Czech Republic to Exempt U.S. Cast, Crew From European Union Travel Ban (EXCLUSIVE)Variety — Leo Barraclough
The head of the film commission in the Czech Republic, which recently hosted shows like “Carnival Row” for Amazon and “The Falcon & Winter Soldier” for Marvel/Disney Plus, has written to Hollywood studios to reassure them that the European Union ban on U.S. citizens will not apply to those working in the film and TV production sectors.
On Tuesday, the EU named 14 countries from outside the bloc whose citizens can enter from July 1, but the U.S. is excluded, along with Brazil and China. However, some EU countries are giving exemptions for “essential workers.”
In a letter to Hollywood production executives sent Monday and exclusively shared with Variety, Pavlína Žipková, head of the Czech Film Commission, wrote: “In relation to the EU declaring a travel ban on the U.S., please let me assure you this is not valid for economic workers but tourism travellers only. Filmmakers of all nations are welcome in the Czech Republic.”
Žipková explained that the procedure to “[ensure] a smooth cross-border transportation of U.S. filmmakers” includes two documents: a ‘Confirmation of Performance of Economic Activities in the Interest of the Czech Republic,’ signed by Culture Minister Lubomir Zaoralek, and a ‘Declaration Concerning Arrival of a Foreign Crew Member’ by the director of the Czech Film Fund, Helena Bezdek Frankova.
She added that both of these documents are issued by the Czech Film Fund on delivery of a list of names of the cast and crew to the U.S. production’s Czech co-production partner.
Both “Carnival Row” and “The Falcon & Winter Soldier’s” shoots in Prague were interrupted by the COVID-19 shutdown, but are planning to resume production in the coming months.
David Minkowski, head of production for Stillking, the Czech production partner for both shows, says he has been receiving calls from Hollywood studios and producers looking to relocate their productions to one of Stillking’s European bases in Prague, Budapest and Bucharest. “They are looking for safe havens from [what would otherwise be] hot spots in the U.S. and also certain European countries,” he told Variety Tuesday.