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Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) 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 Cote D’Ivoire? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Cote D’Ivoire

For an introduction to shooting in Cote D’Ivoire 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.

Cote D’Ivoire Film Locations

Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is a West African country on the Atlantic coast bordered by Ghana to the east and Liberia to the west. It is known for its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and French colonial history.

Agricultural film locations include plantations of cocoa, coffee, cotton, rice, sugarcane, corn, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, cashews, rubber trees, and timber. Local fishing boats are available for filming. Cote D’Ivoire also has gold mines.

The Final Year (2018) filmed in Cote D’Ivoire.

Film locations can be divided into the following regions:

The Lagoon Region

This region includes the coastal southeastern districts of Abidjan, Lagunes, and Comoé.

Abidjan is the largest city, the economic capital, and although it’s not the official capital, still remains the administrative centre. Abidjan has a skyscraper skyline and a busy street market scene. Film locations of particular interest include a ziggurat-shaped high-rise building called La Pyramide, St Paul’s Cathedral, Plateau Mosque, and Parc National du Banco.

The Lagunes district which surrounds Abidjan is known for the beautiful surf beaches at Assouinde and Jacqueville, the old French-colonial town of Grand-Bassam, and Assagny National Park which is known for its elephants, chimpanzees and many species of monkey.

Located in the southeast of the country the Comoé district is known for the mangroves of Îles Ehotilé National Park.

Southwestern Forests

Located in the southwest of the country, this fertile region includes the districts of Bas-Sassandra, Montagnes, Sassandra-Marahoué, and Gôh-Djiboua.

The district of Bas-Sassandra is known for its beautiful beaches as can be found in the town of Sassandra.

Montagnes is known for Taï National Park and Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve which are great places to film chimpanzees, leopards, lions, elephants, crocodiles, and pygmy hippos. The town of Man is known for its verdant hills and countryside.

Once abundant with nature, the Marahoué National Park in the Sassandra-Marahoué district is now best known for its heavy deforestation.

Eastern Plantations

Located in the central and eastern part of the country, this region includes the districts of Yamoussoukro and Lacs.

The centrally located city of Yamoussoukro is the nation’s official capital. The Presidential Palace is famous for the crocodiles that inhabit the canals that surround the building. The crocodiles, which live in many of the city’s waterways, are considered sacred. Basilica of Our Lady of Peace is a huge building modelled on the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica. It’s an interesting structure given that only a third of the country is Christian. The Houphouët-Boigny Peace Research Foundation is an impressive brutalist building. Other interesting film locations include the futuristic Hotel President, House of Deputies, and Yamoussoukro International Airport.

Crossing several districts Lake Kossou is the country’s largest lake.

Northern Savanna

This northern region includes the districts of Denguélé, Savanes, Vallée du Bandama, Woroba, and Zanzan.

The town of Korhogo in the Savanes district bustles with the cotton and cashew trade from February to May.

Bouaké in the Vallée du Bandama district is the second largest city in Cote D’Ivoire.

Comoë National Park in the northeastern Zanzan district is one of the largest protected areas in West Africa. It is home to a wide variety of animals including lion, leopard, chimpanzees, elephant, and hippos.

Cote d’Ivoire Film Location Permits

A film permit is required to shoot in Cote D’Ivoire. See below in the Visas and Work Permits section for more information.

As for permission to film in specific locations, once you have a film permit most are possible given time, money and the right approach. For larger more complex projects such as those involving street closures or large set construction, allow plenty of time for permitting. Please contact us for location specific information. 

When To Shoot?

The climate of Cote d’Ivoire is warm and humid, ranging from equatorial in the southern coast to tropical in the centre and semiarid in the far north. There are three seasons. November to March is warm and dry. This is the best time to film for weather and wildlife. March to May is hot and dry. June to October is hot and wet. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:

• Carnival in Bouaké in March
• Fête du Dipri in April
• Festival of Masks in November

Islam and Christianity are the main religions so those holidays are observed.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Cote D’Ivoire.

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. Since only limited filming infrastructure exists most visiting crews choose to bring in their key crew and equipment. Our Ivoirian fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

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 Cote D’Ivoire.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Cote D’Ivoire has a very small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Visiting productions generally bring in their key crew.

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 Cote D’Ivoire.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiated on a personal level.

French is the official language.

Cote D’Ivoire offers mainly West African looking talent with Akan, Voltaiques, Northern Mandes, Krous, and Southern Mandes people being the largest ethnic groups. All other talent looks are best cast abroad.

Cote D’Ivoire Film Equipment

Equipment. Cote D’Ivoire has some basic camera, grip, lighting, and drone equipment available locally. More sophisticated equipment needs to be brought in. Cote D’Ivoire is an ATA carnet country.

Communication. Internet live boxes are available. Larger cities have faster internet.

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 limited to local looks.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. Visiting productions generally choose to post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Visitors travelling to Cote D’Ivoire must obtain a visa from one of the Ivorian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries. For crew travelling on US passports, see here for more information. E-visas are also available at the airport upon arrival but they must be requested online prior to arrival in Côte D’Ivoire. Proof of yellow fever immunization is required for entry into Côte D’Ivoire.

Film crews entering the country are encourage to apply for business visas. That way if you get an overzealous customs and immigration agent, you’re covered. Our local Cote D’Ivoire fixer will arrange a Letter of Invitation for you to submit with you application.

A Film Permit is required to film in Cote D’Ivoire. The cost of the permit is free. To apply for a film permit, you need to send your local fixer / service producer an application including a project synopsis, dates, visiting crew passport information pages, and an imported equipment list. If you are coming to film with a local organisation you will also need to include a Letter of Invitation from that organisation. The local fixer will submit this to the Ministry of Communications in person, on your behalf. As long as the application is complete and the shoot subject matter isn’t potentially negative to image of the country / government, then it usually takes 3 working days to approve the Film Permit. A copy of the Film Permit will be emailed to you for presentation at the port of entry.

To ensure everything runs smoothly our local fixer will be waiting for you at the airport to pick you up, with original documents in hand.

Note, trying to deal directly with permitting authorities to save money, may be tempting but it’s really risky. You don’t want to find out at the 11th hour that your application was never received. Also, you must be accompanied by a local fixer / service producer when filming in Cote D’Ivoire. The local fixer is held liable for the visiting productions activities including making sure you observe the conditions of location permits, as well as the nature of the content you are producing. Contact us for Cote D’Ivoire fixer referrals.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. The road system is one of the better ones in West Africa. That said, driving at night is not recommended. Our local Ivoirian fixer will organise safe and reliable transport. Several international airlines service flights to Abidjan.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Abidjan:

Villa Anaka
Hotel Ivoire Intercontinental
Sofitel Abidjan
Novotel Abidjan

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 Cote D’Ivoire.

Down Time. Try Ivoirian cuisine – attiéké, alloco, foutou, placali, sauce kopè, sauce arachide, poisson braisé, poulet braisé, choukouya, poulet piquet, and kedjenou.

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 Cote D’Ivoire, please see below:

Hire Cote D’Ivoire Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Cote D’Ivoire, 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.