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Benin

Benin 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 Benin? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Benin

For an introduction to shooting in Benin 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.

Benin Film Locations

Voodoo is the national religion with signs of it across the country. The best known fetish market is the Grande Marche du Dantopka in Cotonou, which sells everything from monkey heads to elephant feet. Cotonou is the largest city in Benin. Porto Novo is the capital. Known for its colonial architecture Porto Novo is home to the Royal Palace and Great Mosque. Benin is known for the Ganvie stilt village (the Venice of Africa), and the palace ruins of Abomey. Some of the best wildlife areas in West Africa are found in North Benin at Pendjari National Park and ‘W’ National Park with animals including cheetahs, hippos and crocodiles. In terms of agricultural looks Benin has many cotton fields and cocoa plantations.

Benin Film Location Permits

Most locations are possible given time, money and the right approach. Photography of government buildings and official sites is prohibited without the consent of the Government of Benin. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

In the north the hot and dry seasons occur from January to April and during the month of August. The rainy seasons occur from May to July then September to December. In the south the hot and dry season is between November and June with cooler and very wet weather between July and October. In general, the coolest and driest months to film in Benin are from November and February. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Voodoo Day takes place every year on January 10.

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

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. Local costs such as talent, supporting crew and locations are inexpensive. Our Beninese fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. Since little to no filming infrastructure exists all key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad.

The West African CFA franc (XOF) is the official currency.

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

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Benin has very few directors, directors of photography 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 Benin.

Talent day rates and buyouts are reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis. Benin has mainly West African looking talent. There are 42 local ethnic groups. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad.

Benin Film Equipment

Equipment. Must bring in all camera, grip and lighting equipment from abroad.

Communication. Internet access is mostly restricted to Cotonou.

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 is very basic.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Crew travelling on Western passports are required to obtain a visa prior to travel. Applications must include proof of yellow fever vaccination. US citizens see here for more information. Contact your closest Benin embassy or representative for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Main roads are in a fair condition. Rural roads are slower going and in a poor condition. Many rural roads are impassable during the rainy season. Best not to travel by road at night. Our film fixer in Benin organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Several international airlines service flights to Cotonou.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Cotonou include:

Benin Marina Hotel
Novotel Orisha Cotonoul
Hotel Du Lac

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Our Benin fixer can also organise stays with local tribes.

Final Notes

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

Down Time.

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 Benin, please see below:

Hire Benin Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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