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Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan 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 Turkmenistan? 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 Turkmenistan? See below for an introduction to Turkmenistan 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 Karakum Desert occupies most of Turkmenistan with the Caspian Sea bordering to the west. Turkmenistan has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. The ancient towns of Konye-Urgench and Merv were important stops along the Silk Road. In modern times Turkmenistan is known more for the oil rich city of Turkmenbashi, where you can find the Avaza tourist zone, an area modelled on Dubai. Additional locations of interest include the ruins of Urgench and Nissa, Darvaza Flaming Crater, and Kow Ata underground sulfur lake. The famed Akhal Teke horses are native to Turkmenistan.

The capital Ashgabat offers some interesting film locations including the Kipchak mosque, Arch of Neutrality, Palace of Turkmenbashi, National Museum of Turkmenistan, Tolkuchka bazaar, and a revolving golden statue of the late President Niyazov.

Turkmenistan Film Location Permits. Photography of public locations is strictly monitored by the extensive police presence so you will definitely need to have prior permission from all the relevant authorities prior to setting up your shots. Please contact us for location specific information.

When to shoot? Most of Turkmenistan has a desert climate with little rainfall. Summers (May to September) are very hot and dry. Winters (January to May) are very cold and dry. Spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) are the best seasons to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Nowruz Bayram is celebrated in March. Ramadan is observed by the majority Muslim population with some services closed during this period.

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. Our Turkmen fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Turkmenistan offers mainly ethnic Turkmen looks and sizeable minorities of Uzbeks and Russians. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad.

Crews. Turkmenistan has a very small pool of directors, videographers 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 Turkmenistan.

Equipment. Some very basic camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally. You will need to bring in most 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 Turkmenistan.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas and Work Permits. Citizens of all countries require a visa to enter Turkmenistan. A Letter of invitation is required which our local fixer / service producer will arrange for visiting crew. Once you have that letter you will need to apply for a visa at your closest Turkmenistan embassy along with other required documents. US passport holders see here for more information. A special permit, issued prior to arrival by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is required if visiting the Atamurat, Cheleken, Dashoguz, Serakhs, or Serhetabat. Each crew member is required to register with the State Migration Service within 3 days of arrival.

Transportation Infrastructure. Main roads are up to international standards. Remote areas are best travelled by 4WD which our Turkmen fixer can organise. Avoid road travel by night on rural roads. Domestic flight fuel costs are subsidisedf helping make flying a cheap way to get around. Several international airlines service flights to Turkmenistan.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Ashgabat include:

Sofitel Ashgabat Oguzkent

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and videoconferencing. Some websites are blocked from access.

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

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 Turkmenistan, please see below:

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

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