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Estonia is a small country with a lot to offer. Our production industry is well-developed with multitude of professionals even though we only have the population of 1.3 million. However, Estonians are proud of their country and always ready to show it to foreigners. Estonia has been a destination for filmmakers, TV crews and creative agencies for years. Not only for our scenic country, but also for our experienced professionals and talent.
Estonian film industry is highly developed with professionals well-known across Europe and having experience with large international projects. You can find producers, production crew and technical crew for a local news piece as well as a multimillion-euro film project. Many Estonians are fluent in English with older generations also widely speaking Russian and Finnish. Being a smaller market, Estonia offers competitive pricing. Work conditions are flexible, and professionals don’t have unions. In addition, Film Estonia has developed programs to support film makers interested in Estonia.
Even though Estonia is relatively small and you can reach from one end of Estonia to another in mere hours, the landscape offers diversity making it an interesting location for anyone. Estonia has hundreds of islands and kilometres of beaches in North and West, rolling hills in South and endless forests, bogs, lakes and rivers all around. Here you can experience undisturbed nature in many huge nature reserves. Don’t be afraid to explore small villages on your way as many have local small cafes and offer an insight into local traditions whether it is a fishing village on a coast or a Seto village in far south. Larger cities besides the capital include summer resort Pärnu, university city Tartu and folk city Viljandi, but consider also smaller towns, which all have something unique to offer whether you are looking for culture, performing arts, manor architecture or history, which has been influenced by several foreign occupations and mixed with ancient traditions.
Tallinn is widely used as a filming location thanks to the diversity of environments. Tallinn Old Town is a unique location dating back to the medieval times and being among UNESCO World Heritage sites. Downtown boasts a more modern environment of high-rises and contemporary architecture. Multiple residential districts offer an insight into Soviet era living traditions while Kadriorg and Pirita are a contrast with large parks and long coastal line of beaches and ports. Don’t forget to visit Song Festival Grounds, TV Tower and Estonian Open Air Museum for an immersive experience of Estonian culture and heritage.
Estonia is very welcoming towards film makers and bureaucracy is kept to a minimum. Majority of Estonia does not require any filming permits with some exceptions in Tallinn. Tallinn doesn’t require permits when filming in public areas, but permits are needed when filming inside commercial venues or at tourist attractions. Extended permit processing times may apply when shoot affects public transportation of ends after 23:00. Permits usually take a couple of weeks. Private properties can be used upon obtaining a permission from the owner. Special permit is required to fly drones in certain areas.
Estonia is lucky to have all four seasons with clear distinction making it worthy to explore any time of the year. Traditional summer months are June, July and August with July being the warmest and June offering the longest day on Summer Solstice with rather unique traditions and celebrations. Winters offer plenty of snow usually in January and February for winter activities and sport competitions. Weather may be unpredictable at times, but there is no bad weather, simply wrong clothes.