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Western Sahara

Western Sahara 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 Western Sahara? 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 Western Sahara? See below for an introduction to Western Sahara 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. Western Sahara is a disputed territory. The western part is under the administration of Morocco and the eastern border area (Free Zone) is controlled by the Polisario Front on behalf of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

The beautiful shifting sand dunes of the Sahara Desert are the main point of interest for visiting filmmakers and photographers. Other than that there are very few natural wonders. Much of the country is low-lying, arid, rocky desert. The beaches are also rocky. Laayoune (El-Aaiún) is the capital. Although it is not an especially beautiful city, it has a certain charm with its faded colonial facades, bustling markets and call to prayer.

Western Sahara Location Permits. Moroccan authorities are generally hostile to any filmmaking and photography in Western Sahara. Expect to be stopped and questioned at the many military checkpoints. Please contact us for location specific information.

When to shoot? Western Sahara has a year-round desert climate characterised by very hot, dry days and cold nights. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Ramadan is widely observed 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 Sahrawi / Moroccan fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiated on a personal basis. Sahrawis and Moroccans are the main ethnic groups in Western Sahara. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad.

Crews. Western Sahara has no local pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Key crew 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 Western Sahara.

Equipment. You will need to bring in all camera, lighting and grip equipment from abroad.

Art department and set construction is more or less non-existent.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

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

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas and Work Permits. Since the vast majority of Western Sahara is administered by Morocco, officially the same visa rules apply as for visiting Morocco. In practice, independent travel in the region is restricted.

Entry requirements for the SADR-controlled areas are also unclear. The area is entirely off-limits to visitors: You cannot legally cross the heavily guarded and mined Berm from the Moroccan-controlled side, the land border with Algeria is closed, and there are no legal border crossings from Mauritania into SADR-controlled territory either.

Contact your local Moroccan embassy or representative for more information.

Transportation Infrastructure is very basic. There is one main road running north / south. Be prepared for many police checkpoints. For off-road unexploded land mines pose a real danger but our Sahrawi / Moroccan fixer organizes safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Several international airlines service flights to Laayoune.

Accommodation. Film friendly hotels in Laayoune include:

Hotel Josefina

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Communication. Web posted casting and scouting.

Safety. Western Sahara is at present a dangerous place for foreigners to visit. If you must shoot in Western Sahara appropriate personal security measures are essential.

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 Western Sahara, please see below:

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

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