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French Guiana

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

Filming in French Guiana

For an introduction to shooting in French Guiana 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.

French Guiana Film Locations

French Guiana is an overseas region of France located on the northeastern coast of South America. Low-lying coastal plains rise to dense rainforest and the Tumac-Humac mountains in the south.

The country is divided into 22 communes including Awala-Yalimapo, Mana, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, Apatou, Grand-Santi, Papaïchton, Saül, Maripasoula, Camopi, Saint-Georges, Ouanary, Régina, Roura, Saint-Élie, Iracoubo, Sinnamary, Kourou, Macouria, Montsinéry-Tonnegrande, Matoury, Cayenne, and Remire-Montjoly.

The capital Cayenne is the main entry point by air. Film locations of note include traditional colourful Creole houses, Place des Palmistes, Cayenne Market, Cayenne Cathedral, Jardin Botanique, and Fort Cépérou.

Located just outside of Kourou, The Guiana Space Centre is where the European Space Agency launches its communication satellites. These launches are the major industry in French Guiana.

The country is also knowns for its gold mines, shrimping trawlers, rice paddies, and rum distilleries.

Plage les Hattes at Awala-Yalimapo is an important nesting site for giant leatherback turtles. Eggs are laid from April to July, and hatch from July to August. Plage Rémire-Montjoly is another beach that giant leatherback turtles come to nest.

Îles du Salut (Salvation Islands) include Île Royale, Île St Joseph, and the famous Île du Diable (Devil’s Island), an island surrounded by shark infested waters where exiles of the French Empire were held.

Guiana Amazonian Park is one of the largest national parks in the world with an overall protected rainforest area of 33,900 sq km (13,090 sq mi).

Tresór Nature Reserve is home to biodiversity such as caimans and poison dart frogs.

Mouragues Nature Reserve is known for its diverse birdlife.

Film locations of cultural interest include Amerindian villages in Haut-Maroni and Haut-Oyapoc.

French Guiana Film Location Permits

Permission to film is requested on the local level, often in person, with the owners of the location. So for instance if you would like to film in a Maroon or Amerindian village our French Guianese fixer would need to travel in person, prior to filming, to negotiate the terms of permission to film with the village council.

Allow more lead time for larger footprint shoots, as well as shoots involving filming in culturally and environmentally sensitive locations. Reporting on subjects such as the slave trade is sensitive. Drone filming is permitted but restricted in areas close to towns and airstrips. As an overseas region of France, some shoots may require permission from Paris. Please contact us for shoot specific information.

When To Shoot?

French Guiana has an equatorial climate with long sunlight hours all year round. The humidity is tempered by the trade winds that blow along the coast. December to June is the wet season. July to November is the dry season and the best time to film in French Guiana for weather. Unlike much of the Caribbean, French Guiana is not subject to hurricanes. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

The Carnival of Cayenne takes place in January / February.

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

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. The official currency is the Euro. 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 French Guianese fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. France offers a 20% tax rebate (TRIP) for qualifying foreign features and TV productions shooting in French Guiana.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. French Guiana has a very small pool of local directors, videographers 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 French Guiana.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Day rates are negotiated on a personal basis. Casting facilities are undeveloped in French Guiana so street casting is often required. For a country of its size, French Guiana has a remarkably small population of only 240,000. French Guiana has mainly Mulatto / Creole looks (including a large Haitian community). A Caucasian and Asian minority also lives in French Guiana. The main groups living in the interior are the Maroons who are of African descent, and Amerindians ( Arawak, Carib, Teko, Kaliña, Palikur, Wayampi and Wayana).

French Guiana Film Equipment

Equipment. Needs to be brought in from abroad. For productions looking to bring in camera, grip and lighting equipment, French Guiana is an ATA carnet country.

Communications. Slow internet speeds and access limited to major cities.

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 very limited in French Guiana.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. No post production facilities exist at present.

Visas & Work Permits

Entry to French Guiana for filming is subject to regulations from country of origin. Western crews can enter visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Contact your local French embassy / representative for more information. Visiting crews must show proof of yellow fever vaccination to enter French Guiana.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation. The road system is quite undeveloped with very few paved roads outside of coastal areas. The deep rainforest areas are best reached by river. Few international airlines fly to French Guiana.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Cayenne include:

Novotel Cayenne

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 French Guiana.

Down Time. Visit the Guiana Space Centre.

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 French Guiana, please see below:

Hire French Guiana Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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