Barrandov Studios is fully booked for 2017

The studio has plans to expand to meet the demand

Barrandov Studios, one of the major filmmaking complexes in Prague, announced that it is fully booked for 2017. Barrandov also purchased a building formerly used by short film maker Krátký film. The empty building on the Barrandov complex was previously rented and was used mainly for offices for foreign productions. A new prop and costume facility is also being opened.

Films shot this year at Barrandov include Knightfall, about the Templars; Spark, an alternative history involving energy; Interlude in Prague, about Mozart; and the Albert Einstein biographical series Genius as well as other Czech and international productions. Interest in shooting films in Prague has been high from companies in Germany and China. The German film Landgericht concerns a man who returns from Cuba in 1947. The Norwegian fairy tale Askeladden (The Ash Lad) was also filmed there.

Occupancy last year at Barrandov was at 84 percent, up from 67 percent the previous year. The company's 2015 annual report showed sales that year rose 54 percent to Kč 570 million and this year should reach around Kč 400 million crowns. Profit before tax is estimated at Kč 16 million.

Next year Barrandov will open a new prop and costume facility with 1,750 square meters of variable space so it can meet the demand of productions.

“All investments by Barrandov Studios are in response to the strong interest from foreign productions in the services of Barrandov Studios and in filming in the Czech Republic. This is evidenced by studios being quite busy throughout the year,” Barrandov Studios business director Petr Tichý told the media.

The Krátký film building was purchased to ensure the compactness of the whole area. Krátký film was founded in 1957 and produced documentaries, animation and popular science films. In 1991 the assets of the old company were sold to a new company with a similar name that is based in Olomouc.

Several big films came to the Czech Republic in the 1990s, but interest in filming here dropped off when nearby countries such as Hungary began to offer incentives and new studio facilities. Interest was renewed when the Czech Republic finally began to offer incentives including a tax rebate in 2010.

Last year and this year the state spent Kč 800 million, which generated an investment by filmmakers of Kč 4.5 billion crowns, which is the largest amount in over a decade. Barrandov Studios is owned by Moravia Steel, which belongs to entrepreneur Tomáš Chrenko.

Construction of the studio, based on designs by Max Urban, began Nov. 28, 1931 and was completed in 1933, though it has been expanded several times. Some 2,500 Czech and foreign films have been made there. The brothers Miloš Havel and Václav Maria Havel, the father of former president Václav Havel, were instrumental in the early days of the studio's operation.

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