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Lebanon

Lebanon 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 Lebanon? 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 Lebanon? See below for an introduction to Lebanon 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.

Lebanon Film Locations

Lebanon offers a blend of Middle Eastern, European and ancient architecture, white sand beaches and coastal looks, snowy mountains, luscious fields and farms, wild greenery, olive groves, cedar forests, vineyards, and waterfalls. All of Lebanon’s locations can be reached within a 2 hour drive of Beirut.

Locations in Lebanon were shot for the films Spy Game, Capernaum, Caramel, and The Insult.

Film locations can be divided into five main regions:

Beirut

The capital Beirut is a beautiful and vibrant city known for its nightlife, souks, mosques, beaches, and restored Art Deco architecture. Beirut is the main film production centre where crew and equipment are based. Locations of note include the Grand Serail (Prime Minister headquarters), National Museum of Beirut, and Raouche Rocks. Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque and St. George Maronite Cathedral are located next to each other. As well as old-world architecture, Beirut also has modern buildings such as the impressive Beirut Terraces. Hamra is Beirut’s trendy cultural centre. Souk El Tayeb is known for its traditional Lebanese cuisine. An unusual structure, Al Ba’sa (The Grudge) is Beirut’s thinnest building. The Holiday Inn Beirut is a ruined hotel and symbol of the Lebanese Civil War. The Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon overlooks Beirut.

Mount Lebanon

Film locations of note include the Hope for Peace Monument in Yarze, Beiteddine Palace, Byblos Castle built by the Crusaders, Jeita Grotto, and Chouwen Lake. Mzaar Kfardebian is the largest ski resort in the Middle East. This region of Lebanon is predominately Christian.

Beqaa

The Beqaa Valley is Lebanon’s fertile farming region. Crops of note include wheat, corn, cotton, vegetables, wines, and hashish. Baalbeck is an ancient Phoenician city known for its Roman ruins including the Temple of Bacchus and Temple of Jupiter.

North Lebanon

Cedars of God is one of the last forests of rare Lebanon cedar trees. Kadisha Valley is a dramatic river gorge with ancient rock-cut churches & monasteries. Baatara Gorge Waterfall is another impressive film location. Tripoli is known for the Mansouri Great Mosque, Taynal Mosque, and the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles built by the Crusaders.

South Lebanon

Tyre is an ancient Phoenician city known for its Roman ruins including the Hippodrome, and Necropolis. The Sidon Sea Castle was built by the Crusaders. Southern Lebanon is known for its large Shi’a Muslim population. The Hezbollah Museum of Resistance can be found in this part of the country.

Lebanon Film Location Permits

Lebanon is one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East. Whether you are looking to film bikinis or burkhas just about everything is possible in Lebanon.

Permits are generally a quick and easy process. B-roll shoots around Beirut require permits from the army and government. These permits generally take about a week to get. More complicated shoots involving traffic control or large setups require more time and consultation with the police. Shoots involving drones require at least two weeks to permit. Journalists heading to film in Beirut’s southern suburbs will need permission from Hezbollah’s media office and an accompanying escort. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Lebanon’s summers (June to September) are hot and dry. Winters (December to March) are cold and wet with snowfall common in mountain areas. Spring (April / May) through to fall (October / November) are the best months to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Lebanon hosts many cultural and music events throughout the summer months. Ramadan is observed although unlike much of the Middle East during this time, Lebanon remains open for business.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Lebanon has one of the least expensive shoot day costs in the Middle East. Our Lebanese 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 films or commercials shooting in Lebanon.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. The pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers is small. Lebanon has some good local performance directors and a good depth of experienced key crew. Departments often cross over. All key and supporting crews speak good English, French and Arabic. Crews are non-union. Lebanon’s close proximity to Dubai and major European production centres allows easy access to those crews should you need to look further.

Contact us if you are looking for a Beirut 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 for your shoot in Lebanon.

Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Lebanon offers a diverse cross section of Middle Eastern looking talent with some blonde, Asian, East Indian and African minorities also available, although mainly for background roles. All other talent looks are best cast abroad. Lebanon’s relatively close proximity to major European production centres and Dubai allows easy access to those pools of talent should you ever need to look further.

Lebanon Film Equipment

Most camera, grip and lighting equipment is available including Technocrane and speed cameras. Check out Gamma Engineering and Phoenix Eye for rentals. Some mounts and other specialised equipment need to be brought in from Dubai or Europe. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Lebanon is an ATA carnet country.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is some of the best in the Middle East.

Studios. The best facilities are Studio Vision and Platform Studios. Facilities are often booked up by regional TV programmes.

Backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. Some good colorists and sound designers available locally but visiting productions generally post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Most nationalities can obtain visas on arrival allowing stays for a period of up to 1 month. Note, crew members holding passports that contain visas or entry/exit stamps for Israel will likely be refused entry into Lebanon. Visiting crews are not required to have work permits.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Lebanon’s extensive road network is mostly in a good condition. Lebanon is a small country so most locations are a short drive away. Beirut is well serviced by several international airlines.

Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Beirut and other parts of Lebanon. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Hanna Mitri is said to have the world’s best ice cream.

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 Lebanon, please see below:

Hire Lebanon Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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