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Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Kyrgyzstan? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Kyrgyzstan? See below for an introduction to Kyrgyzstan locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Kyrgyzstan Film Locations

An under-explored film destination, Kyrgyzstan is a beautiful landlocked country known for its mountainous landscapes, glaciers, lakes, pine forests, open plains, and ancient nomadic cultures.

Kyrgyzstan offers locations that easily double for Switzerland, Scotland, Kashmir, and the Middle East.

Films hosted include Finding Mother and Heavenly Nomadic.

Bishkek is the capital, the largest city, and the main production service centre where crew and equipment are based. Known for its leafy parks and wide boulevards the city also has a rich history of Soviet-era buildings including the Bishkek Circus, Wedding Palace, National Library, Opera and Ballet Theatre, State History Museum, and the White House. Osh Bazaar is an interesting market location in Bishkek.

Kyrgyzstan is famous for its spectacular mountain locations including the The Tien Shan and Pamir mountain ranges. Mountain lakes of note include Lake Issyk Kul (the second largest mountain lake in the world), Lake Song Kul (one of the highest mountain lakes in the world), and Lake Tuz-Kol (one of the highest salt content lakes in the world). Other beautiful film locations to consider include Alamedin Gorge, Ala Archa Canyon, Karakol Valley, Jeti-Ögüz, Sary-Chelek Nature Reserve, Kyzyl-Oi, and Tash Rabat Silk Road caravanserai.

Kyrgyzstan Film Location Permits

Kyrgyzstan is relatively relaxed when it comes to film location permits with most locations only taking a couple of days to permit. Larger-footprint shoots and requests to film in sensitive government locations require more lead time to permit. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Kyrgyzstan’s climate varies by region. Tien Shan has a dry to polar climate. The Fergana Valley is subtropical with very hot summers. The northern foothills are temperate. Most of the country receives little rainfall with winters experiencing very cold conditions and heavy snowfalls. Kyrgyzstan’s short summer from May through to September is the best time to shoot for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Kyrgyz festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:

• Navroz Spring Festival in April.
• National Horse Festival in July. Ulak tariysh is the Kyrgyz national game involving two teams of 6 riders and one beheaded sheep carcass.
• Birds of Prey Festival in August showcases the traditional nomadic art of falconry with Golden Eagles and falcons.
• Kyrgyz Kochu Festival in August.

Ramadan is observed with some services closed during this period.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Local costs such as crew, equipment, talent, meals, and accommodations are inexpensive. Since local equipment options are limited and most key crew do not speak English, most visiting productions will bring in their own equipment and key crew, which will add to those travel costs. Our Kyrgyz fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. Visiting feature films, documentaries, television series and commercials can receive a 20% cash rebate Kyrgyzstan. For more information see here.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Kyrgyzstan has a small pool of directors, videographers and stills photographers. Most key crew beyond the production team do not speak English.

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 Kyrgyzstan.

Talent. Kyrgyzstan’s largest ethnic group are the Kyrgyz, a historically semi-nomadic people. Other ethnic groups include Russians and Uzbeks. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad. English speaking talent options are limited. Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable on the personal level.

Kyrgyzstan Film Equipment

Some standard camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally. Most visiting productions bring in their own camera equipment. Kyrgyzstan customs authorities are relatively relaxed about visiting crews bringing in their own gear.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is basic.

Studios and backlots. Basic studio facilities exist. Warehouses and industrial spaces can be converted into studios if needed.

Post Production. Some basic local facilities exist. More complex post and VFX work is best done abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Projects reporting on sensitive subjects may require a journalist visa. Visiting crews travelling on Western passports that are coming to film commercial projects can enter visa-free for stays of up to 60 days.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Many roads are mountainous and in a poor condition making land travel slow going. Winters receive heavy snowfalls which limits travel options during those months, particularly on mountain roads. Our Kyrgyz fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Several international airlines service flights to the capital Bishkek.

Accommodation. Bishkek has several good options for visiting crew. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Outside of Bishkek yurt accommodations are popular with intrepid productions.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Experience nomadic culture such as staying in a yurt, horseback riding across the plains, watching falconry or a game of Ulak tariysh. Beshbarmak (horse meat noddles) is a traditional dish.

Projects. For an example of brand narrative, online content, TV commercials, stills campaigns, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Kyrgyzstan, please see below:

Hire Kyrgyzstan Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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