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

Filming in Israel

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

Israel Film Locations

Israel is a Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean coast. Considered by Jews, Christians and Muslims as the Holy Land, it is best known for its religious locations.

Israel is a small country offering a vast variety of locations in close proximity to each other. From the main production centre of Tel Aviv, it’s a short 2hr drive to the Dead Sea and Negev Desert, a 3hr drive to the Arava Desert, and a 4hr drive to Eilat and the Red Sea.

The country is a centre for venture capital and start-up culture with the high-tech industry being the economic mainstay. With a climate similar to California, Israel offers a wide range of agricultural film locations including plantations of wheat, corn, flowers, citrus, avocados, grapes, tomatoes, mangos, bananas, and cotton. Cattle and sheep are farmed. Israel is home to two unique types of agricultural communities, the moshav and the kibbutz. Moshav village plantations make for interesting aerial photography. Industrial locations include high-tech manufacturing of aerospace, pharmaceuticals, and polished diamonds. Energy locations include gas-fired power plants and solar power farms.

Israel has hosted productions including Golda (2023), Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020), A Tale of Love and Darkness (2015), Homeland (2011-2020), Brüno (2009), Batman Forever (1995), Sorcerer (1977), and The Omen (1976).

Film locations can be divided into the following districts:

Jerusalem District

The ancient city of Jerusalem is known for its important Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious sites. Both Israel and Palestine claim Jerusalem as their capital. Jerusalem locations of note include the following:

• The Dome of the Rock, next to the Al-Aqsa Mosque within the Temple Mount complex, is one of Islam’s most holiest sites.
• Western Wall (Wailing Wall) is the most religious site in the world for the Jewish people.
• Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the site of the tomb of Jesus.
• Via Dolorosa is the path that Jesus took to his crucifixion.
• Gethsemane where Jesus underwent the agony in the garden.
• Mount of Olives where Jesus ascended to heaven, is also an ancient Jewish cemetery.
• Pool of Bethesda site where Jesus performed healing miracles.
• The Cenacle is the site of the Last Supper.
• Mount Zion was the City of David, then the Temple Mount, and now the name of ancient Jerusalem’s Western Hill.
• Tower of David is an ancient citadel.
• King David’s Tomb is the burial place of biblical King David of Israel.
• Abbey of the Dormition is a Benedictine church.
• Jerusalem city gates include the Zion, Dung, Golden, Lion, Herrod, Damascus, New, and Jaffa gates.
• Great Synagogue of Jerusalem.
• National Library of Israel designed by Moshe Safdie.
• Israel Museum is one of the world’s leading encyclopedic museums.
• Bible Lands Museum is an archaeological museum.
• Yad Vashem is a Holocaust memorial designed by Moshe Safdie.
• Mount Herzl cemetery is Israel’s national cemetery.
• Mahane Yehuda Market is a popular marketplace in Jerusalem.
• Chords Bridge was designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Outside of the city you can find Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve, and Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park.

The Israeli West Bank barrier is a separation barrier in the West Bank. Sections of the wall have interesting graffiti art.

Northern District

The rarely-visited Golan Heights are known for their natural beauty.

Nazareth is the biblical birthplace of Jesus. The Basilica of the Annunciation sits at the centre of the city.

The Mount of Beatitudes is a hill in the Korazim Plateau. It is where Jesus is believed to have delivered the Sermon on the Mount.

The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish is a Roman Catholic church located in Tabgha.

The Sea of Galilee is a freshwater lake and biblical site where Jesus performed miracles.

Yardenit is a baptism site located along the Jordan River.

Mount Arbel, Mount Tabor, and Mount Meron are historically important mountains.

The Church of the Transfiguration is a Franciscan church located on top of Mount Tabor.

The Jesus Trail is a 65 km (40 mi) pilgrimage route in the Galilee region.

Crusader castle ruins of note include Montfort Castle, and Belvoir Castle.

Mampsis is a Nabataean city ruin.

Gan HaShlosha National Park has year-round warm spring water pools.

Hamat Tverya National Park is known for its natural hotsprings.

Achziv National Park is also located in this district.

Keshet Cave is a natural stone arch.

Haifa District

The northern city of Haifa is known for the garden terraces of the Baha’i Gardens, Stella Maris Monastery, Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum, Madatech, Haifa Museum of Art, Design Museum Holon, Tel Afek archaeological site, Haifa Port, Carmelit underground funicular, Dado Beach, and Carmel Mountain National Park.

The Roman ruins in Caesarea include a hippodrome, a Roman theatre, a collection of Crusader-era fortifications, a temple and an impressive aqueduct.

Acre is known for Khan al-Umdan caravanserai, and Al-Jazzar Mosque.

Beit She’arim necropolis is located in this district.

Central District

The Weizmann Institute of Science Koffler particle accelerator is a unique location.

Tel Aviv District

Israel’s largest city, Tel Aviv is known for its modern towers, Bauhaus architecture, museums, markets, and beaches. Film locations of note include the Jaffa Port, Jaffa Clock Tower, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Eretz Israel Museum, ANU Museum of the Jewish People, Grand Synagogue, Yitzhak Rabin Center designed by Moshe Safdie, The Knesset, Carmel Market, Sarona Market, Gordon Beach, Aviv Beach, and Superland amusement park.

Southern District

The Dead Sea is a salt lake famous for its buoyant water and mineral-rich mud. It is the lowest point on earth.

Eilat, located on the Red Sea, is known for its underwater photography options including Eilat’s Coral Beach Nature Reserve and Conservation area.

Masada is an ancient fortress in the Judean Desert.

Avdat is a site of a ruined Nabataean city.

Ein Gedi Reserve is an oasis nature reserve.

Makhtesh Ramon is a vast arid expanse in the Negev Desert.

Timna Valley is known for its arid landscapes and sandstone rock structures.

Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve is an arid landscape where endangered and locally extinct animals are bred, such as the Arabian oryx.

Beersheba is Israel’s Silicon Valley. Israel is a world leader in cyber security.

Gurion National Solar Energy Center is located in Midreshet Ben-Gurion.

Ashalim power station is also located in this area.

Judea and Samaria Area

See here for notes on the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Israel Film Location Permits

Israel film location permits for most locations usually take no longer than two weeks. There are some difficulties with filming near army bases but even those locations can be permitted given enough lead time. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Israel has a Mediterranean climate. Winters (November to March) are mild and rainy, with occasional snowfall in mountainous regions. Spring (April to May) has mild temperatures with plenty of sunshine. Summers (June to August) are long, hot and very dry. Fall (September to October) has milder temperatures with very little rain. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Judaism is the main religion. Israel is home to many Jewish religious movements with the largest being Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, and Reform Judaism. The country also has a minority of Muslims and Christians.

The Jewish High Holidays are celebrated in September / October. Easter and Christmas sees many visitors to Jerusalem’s Holy Land sites. Muslims observe Ramadan.

Events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:

• Birkat Kohanim at the Western Wall in Jerusalem in March or April.
• Tel Aviv White Night in June.
• Jerusalem Festival of Lights in June.
• Klezmer Festival in Safed in August.
• Midburn Festival in Negev in October.
• Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat in November.
• Christmas is Bethlehem in December.

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

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. In terms of local costs, Israel can be one of the more expensive service centres in the Middle East. That said, unlike much of the Middle East, Israel is an established production service centre. Our Tel Aviv based fixer / service producer will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. Israel offers a 25% rebate for international TV and film productions.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Israel has some talented local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Israeli crews are union. All speak English. The government offers incentives for using local crew.

Contact us if you are looking for a Tel Aviv based 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 in Israel.

Talent. Israel has both union and non-union talent. The rules are quite similar to those used in Germany and France.

Hebrew, Arabic and English are widely spoken.

Israel is made up of a great mosaic of Jewish diaspora faces, ethnicities and cultures including Ashkenazi Jews, Sephardi Jews, Mizrahi Jews, Beta Israel, Cochin Jews, Bene Israel, Karaite Jews, and many other groups. Arabs are the main minority group in Israel. All others looks are best cast abroad.

Fringes. No hidden extras. No fixed premiums apply. Our Israeli producer / fixer packages deals for local crew and talent.

Premiums. Israel works on a ten hour shoot day with a thirty minute break for breakfast and one hour break for lunch. It’s a six day week, whereby Friday is limited to daylight time only. Crew must be given eleven hours rest between each day of filming.

Israel Film Equipment

Equipment. Israel is mainly Arri based. All of the standard new HD camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally. More specialised gear can be easily brought in from nearby European rental houses. For productions looking to bring in their own gear, Israel is an ATA carnet country.

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 up to international standards. Large scale constructions are expensive to produce locally compared to somewhere like Eastern Europe. Small scale construction is highly rated.

Studios & Backlots. There are four main large sized studios, and a number of smaller sized spaces. At present no backlots exist in Israel.

Post Production. Several good post companies exist in Tel Aviv.

Visas & Work Permits

Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Crews travelling on Western passports can enter Israel visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Contact your local Israeli embassy / representative for more information.

Some Muslim countries restrict access to travellers who have Israeli stamps in their passports. Filmmakers, photographers and journalists that intend to make any future trips to these countries should ask Israeli border guards not to stamp their passports with the Israeli entry/exit stamps, instead opting for a separate entry card being stamped.

Crew with passport stamps indicating extensive travel to Muslim countries may also face extensive questioning by Israeli immigration and border officials.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. The local transport infrastructure is up to known and expected world standards. Many international airlines service flights to Tel Aviv.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Israel include:

Mamilla Hotel
Hotel Montefiore
Sea Hotel
Nina Cafe Hotel

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. On the whole, Israel is a safe place to shoot. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Tel Aviv is a fun place to shoot with great night life, very good restaurants and beautiful hotels.

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 Israel, please see below:

Hire Israel Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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