Hungary has a lot of filmmaking companies that worked with blockbuster movies and superstars. Here are the four biggest.
Due to the excellent natural landscapes and the low tax, there is a lot of movies that were shot in Hungary. “Red Sparrow”, “The King”, “Dune” are just a few of the palette. But behind the movie regularly stands a company. Check out Hungary‘s biggest filmmaker companies.
Mid Atlantic Films
Mid Atlantic Films was founded in 2005 to bring Hungary back to the international film scene. Since its creation, the group has been involved in more than 100 film and television productions and co-productions. These projects have employed more than 3,000 subcontractors per year and filmed in more than 20 countries on five continents, and have a combined spend of over 3 billion USD. The three partners, Howard Ellis, Adam Goodman, and Gergő Balika, have a combined experience of over 90 years and more than 1500 hours of film and television experience.
“Blade Runner 2049” (2017) and “Dune” (2021) – Mid Atlantic Films’ first production with a budget of over 200 million US dollars was “Blade Runner 2049” starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. This year, this dream limit was also exceeded by “Dune” made by Timothée Chalamet and Jason Momoa, which was also produced in Hungary with Mid Atlantic Films contributing.
“Hercules” (2014) – “Hercules” was Mid Atlantic Films’ first film in which visual effects appeared in significant amounts in production.
“The Borgias” (2011-13) – The company’s first large-scale television series was “The Borgias”, all three seasons of which were shot in Hungary
Pioneer Group is one of Hungary‘s largest and most experienced production companies. It was originally founded in 1995 by Ilona Antal, Eleonora Peták, and Jennifer Webster. The commercial production company continued to grow and later became one of the leading companies of its kind. In 2005 Ildikó Kemény joined and Pioneer Pictures was founded, which now focused on other areas. More specifically, feature films and international co-productions, as well as local film production and television productions.
As the company grew and established its reputation as a feature film company, it decided to partner with Stillking Films, the leading Czech film production company, to create Pioneer Stillking Films Ltd. The main objective became to expand their global presence, working with the biggest studios and production companies (Netflix, Legendary, Universal, Amazon, Paramount, Fox, etc.). Some of the most recent films and TV series Pioneer Stillking has worked with have specifically highlighted the versatility of the team’s experience and excellent problem-solving skills.
“The King” (2019) – Netflix‘s production “The King” was a masterpiece of replicating fifteenth-century England and France, recreating a battlefield with hundreds of stunt performers and extras fighting against each other. This was all filmed in the countryside of Hungary and at Mafilm (backlot). Timothée Chalamet played the leading role alongside Robert Pattinson.
“The Witcher” (2019) – A different production challenge was Netflix‘s “The Witcher”, which was mainly filmed on location, with several stages requiring the highest level of production design to create a fantasy world. Henry Cavill played the leading role.
“Red Sparrow” (2018) – 20th Century Fox‘s “Red Sparrow” starring Jennifer Lawrence was filmed on location and highlighted the diversity of Budapest being able to replicate different European cities and Russia.
Proton Cinema is an independent film production company based in Budapest, founded by producer Viktória Petrányi and director Kornél Mundruczó, who have been friends and creative partners since university. The company was started after the founders’ first feature film success, which brought them together with a well-established team and several international awards. Over the years, the company has had several of its works screened at A-list film festivals.
In addition to their own work, Proton has been providing production services since 2008. Proton is committed to delivering the production phases that best meet its clients’ expectations, carefully selecting crew members for each project, with the utmost respect for artistic freedom, while creating an ideal professional environment for filmmaking.
“The Good Traitor” (2020) – During the production of “The Good Traitor”, Proton Cinema had the chance to re-create the White House in Hungary.
“Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words” – service production (2019) – “Romeo and Juliet” was shot in the renaissance backlot of Korda Studio, Etyek. The stunning set portrays numerous regions of historical Italy, from “The Vatican to Florence”. The more than 1-hectare renaissance city has various styled buildings and gates, courtyards, alleys, interiors, a prison cell, a piazza, and a Vatican façade.
“Jupiter’s Moon” (2017) – One of the most spectacular scenes of “Jupiter’s Moon” is when Ayran rises above the city. It was shot in cooperation with the best stunt and rigging professionals of Hungary, at Keleti Pályaudvar (Budapest East railway station), an eclectic style, the iconic building of Budapest constructed between 1881 and 1884.
Laokoon Filmgroup was founded by producers Gábor Sipos, Gábor Rajna and Judit Stalter. Laokoon is a well-known film production company in Hungary and the international film industry. The latter recognition was brought to the company by the ground-breaking Holocaust drama “Son of Saul”, which won several international awards, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the Golden Globe, the Cannes Grand Prix, and 45 other awards, and was sold in 100 countries. Since 2002, Laokoon has focused on the development and production of high-quality auteur films, documentaries, and TV series.
In 20 years, Laokoon Filmgroup has produced more than 100 internationally acclaimed productions as a service company or co-producer. Some of the names to mention are Fernando Trueba and Gabriele Salvatores, Oscar-winning directors, as well as stars such as Antonio Banderas, Isabella Rossellini, Henry Cavill, and many others.
“Son of Saul” (2015) – The Academy Award-winning Holocaust drama was shot on 35mm, using long takes. Every shot had to be prepared meticulously. The whole cast and crew spent most of each day on rehearsals, to orchestrate each shot. Toward the end of the day, the camera started to roll: it was a very long process of preparation.
“Queen of Spain” (2016) – This large-scale historical comedy-drama takes place in Spain during the 1950s. In Hungary, it was filmed at Stern Film Studio with hundreds of extras, grandiose sets, and breathtaking costumes. Starring Penélope Cruz, the film written and directed by the Academy Award-winning director Fernando Trueb.
“Easy living” (2015 – 2018) – The globally acclaimed Hungarian crime drama series represents a milestone among Hungarian productions. With 24 episodes in three seasons, Laokoon Filmgroup had to deal with countless challenges, filming at more than 500 locations with 300 actors and more than 150 crew members in each season. It was produced by HBO Europe, broadcasting in many European countries and the United States.