Estonian film producers aim to establish the region’s largest studio complex

The shooting of a commercial for Royal London, an insurance company, in Estonia. Photo: Johan Humerind

The leading Estonian film production companies have joined forces with the aim to establish the largest movie studio complex in the Baltic Sea area, in order to accommodate the growing interest in the region as an affordable shooting location.

The complex, called the Tallinn Film Wonderland, will be located in Tallinn, on the site of a historic cotton factory in the northern part of the city.

The studio complex will include several large-scale studio facilities and house various film industry companies, which will facilitate the export of film services and attract foreign film productions, the organisers said in a statement. “The team behind this undertaking envisions welcoming 10-15 international productions annually, which will in turn channel millions of euros into the local economy,” the statement added.

The shooting of a commercial for Royal London, an insurance company, in Estonia. Photo: Johan Humerind

“In recent years, our film production companies have garnered a lot of international attention, which in turn has fostered increased interest toward the whole region,” said Liina Maria Lepik, the CEO of the Tallinn Film Wonderland.

Currently there are no proper studio facilities in Estonia that would enable shooting local movies, TV shows and broadcasts all year round, not to mention offering related services to foreign film productions and advertising agencies.

According to Lepik, in 2010, the Norwegian production of “Kongen av Bastøy“ (“The King of Devil’s Island“), which had a total budget of €6.9 million, spent €1.3 million on filming in Estonia. “This money went to different economic sectors such as construction, accommodation, car rental and security services,” Lepik said.

A temporary studio built in a warehouse to shoot a commercial for a UK-based client. Photo by Esko Rips

The last seven international film productions shot in Estonia brought about €4.5 million into the country’s economy, according to the organisers’ statement. “The long-term vision of the planned studio complex foresees attracting approximately 10-15 foreign productions per annum,” it added.

The Wonderland’s circle of partners includes Allfilm, Taska Productions, Nafta Films, Stellar, Kinosaurus, Filmivabrik and the NGO Estonian Film Industry Cluster representing 17 independent film producers.

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Cover: The shooting of a commercial for Royal London, an insurance company, in Estonia. Photo: Johan Humerind

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor of Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain and the UK, he now resides in the United States. He loves to write and besides contributing to Estonian World and some occasional blogging, he writes for other media outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at sten@estonianworld.com.