Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 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 the DRC? 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 the DRC? See below for an introduction to DRC 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. The DRC is the largest and most populous country in Central Africa. Locations of interest to filmmakers and photographers include the mighty Congo River, Inkisi Falls, Boyoma Falls, Livingstone Falls, Lake Tanganyika, virgin rainforests, Pygmy villages, former President Mobutu’s compound in Gbadolite, and African wildlife parks.
The snow covered Pic Marguerite in the Ruwenzori Range is home to mountain gorillas and the endangered okapi. Virunga National Park has mountain gorillas, elephants, lions, hippos and buffaloes. Upemba National Park is home to a variety of bird life, crocodiles and hippos. Garamba National Park has giraffes, lions, elephants, rhinos and leopards. Note, these national parks are all located in the east of the country, so from a logistics point of view, you are better off accessing them through Uganda.
Kinshasa is the capital and main entry point by air. Kinshasa is one of the largest and most vibrant cities in Africa.
The 1951 film The African Queen was filmed in the DRC.
DRC Film Location Permits. The Journalist Accreditation Permit serves as a film permit to shoot in public locations across the country. See the visas and work permits section below for more information.
DRC has no specific permitting system in place so location permits are negotiated on a case by case basis. Unauthorised filming of government buildings, military installations, and along border areas is illegal and may result in arrest and confiscation of film equipment. Additional permission is also required for shoots that require exclusive use of public space, traffic control, filming in markets, national parks and drone filming. Our DRC fixer will negotiate this on the local level and make sure local police are there to assist. Please contact us for location specific information.
When to shoot? South of the equator, the rainy season lasts from October to April and the dry season runs from May to September. North of the equator, the rainy season lasts from April to November and the dry season runs from December to March. The dry season is the best time to film for weather and wildlife. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in the DRC.
Costs. Locations, local talent and support crew are inexpensive but since little to no filming infrastructure exists all key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. The poor transport infrastructure means traveling around the entirety of the country can be very expensive and time consuming too. Our DRC fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Talent day rates and buyouts are reasonable and negotiated on a personal level. DRC has as many as 250 African ethnic groups including Pygmy tribes. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad. There are no established casting facilities or talent agencies in the DRC, so all casting is done in-house, at the local level.
Crews. DRC has no local pool of directors, videographers and stills photographers. Crews must 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 the DRC.
Equipment. You will need to bring in all camera, lighting and grip 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 DRC.
Post Production. Post abroad.
Visas and Work Permits. Most passport holders require a visa to enter the DRC. Apply for a regular tourist visa at your closest DRC consulate or embassy. As well as all of the usual documents applicants must also include an invitation from our local DRC fixer, as well as proof of vaccination against yellow fever. For film crew travelling on US passports see here for more information. Once you arrive in the DRC, our DRC fixer makes an application with the Ministry of Communication and Media for a Journalist Accreditation Permit for each crew member. This permit allows crews to film at public locations across the country.
Transportation Infrastructure. Outside of the cities, most roads are not drivable, even with an off-road vehicle. During the rainy season, many roads become impassible. Note, there is no road network connecting major cities and towns so some journeys may require multiple modes of transport including plane, car, boat and train. It is best to avoid travelling at night. Our DRC film fixer organises safe and reliable transportation. Several international airlines service flights to Kinshasa. Domestic flights tend to be on the expensive side. Plan well ahead as some domestic flights are only available on some days. Patience and good planning is required.
Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Kinshasa:
Please contact us for corporate rates.
For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and videoconferencing. Internet access is limited to Kinshasa. Regular power outages are a problem.
Safety. See here for up to date travel advice. See here for vaccinations required for DRC. There are few facilities outside of Kinshasa, so if travelling outside of the city, make sure you are well prepared for all eventualities. To ensure safety on set, our DRC fixer will arrange the appropriate level of local security personnel / police.
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 the DRC, please see below:
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer in the DRC, please contact us.
We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.