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Rwanda

Rwanda 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 Rwanda? 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 Rwanda? See below for an introduction to Rwanda 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.

Rwanda Film Locations

Rwanda, The Land of a Thousand Hills is famous for mountain gorillas and the stunning Volcanoes National Park. Locations of interest to filmmakers and photographers include Lake Kivu, Virunga Mountains and Nyungwe Forest, home to one of Africa’s largest concentration of chimpanzees. Agricultural looks of interest include coffee, tea, and banana plantations. The capital Kigali sits sprawled over ridges, hills and valleys, with beautiful views of cultivated and terraced countryside. Kigali was damaged in the civil war of 1994 but significant rebuilding has taken place since.

Hotel Rwanda was partly filmed in Rwanda.

Rwanda Press Accreditation. Rwanda requires press accreditations for each crew member from the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Sports & Culture. This usually takes a minimum of three weeks to process. Our fixer can arrange for all accreditations. Passport scans and passport size photos as well as other documents are required to obtain authorization. 

Rwanda Film Location Permits

Film location permits to shoot in public locations around Rwanda are generally quick and easy to get. Unauthorised photography of military sites, government buildings, airports, and public monuments is prohibited. Penalties may include arrest, fines and confiscation of equipment. Please contact us for location specific information. 

When To Shoot?

Rwanda’s high altitude gives it a temperate climate despite its close proximity to the equator. The dry season runs from June to September. This is the best time for gorilla tracking. Rwanda has two wet seasons, one from March to May, and the other from October to December. The wet season turns the landscape green and verdant. This is the best time to see chimpanzees in their natural environment. Rains are heavier and more frequent in the northeast, where the volcanoes are covered by rainforest. The summit of Karisimbi, the highest peak in Rwanda, is often covered in snow. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Festivals and events of interest include the Gorilla Naming Ceremony in June, and KigaliUp! Rwandan Music Festival in September.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Rwanda’s local costs such as talent, supporting crew and locations are inexpensive. Imported goods can be expensive. Since little to no filming infrastructure exists all key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. Kenya is the closest major production centre. Our Rwandan fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

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

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Rwanda has a very small pool of local directors, videographers and stills photographers. Most key crew must be brought in from abroad. Kenya is the closest place to bring in experienced key crew. Local supporting crews can help with basic projects.

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 Rwanda.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. The Rwandan talent pool is limited to African looks. The Hutu and Tutsi are the main ethnic groups. All other talent looks need to be cast abroad.

Rwanda Film Equipment

Equipment. Very little camera, grip and lighting equipment exists locally. Bringing in gear is a simple process. The closest place that has all of the standard gear is Nairobi, Kenya.

Communication. Local connections are generally slow. Our Rwandan fixer will organise local cell phones and online communications to help you avoid the high roaming costs of calling to and from Africa.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction. Art department is best sourced from abroad as there is no sophisticated depth in this field in Rwanda.

Studios and Backlots. None exist at present.

Visas & Work Permits

Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Some Western passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival. The rest need to apply for visas prior to travel. US passport holders see here for more information. Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter Rwanda. Contact your local Rwandan embassy or representative for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Main roads between Kigali and other major towns are generally in good condition. Rural areas have dirt roads which can affect travel times especially in wet weather. During the rainy season, some roads become impassable. Our Rwandan fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Several international airlines service flights to Kigali.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Kigali include:

Kigali Serena Hotel
Lemigo Hotel

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

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

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 Rwanda, please see below:

Hire Rwanda Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Rwanda, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.