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Qualifying - the movie

Qualifying – the inner game of beach volleyball

In the last _ months Yariv Lerner, our CEO, has been producing a passion project about beach volleyball. This is a sport close to his heart as Yariv has been a volleyball player since his teens and spent 7 years coaching teams in LA.

Oh the horrors – 3 horror films at NuBoyana

In the last 12 months, 3 separate horror movies have been filmed in NuBoyana Film Studios

Abyzou (Millennium) – Directed by Oliver Park A family struggling with unresolved trauma finds itself at the mercy of a demon bent on destroying them.  The demon is called Abizu, who in eastern European folklore is blamed for miscarriages and infant mortality and is motivated by envy. It’s essentially a Jewish exorcism story which will appeal to horror fans across the world.

The Refuge (Voltage Pictures) – Directed by Renny Harlin When Rick returns to his wife after a stint in Afghanistan, she believes he suffers from PTSD. It turns out he suffers from djin, an ancient elemental that feeds on trauma. Kate must now seek the help of an Iman whose religious origins she has been taught her whole life to fear.

Piper (Millennium) – A creepy story directed by Erlingur Thoroddsen about a musician who finishes the last piece of the pied piper, the music begins to haunt her. She realises she is going to lead the children to the river, and can’t stop.

From a production standpoint, horror movies are contained and easy to produce in a post covid world. On a deeper level, says Yariv Lerner, our last 4 years have been filled with horror, on a socio-economic and political scale, which includes not just a pandemic, but a shift towards a divisive world. I believe the horror genre is a way of purging that and making us question who the monsters really are. The underlying message of most of the horror genre is that the real demons are really the monsters within.

📸 Erlingur Thoroddsen

We’ve been a busy studio so far in 2021

This year has been one of the busiest ever, with the 10 sound stages being occupied the entire year, underwater tank, editing, and VFX departments all working at full steam.

We managed to complete 11 full-length feature films  (including 3 horror movies produced in-house) without a shutdown. We also hosted over 200 ads, 2 tv shows (20 episodes total), and a couple of music videos.

We serviced a cutting-edge Disney production that was here for 3 months of prep and 2 months of shooting. The producers were impressed with all the studio and Bulgaria had to offer and are planning on returning with 2nd feature.

Covid restrictions are being followed with weekly testing and a mandatory vaccination program being rolled out for staff.

Let’s Roll, 2021!

Keep the cameras rolling! COVID-19 was a major challenge for our industry but we adapted well. New rules, new positions, new beginnings. Here is how we managed at Nu Boyana Film Studios. Watch the special report by Scott Roxborough for Deutsche Welle and Arts 21 Program.

In the past 9 months our team at Nu Boyana studios kept going and learning valuable lessons on the way. With good preparation, planning and flexibility, we completed the production of 8 feature films* and 16 international commercials for world brands.

The credit goes to all Bulgarian and foreign professionals, involved in the process, including the team of our in-house company B2Y Productions – for their hard work, resilience and dedication.

Most decisions we made this year proved that taking risks and being innovative pays off and makes you stronger!

We know that there are more challenges ahead but we are ready to tackle them, living up to the highest standards in the industry.

Looking forward to working with you in 2021!

Feature films we hosted at the studios in 2020:

TILL DEATH (Millennium Media), directed by S.K.Dale

THE DEVILS LIGHT (Lionsgate), directed by Daniel Stamm

COBWEB (Lionsgate), directed by Samuel Bodin

ROYAL BLOSSOM and LOST AND FOUND IN ROME (Free Dolphin Productions)

AFTER WE FELL & AFTER EVER HAPPY (Voltage), directed by Castille Landon 

THE ASSET (Millennium Media), directed by Martin Campbell; We also finished the post production of the project at the studios.

Direct Production Line

Direct Production Line

Covid-19 has changed our world and how we work. Implementing strict measures and Covid-19 Safety Guidelines has allowed us to continue working safely and efficiently.

Are you looking for a place to film your Feature/TV/Commercial?

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    Nu Boyana Stunt Academy

    An amazing project that we started in 2019. Stay tuned for the interesting and useful master classes and trainings that Nu Boyana Stunt Academy will offer!

    Here is a look at some of the trainings we had so far at the academy:

    Underwater stunt Course, led by diving coordinator Ian Creed

    Film Combat Course, taught by stunt coordinator Adam Horton


    In between courses we keep a weekly schedule at our Fit for Film space, where you can do your workout and meet with members of our stunt community.

    As the master of stunts Jackie Chan says in his biographical book: “The way to never grow up is to love what you do“.

    Join our stunt academy and we’ll give you just another thing to love in your life and why not choose to do it for a living!

    Nu Boyana Stunt Academy launches in August

    This is a very special project of ours and frankly we have thought about making it a reality for quite some time. Action and stunts have always been amongst the most cherished ingredients of the films we shoot. And we have always worked with great talents in the stunt world.

    The time has come that we start to not only work with the best talent, but provide the necessary environment and conditions for them to pass their knowledge and train the next generation of stunt men and women.

    This is our why we established the Nu Boyana Stunt Academy.

    Next Course:


    August 19 – September 1

    Taught by Adam Horton at the Nu Boyana Stunt Academy

    This 2-week course takes place at Nu Boyana Film Studios, Europe’s biggest film studio, where action stars and their stunt teams have filmed hundreds of powerful fight scenes in franchises like The Expendables, Olympus Has Fallen, and Hitman’s Bodyguard.

    Aside from having an unforgettable experience for both the mind and body, those who complete the course will gain the professional combat skills that can help forge them a career in film and television.


    Join Nu Boyana Stunt Academy Facebook Group!

    Underwater Stage – Showreel

    It’s not only the width and depth of our pool, or the modernity of the building that we are proud of.

    It’s also the great teamwork and talent of all our colleagues. They can design and do all the engineering for your idea from scratch.

    Nu Boyana Underwater Stage from Nu Boyana Film Studios on Vimeo.

    Underwater filming can be a bit challenging, that’s why safety always stays a priority. We made sure to have found the best professionals and equipment for a smooth and relaxed working environment.

    Actors are taken care of by our experienced safety divers, so they can give the best performance. Because we know not everyone is most comfortable in deep waters.

    Our underwater stage hosts film productions and commercial projects, providing enough space and rooms for actors and crew (makeup & wardrobe, production office, bathrooms, etc.).

    T-mobile Commercial, 2019

    We are also very proud with our SFX masters, set designers and lighting technicians. They can adapt this huge underwater space to basically anything. You name it.

    CNN on set of “The Outpost” in Bulgaria

    Exclusive video footage from the filming of “The Outpost” in Bulgaria was shown in Nick Paton Walsh’s report for CNN: ‘The Outpost’: The horror of Afghanistan brought to Hollywood.

    The journalist shares his experience about being in Afganistan in 2009 and reliving the events today: “Exactly nine years later, I find myself standing in COP Keating again. Yet this time it’s in Bulgaria. A short drive from Sofia, Millennium Films has painstakingly recreated the base. It is larger in scale, which at first bewilders me, and without the deadly hills — they would have to be added later by CGI. The tiny place that had seemed so forlorn in person now comes across as the stuff of painful legend. Orlando Bloom, Scott Eastwood and Caleb Landry Jones lead a cast that contains actual survivors from the battle: some playing themselves, others their platoon colleagues. A West Point graduate, Rod Lurie, is even directing the film. It is more than a little jarring to see it all again. At one point, fake Taliban pop up from behind rocks and pretend to opened fire on us. It’s difficult to resist the instinct to duck down.”

    The reporter’s team visited “The Outpost” set near Sofia together with their colleague Jake Tapper – CNN’s anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent as well as author of the book on which the script of the new movie is based.  

    “You think, in a battle like COP Keating,” says Tapper, “that they’d be motivated by their hatred of the enemy, their anger. And the truth of the matter is they are motivated by the love they have for their brothers in arms. The desire to save each other. There’s such a chasm between the 1% of the country who serve and the 99% who don’t — of which I am in the latter group — there’s such an inability to understand why they do what they do. But every one of the eight guys who was killed was killed in a mission of trying to help somebody else.”

    The article wraps up with a word from Daniel Rodriguez, who is a Keating survivor and plays himself in the movie. “If you think of the Vietnam-era films and the WWII films, you do them after the war has already been done. But we live in a here-and-now generation. Let’s show the world how horrific it is, yet still leave our people over there at the same time.” 

    “There’s that expression: you die twice — once when you pass away, and then again when your name is spoken for the last time by somebody out there,” says director Rod Lurie in another piece for Variety. “And at least with a movie like this, these men’s names will be spoken in perpetuity. So it was a very personal film to make.”


    Audio Post Production: Creating the Sound for ‘211’

    The movie “211” starring Nicolas Cage was inspired by one of the longest and bloodiest bank heists. The title is the American police code for robbery, which reveals the main part of the plot. A soon to be retired police officer “Mike Chandler”, played by Nicholas Cage finds himself unprepared and outgunned, as he comes across a daring bank heist carried out by a team of fearless, heavily armed and highly trained men. 

    The action-packed thriller film was entirely serviced at Nu Boyana Film Studios. In the post-production of such a busy film, sound plays a pivotal role in the storytelling and production value.

    Kris Casavant (Supervising sound editor), shared some of the behind the scenes secrets and technicalities of creating the sound for the film. All the work was done under the studio’s umbrella front to back, from capturing sound on set to finalizing in post-production. “For post, we started early with capturing weapon recordings on the sets during the shoot, followed by the entire creative approach right up until the final mix & delivery.” 

    Dive & Film in the most modern water tank in Europe!

    Nu Boyana Film Studios and B2Y Productions are glad to announce the official opening of our newest аsset – one of the biggest and most modern water tanks in Europe. 

    Floor plan – Water Tank

    After a year and three month of non-stop work we completed the brand-new water tank. We are extremely grateful to all of you who made this happen – especially Nikki Kanev – project manager and A&A ArchitectsGlavbolgarstroy and Sivon who designed and built it.

    The water tank is built on 1200 sq. meters. The basin is 20 meters wide at a depth of 6 meters and volume of 2400 m3. It has a 2.10 x 1.60 meters directors’ viewing window. The studio has 3 elephant doors for the trucks to access it. Inside we have a bridge crane with 10 tons lifting capacity for moving props, sets, etc. There is a special heating system at the studio which can heat the water in the tank up to 32 degrees celsius. The tank is using an UV filtration system that limits the chlorine usage. The facility is also equipped with a skimming system which removes all the dirt particles that fall on the  surface layer of the water. 

    The facility is managed by our diving coordinator Ian Creed with background of movies like Star Wars:The Last Jedi, Angel Has Fallen, The Hitman’s Bodyguard and many more.

    Come take a dip.


    The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Behind the Scenes

    This entertaining action comedy centers on Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), assigned to protect an infamous hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) – the only person who can testify against a ruthless dictator (Garry Oldman). Along the course of the movie they are presented with a number of obstacles and twists, which are sure to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

    Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson filming THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD in Sofia, Bulgaria. Photo by Jack English.

    The film has been shot throughout three European capitals – Sofia, London and Amsterdam, with the majority of the principal photography taking place in Bulgaria. Nu Boyana Film Studios has facilitated a large part of the production, providing sound stages and computer generated effects, with some sequences taking place in the canals of downtown Sofia. “We are very excited about this movie. This is one of those situations when we got lucky with a variety of things – great script, great cast, great director and we ended up with a great movie.” – says executive producer Yariv Lerner.

    Director Patrick Hughes on the set of THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD in Bulgaria. Photo by Jack English.

    Several of the action sequences were shot at the Nu Boyana Film Studios backlot in Bulgaria.
    The team of our daughter company WorldWide FX completed more than 1000 shots lead by the VFX Supervisor Vesselina Hary Georgieva. On working with the director she remarks “I feel very lucky about working with Patrick Hughes, because he is very talented, very ambitious and knows exactly what he wants.”

    Liev Schreiber: “We were very impressed with the Bulgarian crew!”

    The new movie starring Liev Schreiber “Chuck” tells the true story of Chuck Wepner, the man who inspired the billion-dollar film series “Rocky” — a liquor salesman from New Jersey who went 15 rounds with the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammed Ali. In his ten years on the ring, Wepner endured two knockouts, 8 broken noses, 313 stitches. But his toughest fights were outside the ring: an epic life of drugs, booze, wild women, incredible highs and extraordinary lows.

    In a recent interview for The New York Times Liev Schreiber describes “Chuck” movie as a “cautionary tale about celebrity and fame, tripped down the rabbit hole of narcissism” and admits that over the past ten years he’s had things in his own life drawing him closer to that story.

    Liev Schreiber and Ron Perlman in a dramatic scene from “Chuck”

    We were happy to host part of the filming of this interesting project at Nu Boyana studios where we specially constructed a big boxing ring in one of the sound stages. When talking to a Bulgarian journalist about how he felt working for the first time in Sofia, Liev Schreiber admitted that both the director and him were “pesimistic” in the beginning but after they arrived in Bulgaria became really impressed with the commitment of the people in the crew. He also found Nu Boyana studios to be a great facility, having various sets – New York streets, London backlot and etc.

    Behind-the-scenes: Director Philippe Falardeau at the boxing ring


    Worldwide FX celebrate their 15th Anniversary

    Nu Boyana is the home of Worldwide FX – one of the biggest VFX studios in Europe. In the last 15 years the VFX artists have been dedicated to creating top notch visual effects and to breathing life into the spectacular ideas of filmmakers.
     Worldwide FX released a new showreel celebrating their 15th anniversary which displays work from most recent projects including London Has Fallen, Mechanic Resurrection, Criminal and some gems from the past.

    Thank you for being part of our journey!

    Bolt CineBot and Phantom Flex 4K on set at Nu Boyana

    Nu Boyana Film Studios recently acquired two amazing new pieces of equipment – a Bolt motion control rig and a Phantom Flex 4K.

    BoltCinebot is the fastest high speed camera robot in the world. It has the ability to get up to full speed almost instantly so the camera can go from standstill to high-speed motion and back in fractions of seconds. Bolt is controlled by the Academy Award winning software Flair. Combined with it, the Bolt rig is quick to program moves on set and offers all of the features for importing moves from 3D packages and exporting moves.

    Phantom Flex 4K is the newest camera available by Vision Research. The camera is specifically designed for motion picture capture and delivers updated easy to use camera interface. The Flex 4K is capable of recording at speeds of up to 1000 frames a second at 4k resolution and reaches a maximum frame rate of 3000 fps at 720p. The picture quality of the camera is supreme and opens up a world of possibilities in post-production. The Flex 4K has been the standard in high speed cinematography since its release in 2014, delivering top quality image for film productions all around the world.

    With their innovative characteristics the two filmmaking gadgets are able to capture the movie magic in a precise and fascinating way never seen before!

    Premiere: Bulgarian movie “Voevoda”

    “We shall not give up!”

    These words whispered by Roumena, echo as a powerful message to the generations ahead. If we truly believe in a cause, we shall never betray it, never leave it, or we shall bear the consequences.

    It’s really hard to make a good film based on historical events. “Voevoda” tackles not only this statement but another major theme – women in history.Voevoda_poster

    ‘Criminal’ gets final post-production at Nu Boyana

    Israeli-born director Ariel Vromen is the creative force behind the newest Millennium Films’ project. ‘Criminal’ stars Hollywood icon Kevin Costner as an unpredictable convict whose world turns upside down when implanted with the memories of a deceased CIA agent. Joining him are movie industry A-listers Gary Oldman, Ryan Reynolds and Tommy Lee Jones.


    Nu Boyana is proud to announce the post-production of the movie was finalized at the studio’s facility. This is the third movie receiving its final touches in Bulgaria’s biggest film studio. ‘Boyka: Undisputed’ and ‘Septembers of Shiraz’ paved the way as features shot, serviced and finalized by Nu Boyana.

    Made in Nu Boyana

    Our student film competition gives chance to young filmmakers to show their best potential!
    Made in Nu Boyana - Student Film Competition
    Four student teams shot their short movies in the last week of August, using everything they need on the territory of Nu Boyana Film Studios – equipment, sets, wardrobe, props and etc. The teams were formed of students, holding different positions – Screenwriter, Director, DP, Camera Assistant, Script Supervisor, Stylist, Set decorators, Video Editor, Sound Designer, Production Assistant and etc. The teams were given basic script guidance for the concept of their short movie and they decided weather to make a comedy, a drama or action out of it. The Studio provided professionals to serve as mentors, supporting the work of each team.
    Made in Nu Boyana - Student Film Competition
    Made in Nu Boyana vocational training project is conducted for the first time, giving chance to future filmmakers to complete the whole process of producing a movie in the professional environment of the film studio. The students had to follow a strict production schedule – 3 days preparation, 2 days shooting and 10 days post-production. An international panel of judges, working in the movie business, will choose the winner film in September.
    Made in Nu Boyana - Student Film CompetitionTake a peak behind the scenes of Made in Nu Boyana Student Film Competition 2014: