With 250-300 days of sunshine a year, perfect light and simple permit procedures, filming in Greece is easy and quick. The country offers countless miles of sandy beaches, remote islands, mountains and diverse architecture in picturesque cities and villages.
Costs are generally lower than other places in Europe (partly because of the recent economic unrest, although prices have generally been lower than the Western World).
Finding English-speaking crew and sourcing kit is also relatively easy and done at affordable rates. With many commercials and international films being shot in Greece, the local work culture of production professionals is quite comparable to Western Europe and the US.
Access for Foreign Journalists and Filmmakers
The World Press Freedom Index done by Reporters Without Borders ranks Greece 76th in the world. While there is some room for improvement in terms of freedom of speech and rights for journalists, Greece is generally friendly to media.
Access to institutions and arranging interviews with officials are generally straightforward. It is advisable to have a Greek fixer to help since sometimes replies can be slow especially on more controversial topics.
Filming Permits in Greece
One other positive aspect about filming in Greece is the fact that filming permits can be sorted easily, quickly and generally at no or low cost.
There is no general authority that offers filming permits, but there are some clear directions on what is needed. Filming in archaeological sites requires a specific authorisation from the Greek Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Drone shots also require special permits depending on the area where they happen. Hiring a local drone operator usually speeds things up.
No permit is required for open space public spaces unless the size of the crew is big and road or sidewalk closures and involved. In the latter situation, local authorities are usually able to issue a permit.
The Hellenic Film Commission is not able to give any authorisation for filming, but may help with sending letters to relevant ministries and institutions if needed.
The Greece Tax Rebate for Film Productions
Greece offers a 25% cash rebate to audio-visual productions. The minimum budget for eligible expenses is €100k while the max amount if €5m.
The incentive covers films, TV series and documentaries of any length, but also animations.
A state entity called National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication manages the tax rebate scheme.