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Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Azerbaijan? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Azerbaijan

For an introduction to shooting in Azerbaijan see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.

Azerbaijan Film Locations

Azerbaijan offers great filming potential with a diversity of locations in close proximity to each other including ancient cities, Caucasus Mountain towns, Caspian Sea beaches, forests, rivers, lush green valleys, vineyards, and oil and gas facilities.

Azerbaijan has played host to Fast & Furious 7 (2015), The Amazing Race 20 (2012), and The World Is Not Enough (1999).

Azerbaijan film locations can be divided into the following regions:

Absheron

Absheron is an eastern region on the Caspian Sea.

Baku is the capital and largest city. The old city of Icherisheher is the historical core of Baku. It is known for the Palace of The Shirvanshahs, Maiden Tower, Muhammad Mosque, and National Art Museum. Outside of the old city, Baku is known for oil-boom-era mansions, Soviet-era apartment blocks, shiny glass towers, modern architecture, a modern subway system, and a shipping container port. Film locations of note include the Heydar Aliyev Centre, House of Government, Dənizkənarı Milli Park, Flame Towers, Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, Təzə Pir Mosque, and the Palace of Happiness.

Heading out of Baku you can film in the Atashgah Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Yanar Dag (Fire Mountain), Heydar Mosque, Bibiheybat, Ramana Tower, and Neft Daşları (Oil Rocks). The Bibi-Heybat oil pumps featured in The World Is Not Enough (1999).

Gobustan State Reserve is known for prehistoric rock carvings and mud volcanoes.

Masazirgol is a pink salt lake.

Aran

Looking south, the Aran region is mainly plains that lie below sea level.

Shirvan National Park is known for its birdlife.

Daglig-Shirvan

This region is located in the Caucasus Mountains.

The Shamakhy Astrophysical Observatory is located in this region.

Ganja-Gazakh

This northwestern region is located in the Caucasus Mountains.

Naftalan is known for its health spas where people bathe in oil.

The area is also known for its vineyards.

Guba-Khachmaz

This northeastern region is located between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains.

Krasnaya Sloboda is a Jewish town.

Kalbajar-Lachin

This western region is known for its mountain ranges and plateaus.

Lankaran

This southern region located on the Caspian Sea is known for Hirkan National Park.

Shaki-Zaqatala

This northern region is known for the Caucasus Mountains.

Unique mountain towns include Sheki, Lahic and Xinaliq.

The Palace of Shaki Khans was a summer residence for the Shaki Khans.

Upper Garabakh

This region is located in the western part of Azerbaijan.

Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic

This western region is cut off from mainland Azerbaijan by Armenia.

The Tomb of prophet Noah is a mausoleum in Nakhchivan.

The Palace of Nakhchivan Khans is also located in this region.

Alinja is an interested fortified mountainside film location that would make for a great battle scene.

Azerbaijan Film Location Permits

Most locations are possible given time, money and the right approach. Unlike some oil producing countries, filming oil facilities in Azerbaijan is possible. Having a good, well connected producer / fixer helps. Filming at the Heydar Aliyev Center is possible, but as the building is a tribute, they are very particular about who they allow to film there. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Despite its small size Azerbaijan has 9 out of 11 of the world’s climate zones. Generally speaking, summers are hot and winters are mild and wet, with snow on the mountains. The best time to film for warm and dry weather is between April and October. Baku in the summer is very hot and humid. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Ramadan is observed by the majority Muslim population with some services closed during this period.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Azerbaijan.

Unique Local Stories

Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.

If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.

If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. As with other oil-based economies goods in Azerbaijan are generally on the more expensive side. Film crew labour is comparatively inexpensive. In any case our Azerbaijani fixer / service producer 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 Azerbaijan.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Azerbaijan has a small pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. All other standard key crew is available in Azerbaijan. Specialist crews need to be brought in from abroad.

Contact us if you are looking for a director, DoP / cinematographer, videographer / camera operator, stills photographer, or any other film crew for your shoot in Azerbaijan – Baku.

If you are an exceptionally talented Azerbaijani director, DoP / cinematographer, videographer / camera operator, or stills photographer, introduce yourself here.

Talent. Day rates and buyouts are negotiated on a personal basis. Azerbaijan offers mainly Azerbaijani talent with other ethnicities from the Caucasus’s and Slavic looks also available. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad.

Azerbaijan Film Equipment

Equipment. Standard camera, lighting and grip equipment is available locally including Red Epic camera, a Panther dolly, GFM crane. More specialised equipment needs to be brought in from abroad. Azerbaijan is not an ATA carnet country. Crews looking to bring in their own equipment will need to clear customs which can be tricky and very expensive. Contact us for advice.

Communications. Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.

For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction are of a good standard for local looks.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. Best to post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Technically, Azerbaijan requires work permits for film and photography crews. This entails first arriving on a regular visa and then having a local company apply to hire you. Getting this approval is very difficult and the process can take up to a month. There are of course alternatives and ways to expedite this. Please contact us for more information.

Crew entering as tourists can apply for an E-Visa. Processing time is usually around 3 days. Visas are valid for stays of up to 30 days. US passport holders see here for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Main roads are in a fair condition. Rural and mountain roads are slower going and often in a poor condition. Our Azerbaijani producer / fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Some international airlines service flights to Azerbaijan.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Baku include:

Park Inn
Hotel Hale Kai
Excelsior Hotel Baku
Park Hyatt Baku

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.

Down Time. Take an oil bath at one of Azerbaijan’s health spas.

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 Azerbaijan, please see below:

Hire Azerbaijan Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Azerbaijan, 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.