Kuwait 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 Kuwait? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Kuwait
For an introduction to shooting in Kuwait 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.
Kuwait Film Locations
Kuwait is a flat, low-lying country known for its landscape of deserts, beaches, and uninhabited islands. It is a very small country where most locations can be reached within a one hour drive from the capital.
Much of Kuwait is covered in oil industry facilities. The Burgan Field is one of the largest oil fields in the world.
Film locations can be divided into the following governorates: Ahmadi, Al-Asimah, Farwaniya, Hawalli, Jahra, and Mubarak Al-Kabeer.
Kuwait City is the capital, the largest city, and main production centre. Boasting a modern skyline film locations of interest include the Grand Mosque, Bayan Palace, Sief Palace, Al Salam Palace, Kuwait Towers, Al Hamra Tower, Liberation Tower, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre, Kuwait National Museum, Scientific Center, Souq Al-Mubarakiya, 360 Mall, and Avenues Mall. The House of Mirrors is an unusual film location. Al Shaheed Park offers impressive shots of the city skyline. The Mushroom Water Towers make for an interesting retro sci-fi location. Kuwait Entertainment City has a roller coaster. Flow House is a water park. The city also has an ice skating rink available for filming. Sulabiya is home to the world’s largest tire graveyard.
The 1990 Invasion of Kuwait and following Gulf War has several locations of interest including the Highway of Death, Al-Qurain Martyrs Museum, and Failaka Island war ruins. The retreating Iraqi army set fire to over 650 oil wells.
Kuwait Film Location Permits
A Film Permit is required to shoot in public locations. Our Kuwaiti fixer / service producer will require a project synopsis, visiting crew details, gear list, dates, locations list and all other job information to apply for the permit with relevant authorities. Allow at least 14 days to process.
Most locations are possible given time, money and the right approach. Unsanctioned photography of government buildings, military installations, and oil-related infrastructure is illegal. Penalties may include arrest, fines, confiscation of equipment, and deportation. Helicopter filming is possible. There are no private helicopter companies so we need to go through the Interior Ministry. Filming with drones is easier. Shutting down streets can be very difficult but there are some less busy areas that are easier to work with. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Kuwait’s summer (April to September) is extremely hot and dry. The shamal, a northwesterly wind common during June and July, causes dramatic sandstorms. The winter season (November to February) is cool with some precipitation. Winter is a far better time to film in Kuwait in terms of weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
The Hala Festival takes place in February. Many of Kuwait’s holidays are based on the Islamic calendar. Many services close during Ramadan.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Kuwait.
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. Comparable to Dubai for average costs. Kuwait has some key crew, equipment and talent options but most visiting productions will need to bring in additional support which will add to the cost of shooting. In any case, our Kuwaiti fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or feature films shooting in Kuwait.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Kuwait has a very small pool of locally based directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Kuwait has a small pool of crew available locally (such as a cameraman, sound operator, etc). Most key crew (such as experienced gaffers and grips) need to be brought in from abroad. Dubai and Beirut are the closest major production centres.
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 Kuwait.
Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Kuwaitis and other Arabs are the main ethnic group. There is also a large number of South Asian people, and small minority of Caucasian and African looking talent. Kuwait is one of the more liberal countries in the region, allowing for more Arabic female talent options than one would find in more conservative countries such as Saudi Arabia or Qatar. All the same, best to ask permission first before taking photographs of people. Given that Kuwait is not a major film production centre, the professional talent pool is limited, so casting abroad may be required.
Kuwait Film Equipment
Equipment. Some basic camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally. Can find up to 12K lights, dolly tracks, cranes, Alexas, etc. In most cases it’s best to bring in your own equipment from abroad. Kuwait is not an ATA carnet country. Our fixer / producer can organise gear importation.
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 is very basic beyond local looks.
Studios and backlots. None exist at present.
Post Production. Post abroad.
Visas & Work Permits
Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Visas are required to enter Kuwait. Western passport holders can obtain entry visas on arrival or apply online prior to travel using the e-Visa system. Visas are valid for up to 3 months. Contact your local Kuwaiti embassy or representative for more information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Roads are up to international standards. Our Kuwaiti fixer / producer organises safe and reliable 4WD transport for desert driving. Several international airlines service flights to Kuwait City.
Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Kuwait City include:
Please contact us for special rates. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Visit Souq Al-Mubarakiya, the country’s oldest market.
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 Kuwait, please see below:
Hire Kuwait Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Kuwait, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Kuwait, 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.