Parks, tram depot and swimming pool: popular shooting locations in Moscow

February 27

On 20 February, it will be two years since the launch of the Moscow Film Commission. Its key priority is to make Moscow friendly for filmmakers, to show that shooting in Moscow can be easy, the painstaking paper chase is no longer a problem.  

'The Moscow Film Commission has helped to arrange 880 film shoots in Moscow over the past two years. Today, film and TV series producers contact the Film Commission every day. Thanks to its efficient work, the Commission has managed to develop a great reputation in the film industry in a short period of time. This means that the decision to set up a one-stop shop service for film producers was just in time. Our key priority is still the same — to make Moscow the most convenient, friendly and open city for film producers from all over the world,' said Alexander Kibovsky, Minister of the Moscow Government, Head of the Department of Culture

The Film Commission not only streamlines the time-consuming approval and agrees on favourable terms for film crews, but also advises directors and producers on attractive locations.

During the two years of the Film Commission's existence, 880 episode shoots of both Russian and international projects have been coordinated and conducted. Among them are films that have already been released: 'Invasion' by Fyodor Bondarchuk, 'Frenchman' by Andrei Smirnov, 'Sober Driver' by Rezo Gigineishvili, 'Great Poetry' by Alexander Lungin, 'Text' by Klim Shipenko and his 'Slave' — the highest-grossing film in the history of the Russian film distribution.

Shot from 'Invasion' directed by Fyodor Bondarchuk. 2020

Also, the Commission provides assistance to foreign film crews, with projects from Austria, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, China, the United States and other countries supported. Moscow hosted the filming of 'Yesterday' by Danny Boyle, episodes of the TV series 'Chernobyl', 'Jack Ryan' and others.

Soon, new film projects featuring Moscow are to be released. These include 'Kalashnikov' by Konstantin Buslov, 'Streltsov' by Ilya Uchitel, 'Petrov's Flu' by Kirill Serebrennikov, 'Three' by Anna Melikyan, 'Awakening' by Eduard Parri, and many others.

'Now, it is more comfortable and interesting to shoot in Moscow, thanks to the Moscow Film Commission and the Moscow city administration's efforts,'  director and producer Fyodor Bondarchuk shared his experience working on Moscow film sets.

The Moscow Film Commission operates on the one-stop shop principle: filmmakers just need to send a request on the website specifying the project's name, story outline, names of directors and producers, terms, locations, number of participants and other data required for approval. There are currently 12 projects being shot. 

'I've been making films in Moscow all my life, and I never thought that the city might need it, too, until the Moscow Film Commission was established. We have already made two of my films in collaboration, and it was always a considerable help and support in solving a variety of issues,' said Anna Melikyan, director, screenwriter and producer.

2020 is a start for new film projects. Moscow streets witness now filming of 'The First Oscar' by Sergei Mokritsky, 'Karamora' by Danila Kozlovsky, 'Halley's Comet' by Milena Fadeyeva, and 'Blow from the East' by Nikolai Khomeriki. The Russian-Chinese project 'Zhang Qian Adventure' is of particular interest, too.

In pavilions and in the street

Over the past two years, the most popular shooting locations in Moscow were Zaryadye Park, Red Square, VDNKh, Triumfalnaya Square, Moscow metro stations, Teatralnaya Square, Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge, Moscow City Business Centre, Novy Arbat, Gorky Park, and the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building. Also, the shooting took place at a bus stop, in a tram depot, and even in the Chaika outdoor pool.


The Moscow Film Commission also assisted in shooting on film sets. So, it was agreed to mount a fragment of scenery — the central square of the city of Novocherkassk — on the grounds of the Luzhniki Sports Complex, to shoot  'Dear Comrades', a historical drama by Andrei Konchalovsky. To shoot Dmitry Dyachenko's adventure film 'The Last Hero: the Root of Evil', a fairy-tale Belogorye town was set up in Molzhaninovsky district. The Moscow Film Commission assisted in the filming in Moscow streets and advised on choosing film sets.

Grants and subventions for filmmakers

The early outcome of the Moscow Film Commission's work was discussed last August and November,  along with new options for supporting the film industry. It was decided to experiment with financing film producers who build the image of Moscow in their films. 1 January till 31 March 2020, applications for subsidies are accepted on

Another support effort for filmmakers the city administration is ready to provide is the allocation of the grounds for the construction of film sets. They are made in or outside the city, in locations with diverse scenery and low noise, where one can easily set up and change the scenery. Such sites are great to shoot several projects of various formats and genres on the same grounds. Besides, they are becoming the film production centres, with the infrastructure actively developing. Moreover, many sites attract tourists.

In November 2019, a decree was signed establishing subsidies for foreign film companies. The initiative aims to attract foreign film companies to make films and TV series in Russia.


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