Vilnius

Hollywood on the Baltic

25 Feb 2020
Lithuania is fast becoming a popular movie set for big budget films. The first big productions of Hannibal Rising (2007) and Defiance (2008) paved the way for the international film industry and soon Hollywood followed. To this day, numerous historical films and documentaries have been filmed in the Lithuanian capital and around the country.
Lithuania is also a logical choice when covering the theme of the World Wars. During both of these epic conflicts, it was often stuck between conquering giants on both sides.
Even now, visitors to Vilnius or Kaunas can see how things looked back then, with many pre- and post-war buildings still in a largely untouched condition, not to mention entire districts of these cities. But scenery isn’t the only material necessary to create a stage. Since a tax incentive scheme was introduced six years ago, the value of investment due to filming foreign productions here has grown from several hundred thousand euros per year to tens of millions.
Among the biggest international projects shot in Lithuania in recent years was the nuclear disaster miniseries Chernobyl, which was largely filmed in Vilnius and around the decommissioned nuclear power plant in Visaginas. Since then, buildings, apartments and whole neighbourhoods have become international tourist attractions. Some of these picturesque places are readily available to the public and special guided tours can also be arranged.
In addition to this renowned blockbuster, Vilnius has also hosted film crews working on Netflix’s The Last Czars, BBC’s War and Peace and HBO/Sky’s Catherine the Great. Next on this prestigious list is the fourth season of the Netflix sci-fi drama Stranger Things, which finished shooting at the decommissioned Lukiškės Prison on February 14, 2020. So if you see Lithuania in the background, it’s not necessarily a green screen. Sometimes, it's genuinely green Lithuania that you see on the screen.
 

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