 to provide financing and support for both Hungarian and international film productions. The film fund has been instrumental in attracting a wide range of productions to Budapest, from independent films to major Hollywood blockbusters.
Additionally, several studios have been established in Budapest, including the Korda Studios and Origo Studios. Korda Studios, which was opened in 2007, has become one of the most prominent studios in Europe, with numerous high-profile films shot on its soundstages.
Andrew Vajna’s Contribution to the Film Industry
Andrew G. Vajna was a Hungarian-American film producer and a prominent figure in the film industry. He was born in Hungary in 1944 and moved to the United States in 1956. In the 1970s and 1980s, Vajna produced several major Hollywood films, including the Rambo and Terminator franchises.
In addition to his work in Hollywood, Vajna also played a significant role in Hungary’s film industry. He was appointed as the Hungarian government’s film commissioner in 2011 and played a crucial role in attracting foreign productions to the country. Vajna’s efforts helped to establish Hungary as a major player in the film industry, and he was instrumental in promoting Budapest as a filming destination.
Vajna’s contribution to the film industry was recognized with several awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hungarian National Film Fund and the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary.
Unfortunately, Vajna passed away in 2019 at the age of 74, but his legacy continues to live on in the film industry. His contributions to both Hollywood and Hungary’s film industry have left an indelible mark, and his influence is still felt by filmmakers, producers, and actors around the world.
In conclusion, Budapest has emerged as one of the most popular filming destinations in Europe. Its affordability, stunning architecture, and favorable tax incentives have made it an attractive location for filmmakers, producers, and celebrities alike. As Budapest’s reputation as a filming location continues to grow, we can expect to see even more big-budget Hollywood films shot in the city in the years to come.