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Somalia

Somalia 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 Somalia? 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 Somalia? See below for an introduction to Somalia 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 of interest in Somalia include the capital Mogadishu, ancient port city of Merca, Bajuni Islands, Somalia, Kismayo National Park, tropical forests, undiscovered beaches, coral reefs, and rugged coastal looks.

Somalia Film Location Permits. In most cases permission to film is arranged on the local level, often on the same day. Allow extra location fees if need be. More complicated shoots that require street closures or larger setups or travel to unsafe locations require more lead time. Note, some locations are still off limits for film crews. Unauthorised filming of government buildings, military installations, and public infrastructure, is illegal. Penalties may include arrest, fines and confiscation of equipment. Shoots in more remote locations such as the autonomous region of Somaliland are generally more expensive and require more preparation. Please contact us for location specific information.

When to shoot? Much of Somalia is desert, with hot, dry, and dusty conditions throughout the year. Gu, the heavy rain season runs from April to June. Jilal, the summer dry season runs from July to September. Dayr, the light rain season runs from October to November. Hagaa, the winter dry season runs from December to March. Hagaa is the best time to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Ramadan is widely observed with most services closed during this period.

Costs. Locations, local talent and support crew are inexpensive but since little to no filming infrastructure exists most key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. Our Somali fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Somalia offers mainly Somali looking talent with some Arab and Bantu looks also available. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad.

Crews. Somalia has very small local pool of directors, videographers and stills photographers. Key crew need to 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 Somalia.

Equipment. Somalia has some basic camera, grip and lighting equipment available locally. For productions bringing in their own equipment, the Press Visa is sufficient for gear customs clearance.

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 Somalia.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas and Work Permits. All nationals are required to have visas to enter Somalia. Each visiting crew member is required to have a Press Visa to film in Somalia. Our fixer will require you to provide them with the project synopsis, copy of passport information pages, imported gear list, and any other relevant information. Once the application package is complete our fixer will submit this to the Ministry of Information. An accreditation letter is generally issued same day. Our fixer will then email you a copy of this letter which you will need to print out and present at the airport on entry. The Press Visa is then stamped into your passport.

Filmmakers, photographers and journalists who expect to travel to the United States in the future ought to also bear in mind the possible repercussions of having a Somali visa stamped in their passport.

Transportation Infrastructure. Roads are in a poor condition. Avoid road travel by night. A handful of airlines service flights to Somalia.

Accommodation. We recommend film crews base at the Peace Hotel or Jazeera Palace Hotel.

Communication. Web posted casting and scouting. Note, internet speeds are slow.

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice. Recommended security detail depends on the specifics of the project. In most cases we arrange a lean, two 4WD vehicle approach with one vehicle for crew and equipment and the other for the security team. For an alternative approach, armoured vehicles are also available.

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 Somalia, please see below:

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

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