Greenhill Zrt., a consortium of three private parties led by Hungarian film director-turned-cinematographer Tamás Sas, is to build a 2-billion-forint (Є7.9 million) state-of-the art studio complex and media center in the southern Hungarian city of Pécs.
The studio will be built on a seven-hectare mining lot in the Mecsek hills. An electricity plant will be converted into a 600-square-meter sound stage, with 1,500 square meters of new facilities and office space, the developers announced in January. Financing is to be finalized in coming weeks.
Greenhill aims to serve small- and mid-range local productions as well as regional ones from neighbouring countries, a niche in which Sas sees little competition in southeastern Europe.
The announcement comes during an era of brisk expansion marked by the rapid growth of studio space. In 2007 Stern Studios (www.sternstudios.com) was launched in Pomaz, which hosted Konchalovsky's Nutracker in its 2,250-square-meter indoor studios, and Korda Studio (www.kordastudios.hu) opened in Etyek with 19,811 square meters of sound stages, the location for Universal's Hellboy II. Korda, with the world's largest indoor tank for underwater shoots, will be completed by February 2009. Both are a short distance from the capital, whereas the Pecs-based complex is about a two-hour ride south of Budapest.
In a statement carried by the Hungarian News Agency (MTI), the developers said a shoot in Pecs would be 20% cheaper than one in Budapest.
Greenhill also signed a preliminary agreement with the city of Szentendre in March 2006 to build a studio of three sound stages on a 30-hectare former military plot for 10 billion forints (€39.5 million), in the same area as Stern Studios. Recently Sas told the financial news portal portfolio.hu that Greenhill's two projects would be constructed simultaneously.
Greenhill would have 50 to 100 full-time employees and 150 to 200 part-time personnel.