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Filming in

Ukraine

WHAT OUR LOCAL FILM FIXERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT FILMING ON LOCATION IN UKRAINE

Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe, it is the second largest European country after Russia, which borders it to the east and northeast. Natural landscapes range from Black and Azov Seas in the South and Southeast, and the Carpathian Mountains in the west. Throughout the country cathedrals, medieval castles and fortresses sit alongside industrial quarters and large civic building.

Kiev, the capital of Ukraine is a cosmopolitan city, Europeans nicknamed it as the “Mother-City of all Slavonic cities”, being one of the oldest settlements in Europe. The old city of Kiev is filled with historical buildings, the most appreciated being the Cathedral of St. Sofia with its magnificent mosaics and frescoes. The cathedral has 13 golden domes and was built in the 11th century. Lviv is another important city of Ukraine. The city is a cultural Centre. The most interesting landmarks here are the Ploscha Rynok Square with the Black House, the American Cathedral and the Greek Cathedral as well as the Latin Cathedral. Odessa, one of the main places in Southern Ukraine is called “The Black Sea Pearl”, it is the largest city on the Black Sea shore and the 5th largest city in Ukraine.

The national currency of Ukraine is the hryvnia. The letter code of the currency is UAH (₴).

SAFETY & TRAVEL

Preparation for a visit to Ukraine:

  1. Check whether the Embassy of your country has resumed work on the territory of Ukraine. Write down address and contacts so you always have access.
  2. Make electronic copies of all your documents and store them on an electronic device.
  3. Find out in advance the curfew time in the region where you are going.
  4. Download the “Air Raid” mobile application to instantly receive notifications of air raid alerts in the selected city.

COSTS & TAX INCENTIVES

In September 2019 new Ukrainian Parliament voted for the new amendments to the Law “On State Support of Film Industry” with cash rebates for foreign producers equalling 25%. An additional 5% rebate will be available if the project satisfies additional criteria. Incoming producers should find local VAT- payer partner and then apply to the Ukrainian State Film Agency for a rebate request.

Foreign producers can receive the 25% rebate of eligible expenses if the following cumulative criteria are met:

  • Expenses are fully or partially incurred in favour of a company registered in Ukraine.
  • Minimum production spent in Ukraine is near USD320,000 for feature film and animation, near $90,000 for TV- movie and animation less than 74 minutes, near USD56,000 for documentary, near USD270,000 for TV series and near USD154,000 for advertising and music videos.
  • Foreign producer has entered into a production agreement for all or part of the film with Ukrainian production company registered as VAT payer.

FILM CREW & TALENT

Ukraine has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. There are some very experienced camera, lighting, grip and art department crews but less in special effects and table top. Most heads of department speak fluent English. Crews are non-unions. Ukraine’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those crews.

Productions that are talent heavy can make significant savings shooting in the Ukraine, talent is non-union. Day rates charged are generally very flexible to the productions budget. Ukrainian is the official language. Russian is also widely spoken, especially in the east of the country.

Ukrainians, a Slavic people, are the largest ethnic group. There is also a Russian minority, if your shoot requires a key actor or model of non-Caucasian appearance, you can cast abroad.

ENTRY OF FILM CREW & EQUIPMENT

All standard film equipment is available, special systems such as Motion Control or Time-Slice need to be brought in from abroad. For crews bringing in their own film equipment, Ukraine is an ATA carnet member country.

VISA & WORK PERMITS

Visiting crews travelling on most western passports can enter visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Work permits are not required to film in Ukraine

DRONE LAWS IN UKRAINE

Drone Operations in Ukraine are currently regulated. According to the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine (SAAU), the agency responsible for drone safety, drones are allowed in Ukraine, subject to SAAU regulations. https://drone-laws.com/drone-laws-in-ukraine/