New Studio and Sound Stage Opens in Lithuania

Vilnius Film Cluster boasts the biggest sound stage and green screen in the Baltics.

The largest new sound stage and film services center in the Baltics has opened for business in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

The Vilnius Film Cluster, a $1.8 million converted former Soviet-era sports complex close to the international airport and a few miles from the city's history center, involves a group of movie service companies keen to attract more business.

Boasting the Baltics' largest sound stage, 1,100 square meters (11,800 sq. ft.), and the region's biggest green screen, the studio expects to begin work with its first client later this month.

The facility has been developed with the help of Vilnius city council, which owns the building, and with support from European Union structural funds. It brings together the skills of local production houses Artbox, Dansu and Idee Fixe, camera rental company Cineskope, lights and grip rental Cinevera, set construction Hipe and special effects company CineFX.

The studios have light grids and around 500 sq. meters of other space for offices, wardrobe, make up, storage and meetings. There is a cafe and wifi, as well.

The studios were designed as a "one-stop shop" to service small- and medium-sized film and TV productions, including commercials, said Aidas Akcijonaitis, general manager for Vilnius Film Cluster.

"That includes local and foreign productions. The members of the cluster have lots of experience working with international projects, with very good feedback. We expect former clients to return and also to welcome the new ones," he added.

Postproduction facilities would be added later, he said, starting in the summer with an audiovisual lab with a motion control system for "table-stop product shooting."

The group of companies also plan to act as equity partners and help international productions access national funds and a recently introduced 20 percent tax rebate on local production spend.

Key target markets include the Batlics, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, Akcijonaitis said.

The companies are also looking at markets in northern Europe and further afield -- Akcijonaitis was at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, which closed on Monday, looking to drum up business.

"I noticed talking with Asian producers that the Baltic is still missing from their world. We don’t yet have steady relations, traditions or partnership with businesses in Asia, including the movie business."