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Congo Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo)

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

Filming in the Congo

For an introduction to shooting in the Congo 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.

Congo Film Locations

Much of the Congo is covered by the dense Congo Rainforest. The Congo is a heavily urbanised country with most population concentrated in between Brazzaville and the coast.

Agricultural film locations include plantations of sugarcane, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, and rice paddies. Industrial locations include lumber yards, oil and gas facilities, and diamond mines.

Ewan McGregor: Cold Chain Mission (2012) filmed in the Congo.

Film locations can be divided into the following departments: Kouilou, Niari, Lékoumou, Bouenza, Pool, Plateaux, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Sangha, Likouala, Brazzaville, and Pointe-Noire.

Brazzaville is the capital and main entry point by air. It has a reputation for being a more relaxed version of the busy, vibrant Kinshasa, the capital of the neighbouring DRC. Locations of note in Brazzaville include Nabemba Tower, National Museum, Kintele Stadium, Marché Total, Basilica of St. Anne, Grand Mosque, monument to the dictator Laurent Kabila (designed by North Korea’s Mansudae Overseas Projects), and the unusual Congo Tank Graveyard. The mausoleum of Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza is rumoured to be a centre of black magic.

Odzala-Kokoua National Park located in the north of the country is home to gorillas, chimpanzees, monkeys, buffalo, elephant, hyenas and a variety of birdlife.

Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park located in the north of the country is pristine tropical rainforest home to gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, crocodiles, and a diversity of birdlife.

Lobéké National Park located in the southeast of the country is semi-evergreen forest home to chimpanzees, gorillas, leopards, and a variety of birdlife.

Conkouati-Douli National Park located in the southwest of the country is home to gorillas, elephants, buffalos, gorillas, leopards, chimpanzees, and birdlife.

Léfini Faunal Reserve is home to gorillas, monkeys, hippos, buffalos, and a variety of birdlife.

Ouésso is a transit hub in the remote far north of the country, in an area with many Pygmy villages.

Lake Tele was home to the mythical Mokèlé-mbèmbé creature.

Other Congo locations of interest to filmmakers and photographers include the mighty Congo River, Pointe-Noire beaches, Loufoulakari Falls, and M’Bé historic village.

Congo Film Location Permits

The Journalist Accreditation Permit serves as a film permit to shoot in public locations across the country. See the visas and work permits section below for more information.

Congo has no specific permitting system in place. Our Congolese fixer negotiates all required permits based on the specific needs of each shoot. Additional permission is often required for shoots that require exclusive use of public space, traffic control, filming in markets, national parks, and drone filming.

Photography of government buildings, military installations, key infrastructure such as ports, train stations, and airports, and along border areas, is only allowed after all relevant authorities have given their permission. Penalties for illegally filming these locations may include fines, arrest and confiscated equipment.

Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

The Congo has a tropical climate with year-round high heat and humidity. The rainy season runs from October to May. The dry season runs from June to September. This is the best time to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

The Congo in a predominately Christian nation, so those holidays are observed.

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

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

The Central African CFA franc (XAF) is the official currency. Local ATM’s are unreliable, so make sure to bring USD or Euros to exchange.

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

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Congo has a very small local pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Crews 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 the Congo.

Talent day rates and buyouts are reasonable and negotiable. There are no established casting facilities or talent agencies in the Congo, so all casting is done in-house, at the local level.

French is the official language. 62 local languages are spoken throughout the country.

Congo’s largest ethnic groups include the Kongo, Teke, M’Bochi, and Sangha people. Congo is also home to Pygmy tribes. Brazzaville is famous for its community of well-dressed sapeurs. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad.

Congo Film Equipment

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

Communication. Slow internet and poor coverage. Regular power outages are a problem.

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

Most passport holders require a visa to enter the Congo. Visiting western crews need to apply for a tourist visa at their closest Congo embassy or consulate. The application must also include an Invitation Letter from the local Congolese fixer / service producer. Processing times vary but allow for at least 1 week. The tourist visa is valid for up to 3 months. For US passport holders heading to the Congo, see here for more information on visas.

Once you arrive in the Congo, our Congolese fixer makes an application for a Journalist Accreditation Permit for each crew member. This allows crews to film at public locations across the country.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure is very basic with most roads unpaved, in disrepair and impassable during the rainy seasons. Our Congolese fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Travel by night is not advised for safety reasons. There is a train from Brazzaville to Pointe-Noire. Several international airlines service flights to Brazzaville. Domestic flights tend to be on the expensive side. Plan well ahead as some domestic flights are not available every day. Patience and good planning is required.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Brazzaville:

Villa Lys Hotel
Hotel Olympic Palace

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. See here for vaccinations required for Congo. There are few facilities outside of Brazzaville, so if travelling outside of the city, make sure you are well prepared for all eventualities. To ensure safety on set, our Congolese fixer will arrange the appropriate level of local security personnel / police.

Down Time. See the gorillas.

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 Congo, please see below:

Hire Congo Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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