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Benin

Benin Film & Photography Production Services.

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Benin? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Benin? See below for an introduction to Benin locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Film Locations. Benin is known for the Ganvie stilt village, Porto Novo colonial architecture, Dahomeyans palace and temple ruins in Abomey. Some of the best wildlife areas in West Africa are found in North Benin at Pendjari National Park and ‘W’ National Park with animals including cheetahs, hippos and crocodiles. In terms of agricultural looks Benin has many cotton fields and cocoa plantations. Porto Novo is the capital and Cotonou is the largest city.

Voodoo is the national religion with signs of it across the country. The best known fetish market is the Grande Marche du Dantopka which sells everything from monkey heads to elephant feet.

Benin Film Location Permits. Most locations are possible given time, money and the right approach. Photography of government buildings and official sites is prohibited without the consent of the Government of Benin. Please contact us for location specific information.

When to shoot? In the north the hot and dry seasons occur from January to April and during the month of August. The rainy seasons occur from May to July then September to December. In the south the hot and dry season is between November and June with cooler and very wet weather between July and October. In general, the coolest and driest months to film in Benin are from November and February. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Voodoo Day takes place every year on January 10.

Costs. Local costs such as talent, supporting crew and locations are inexpensive. Our Beninese fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. Since little to no filming infrastructure exists all key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad.

The West African CFA franc (XOF) is the official currency.

Talent day rates and buyouts are reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis. Benin has mainly West African looking talent. There are 42 local ethnic groups. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad.

Crews. Benin has very few directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Key crew should be brought in from abroad.

Contact us if you are looking for a director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Benin.

Equipment. Must bring in all camera, grip and lighting equipment from abroad.

Art department and set construction is very basic.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in Benin.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas and Work Permits. Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Crew travelling on Western passports are required to obtain a visa prior to travel. Applications must include proof of yellow fever vaccination. US citizens see here for more information. Contact your closest Benin embassy or representative for more information.

Transportation Infrastructure. Main roads are in a fair condition. Rural roads are slower going and in a poor condition. Many rural roads are impassable during the rainy season. Best not to travel by road at night. Our film fixer in Benin organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Several international airlines service flights to Cotonou.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Cotonou include:

Benin Marina Hotel
Novotel Orisha Cotonoul
Hotel Du Lac

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Our Benin fixer can also organise stays with local tribes.

Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and videoconferencing. Internet access is mostly restricted to Cotonou.

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice. See here for vaccinations required for Benin.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Benin, please see below:

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer in Benin, please contact us.