6. June 2017

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A group of domestic filmmakers, including location managers, producers, and others involved in filmmaking, set off in early June for a location tour of north Bohemia. The tour was organized by the Czech Film Commission and the Ústí Region and Liberec Film Offices.

The focus of the first day was the Ústí Region, and in particular the area of the Bohemian Central Uplands. Virtually untouched nature and the hilly terrain through which the Elbe River winds is interspersed with factory towns with strong industrial spirits. The filmmakers experienced a wide variety of locations– we began at the unfinished Gothic cathedral of the Virgin Mary in Panenský Týnec, then moved on to the ruins of the sugar factory in Lenešice, near Louny – the last foreign film to be made there was The Catcher Was A Spy. The town plans to completely remove the ruins from the complex in the future, and is open to demolition as part of film projects.

From the brownfield site, the tour moved to a landscape of vineyards under the romantic ruin of Hazmburk Castle and the chateau in Roudnice nad Labem, which is an ideal site for filming as it’s practically entirely empty and offers versatility and the space to build large sets in the chateau’s interior.

Day 1 continued in the city of Ústí nad Labem, where we had the opportunity to examine the 14 gigantic silos of the Setuza Chemical Company from above, which gave us a view of the entire city and the Elbe River valley and industrial zones. The silos were the largest construction project of its type in the former CSSR and date back to the 1970s. In addition to factories, filmmakers also had the opportunity to view luxurious villas that were built by local industrialists and barons.

The entire second day was spent in Liberec, where intensive filming has taken place in recent years – filmmakers are particularly fond of the city hall and adjacent square. The aim, therefore, was to include locations that aren’t so well-known to filmmakers. We took refuge from the early morning sun in a civil defence bunker, which still has a fully-functional machine room and filtration-ventilation system. The Secondary School of Textiles building was a pleasant surprise – it offers not only well-preserved spaces, but also unique period looms. The school director is open to filming in the school and ready to adjust school operations to accommodate the needs of filmmakers.

Filmmakers can find many buildings in Liberec that no longer serve their original function and are now empty, such as the Liebieg Palace – formerly a regional gallery, a number of former school buildings, or even Růžodol – a small train station with very well preserved German architecture on the outskirts of Liberec. It’s common knowledge that in Liberec you’ll find many buildings in German style, making it an ideal stage for period stories. Less-known among filmmakers is the People’s Orchards building, which is now a cultural centre, and they are happy to rent out its premises for films.

Another film-friendly location is the small civil airport in the Ostašov neighborhood of Liberec, featuring a historical hangar and runway. A 60-metre high coal and water tower was the perfect end to the tour, located in Vratislavice nad Nisou – it’s absolutely made for a horror or sci-fi film.

View a complete photo gallery of the locations visited > If any of these locations have caught your eye and you’d like to get more information about filming in the Ústí Region and Liberec, please contact: Usti Region Film Office, Barbora Hyšková, hyskova.b@kr-ustecky.cz, +420 778 494 321 Liberec Film Office, Pavlína Kuchtová, kuchtova.pavlina@magistrat.liberec.cz, +420 773 781 766