Central Europe's newfound prominence as a production location may come to a swift end as Hollywood turns to locations with better subsidies, tax support schemes and incentives, said producers gathered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic.
'The real competition for the former Soviet Bloc countries is going to be from those countries that give substantial subsidies to their local film industries,' says producer Peter Hoffman at a panel gathering.
Hoffman said Canada, Australia, the UK, Holland and to a lesser extent Germany all have incentives schemes and subsidies that will soon rival the advantages conferred on the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia by low labour costs.
Central Europe, and the Czech Republic in particular, is currently experiencing a small boom in productions, with Hollywood studios turning to the region's lower labour costs for shoots such as New Line's $55m Blade 2.
But at a panel debate producers warned that unless these countries do not upgrade their facilities into world-class ones the opportunity will disappear as the labour gap shrinks.
'There's a window, but we don't know how big the window will be,' said Polish producer Dariusz Jablonski. 'Before this window is closed, we have to transform our local industry into a much more sophisticated industry, not only one with lower prices.'
The producers cited Poland, which is currently undergoing a production boom, but unlike Prague's, it is one driven by domestic production.