Croatia continues to attract Hollywood productions through its picturesque landscape, skilled personnel and a rebate scheme.
While Game of Thrones is the best known production ever shot in Croatia, The Lake by Steven Quale, featuring Sullivan Stapleton and Oscar winner J.K. Simmons and produced by Luc Besson, is likely to become this year’s biggest spender in the country.
The production, which began filming in Croatia earlier this week after a few weeks in Germany, is going to spend €7 million and receive a rebate of €1.3 million, according to the Croatian Audiovisual Center (HAVC), which would make it the year’s most expensive foreign project to be filmed in Croatia.
“Since there are a lot of underwater sequences, one possibility was to shoot the film in Malta, where they have a water tank facility and where we could build our set,” producer Raphaël Benoliel was quoted as saying on HAVC’s web site. “The reason why we opted for Croatia was the favorable experience our line-producer had with Canal Plus’s Borgia in Dubrovnik last year.”
“In the film industry, trust is everything,” he went on to say. “You always base these decisions on previous experiences, that’s how you know that a country is reliable, that you’ve made the right choice. Then of course come excellent locations, the crew and incentives.”
The action thriller is to be shot on location in Zagreb, Karlovac and Ogulin, as well as in the region of Istria at the lake Lokve in Gorski kotar region, and at the lake ?i?e near Velika Gorica.
A large part of the crew including the art director, camera operator, production and location managers, are Croatian. The film is to feature several local actors in supporting roles, alongside over 1,000 extras.
Pakt Media is the local servicing partner of the film, which is slated for release in summer 2016.
Earlier this month, Croatian media reported that Game of Thrones’ season 6 is set to be partially shot in Croatia, just as the HBO’s series previous seasons were. HBO did not confirm those reports, saying that locations for season 6 and seasons beyond were still being scouted, but praised HAVC for fruitful collaboration so far.
Last year, the shooting of the six-episode U.S. television series Dig was relocated to Croatia amid the Gaza Strip conflict, and producers said the incentive scheme was one of the main reasons for the move.
Croatia launched its incentive program in 2012, and several foreign productions, including Game of Thrones, have taken advantage of it. The scheme stipulates a 20-percent rebate on Croatian spending.