Filming in Albania

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Overall Information

Plazza Tirana

 

Albania, or Shqiperi as it is called by its people, is home to a diverse set of backdrops, mostly unutilized as filming locations until now.  These include ancient archaeological sites, hilltop castles, medieval forts, Ottoman architecture, churches, mosques, Soviet-style buildings, cerulean seas, secluded beaches, historic lakes, rugged mountains, national forests, vineyards, olive groves, thermal springs, rivers, and waterfalls. On the more industrial side, there are abandoned factories, a few modern hydroelectric dams, and thousands of communist-era bunkers dotting the landscape.

Costs

Local costs are some of the lowest in Europe. We will negotiate on your behalf and offer production support to match every budget. Since filming infrastructure is underdeveloped, lead talent, key crew, and some equipment will likely need to be brought in from abroad, which should be factored into your costs.  Still, the local savings can offset much of these expenses, especially if you already intended to bring these with you. 

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Permits

Most filming will only require a local permit from the municipality and/or police, unless you want to film on government land, such as a national park. Applications are fairly straight-forward, and generally take 2-3 weeks to process, although they may only be available in Albanian, depending on the location.  Some locations of historical value may require an additional lead time, application forms and/or fee.  This also holds true for any request to restrict access to public areas. The latter may also induce additional security costs.  We can apply on your behalf for any permits, as well as translate and notarize any relevant documents.

Locations

Tirana is the capital and home to the primary airport for the country.  With an abundance of hotels, international cuisine, and nearly all the country’s filming infrastructure, it is the obvious choice as a hub for production.Those filming exclusively on the Albanian Riviera or in the far south of the country might consider flying into Corfu, Greece and taking the short ferry ride to Sarande. 

For more information and images, please check out our locations page.

Culture & Climate

Albanian is the official language, and most of the people are ethnic Albanians, although there are significant Greek and Roma minorities regionally. 

Traditional Albanian food is unique and unfamiliar to most foreigners, but Turkish, Greek, and Italian dishes are easy to find.  Other cuisines, including Chinese, Indian, and Mexican restaurants, for example, are found almost exclusively in Tirana.

Albania is a majority Muslim country, but public life is secular; both Muslim and Christian holidays are officially observed, as well as some pagan festivals, such as Summer Day, on March 15th.  New Year’s Day is the preeminent holiday in the Winter, taking precedence over religious holidays.  Alcohol is legal and is sold and consumed at cafés-bars.  Cigarette smoking is common, occasionally even indoors. The tourist season runs from June to August, and beach cities are quite crowded during these months, though not as crowded as the beaches in the rest of Europe. 

Most Albanians take summer holidays in August, joining foreigners at the beaches, making temporary crew more difficult to secure during this time.  Shoulder months of April, May, and September still have the great weather for filming, without the throngs of tourists. Filming in Albania

Albania’s climate is transitional. In the winter it snows in the mountains. Elsewhere, winters are mild and rainy, resembling a more Mediterranean climate.  Summers can be very hot and tend to be dry, although humidity in some areas is quite variable.

Tax Incentives

At present, only films licensed and funded through the National Film Center (QKK) receive tax incentives. These films are generally set and produced in Albania, and in the Albanian language.  For more information, http://nationalfilmcenter.gov.al/

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Crew

Hiring local crew in Albania is possible, especially for supporting roles, and rates are comparatively low. We are constantly updating our database of Albanian and Balkan resumes for various positions, including directors, cinematographers, camera operators, and audio technicians.  However, there are relatively few locals with experience comparable to the great filming hubs of Europe, so large productions will want to keep this in mind when staffing.

 Please contact us at production@etg.al if you are looking to fill any local crew roles in Albania.  Likewise, if you have experience as film crew in Albania or the Balkans, please send us your resume and we’ll add you to our database. Filming in Albania

Talent

Day rates are very affordable and negotiable. There are only a few, limited casting agencies, but we will work with those available, and our own network, to help find local talent, as well as manage any extras. 

 

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Visas

Australian, Canadian, UK, and EU passport holders, as well as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean citizens, may visit visa-free for a maximum stay of 90 days. US citizens may stay for 1 year. Foreign film crews do not need a work permit if contracted and paid by a production company established abroad. 

Equipment

A limited amount of basic camera, grip, and lighting gear is available for hire in Albania.  Additional equipment can easily be brought in from neighboring countries, as needed.  Albania is a carnet (ATA) country. Please email us if you have questions about importing your gear.


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Transportation

Tirana’s Mother Teresa Airport is the major international airport for Albania, though comparatively small by European standards. Nonstops arrive regularly from Rome, Istanbul, Berlin, London, Brussels, Dubai, Athens, Moscow, Zurich, and Vienna, as well as a dozen other European cities. Our partners at ETG can provide in-country transport and logistics, including sedans, vans, buses of various sizes, and equipment truck rentals.  We offer airport transfer, group and private transfers to set, and car rentals for your staff.

Accommodation

Depending on the length and location of your project, we can arrange production-friendly hotels, apartments, or villas for your cast and crew.

Accommodation

If you have any questions about our services, or want to arrange a scout, please contact us at production@etg.al.

Let's get in touch

OUR ADDRESS

Rr. “Kozma Naska”, Nr. 33/6
Elbasan 3001, Albania

WE’D LOVE TO TALK WITH YOU
(+3555) 47-100-20
production@etg.al
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