Latvia Film & Photography Production Services
Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Latvia? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.
Want to know more about shooting in Latvia? See below for an introduction to Latvia locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.
Latvia Film Locations
The Baltic nation of Latvia offers visiting productions a picturesque landscape of pine forests, lakes, rolling fields, beaches, castles, Soviet-era and Art Nouveau architecture. Wheat and rye are the main crops. It is a small country where all film locations are within a 4 hour drive from Riga.
Latvia has hosted productions including Catherine the Great and The Last Czars.
Riga is the capital and the main production centre where local crew and equipment are based. Famous for its Art Nouveau architecture, film locations of note include Riga Town Hall Square, House of the Black Heads, Latvian National Opera, St Peter’s Church, Riga Cathedral, Riga Nativity of Christ Cathedral, Riga Castle, Central Market, Riga canal, Latvian National Library, Latvian Academy of Sciences, and 1960’s Soviet-era concrete housing blocks.
Outside of Riga…
National Parks in Latvia include Gauja National Park, Ķemeri National Park, Slītere National Park, Tērvete Nature Park, and Rāzna National Park.
Castles and palaces of note include Rundāle Palace, Mezotne Palace, Jelgava Palace, Turaida Castle, Cēsis Castle, Jaunpils Castle, Old Sigulda Castle, Bauska Castle, and Daugavpils fortress.
Soviet-era film locations include the University of Liepaja, Ligatne Bunker, Hydroelectric Power Station, Port of Ventspils, Ship Repair Yards, abandoned factories, the abandoned army town of Skrunda, and a Cold War period radio satellite dish.
Other Latvian film locations of note include Cape Kolka, Jūrmala Beach, Karosta Prison, Mark Rothko Art Center, Liepaja Orthodox Cathedral, Nicgale Catholic Church, Basilica of the Assumption in Aglona, Embassy of Latgale GORS in Rezekne. The Kuldiga waterfall is Europe’s widest waterfall.
Latvia also has winter sport facilities including luge / bobsled / skeleton track, Olympic-size ice skating & hockey rinks, snow parks & quarter pipes for snowboarding, forests & fields for cross-country skiing and biathlon, and alpine skiing locations.
Latvia Film Location Permits
Latvia is a very film friendly country. Permits usually take no more than a week. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Latvia has a four-season climate. Winters (December to March) are cold and snowy. Spring (April to May) has wildflowers in full bloom. Summers (June to September) are warm. Fall (October to November) brings colourful leaves. Spring through to fall are the best times to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
The Latvian Song and Dance Festival is held every 5 years with the next one in July, 2018. Ice fishing is a popular activity in the winter months. Mist is common in summer and autumn.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Latvia.
Costs & Tax Incentives
Costs. Latvia trades in the Euro. It remains one of the most cost competitive production centres in Europe. Our Latvian fixer / service producer will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. The Riga Film Fund offers support in the form of cash rebates of up to 25% for eligible co-productions. It is also possible to have VAT returned on feature film projects but the process takes 6 to 12 months.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Latvia has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Latvian crews are experienced in servicing international productions. They work efficiently and are flexible on rates and work hours. Department heads all speak fluent English. It is recommended to bring in a 1st AD and an art director on more complicated jobs. Latvia’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those crews should you ever need to look further.
Contact us if you are looking for a Riga based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Latvia.
Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Latvia offers mainly Scandinavian and Slavic looking featured talent. Latvia’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those pools of talent should you ever need to look further.
Latvia Film Equipment
Latvia is Arri based and has all the latest cameras, Panther & Magnum dollies, a variety of cranes including a Technocrane as well as a contemporary lighting kit. Other specific technical equipment such as helicopter mounts need to be brought in from Germany or Finland. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Latvia is an ATA carnet country.
Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production
Art department and set construction in the Baltic region is of an international standard and is very cost efficient. There are at least 4 very good art department teams. Of the Baltic states Latvia is traditionally the busiest with commercials whilst Lithuania does films and Estonia shoots the least of both.
Studios. Latvia has three purpose-built studios with a water tank and all amenities on site. 40 minutes outside of Riga there is a 15 hectare backlot of early 1900’s European architecture.
Post Production. Standard facilities available locally. If you are shooting on film the closest places to process are Helsinki or Berlin.
Visas & Work Permits
Latvia is a Schengen Area member. Only certain countries need visas and there is no need for work permits. Visiting US film crews can enter visa-free for a period of up to 90 days. Contact your local Latvian embassy / representative for more information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Latvia is a small country with a good network of well maintained roads, so most locations are quick and easy to reach. Latvia is well serviced by several international and regional budget airlines.
Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Riga. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. Latvia is a very safe and reliable filming centre. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Explore Riga’s UNESCO World Heritage old town.
Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Latvia, please see below:
Hire Latvia Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Latvia, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Latvia, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.
We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.