Madagascar 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 Madagascar? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Madagascar
For an introduction to shooting in Madagascar 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.
Madagascar Film Locations
Rich in bio-diversity, Madagascar is home to 5% of the world’s plant and animal species including the iconic Baobab tree and several species of chameleon and lemur such as indri and sifaka lemurs. Madagascar is a natural wonderland for filmmakers and photographers offering national parks, tropical rainforests, tropical dry forests, thorn forests, deserts, xeric shrublands, white sand beaches, tropical islands, coral reefs, volcanic regions, mountains, and limestone formations.
Agricultural film locations include plantations of rice, sugarcane, corn, coconuts, mangos, pineapples, bananas, coffee, cacao, cloves, cashews, and vanilla. Madagascan factories produce textiles and apparel. The country mines chromium, cobalt, ilmenite, nickel, gold, and precious gems.
Madagascar has hosted productions such as Naked and Afraid (2014), Island of Lemurs: Madagascar (2014), and Life (2009).
Film locations can be divided by the following provinces:
The centrally located province of Antananarivo includes the regions of Analamanga, Bongolava, Itasy, and Vakinankaratra.
Known locally as Tana, Antananarivo is the capital and largest city. Film locations of note include the ruins of the Rova Palace Complex, Ambohimanga traditional fortified royal settlement, Andafiavaratra Palace, Ambohitsorohitra Palace, Analakely Market, and the French colonial architecture of the old Haute-Ville district.
The northern province of Antsiranana includes the regions of Diana and Sava.
Tsingy de Ankarana. Masoala National Park. Amber Mountain National Park.
The paradise islands of and Nosy Be and Nosy Tanikely.
Toamasina is the nation’s main container port.
The southeastern province of Fianarantsoa includes the regions of Atsimo-Atsinanana, Amoron’i Mania, Ihorombe, Haute Matsiatra, and Vatovavy-Fitovinany.
Ranomafana National Park, Midongy Du Sud, Isalo National Park, and Andringitra National Park. Kirindy Mitea National Park.
Sapphire Mines of Ilakaka.
The northwestern province of Mahajanga includes the regions of Betsiboka, Boeny, Melaky and Sofia.
Tsingy de Bemaraha.
Ankarafantsika National Park.
The eastern province of Toamasina includes the regions of Alaotra-Mangoro, Analanjirofo and Atsinanana.
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.
The paradise island of Ile Sainte Marie is home to a pirate cemetery.
The southern province of Toliara includes the regions of Androy, Atsimo-Andrefana, Anosy, and Menabe.
The Avenue of the Baobabs in an iconic location of centuries old baobab trees lining both sides of a dirt road.
Ifaty fishing villages.
Madagascar Film Location Permits
A National Film Permit is required to film in Madagascar. It’s quite expensive but required to film in the country and to clear gear through customs. We highly advise you hire a fixer to lodge the application from within the country. Once all the documentation is submitted, you can even get the permit processed same day. Filming in national parks requires additional fees. Larger shoots requiring exclusive use of property can be quickly set up. In that respect, Madagascar has very little bureaucracy. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Madagascar has two seasons. November to April is hot, rainy and subject to cyclones. May to October is cool and dry. In terms of best time to film, the rainy season is better for animal activity but the dry season is better for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Madagascar is a majority Christian nation so those holidays are widely observed. The practise of Famadihana can be seen in the highlands throughout the year.
Madagascar has vibrant festivals throughout the year including:
• Santabari Festival in April / May.
• Fisemana Festival in June.
• Famadihana from June – September.
• Donia Music Festival on Nosy Be Island in September.
Costs & Tax Incentives
Costs. 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 Malagasy fixer / service producer 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 Madagascar.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Madagascar 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 Madagascar.
Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable.
Malagasy and French are the official languages.
Malagasy are a mix of Malayo-Indonesian, African and Arab ancestry. The largest ethnic groups include the Merina, Betsimisaraka, Betsileo, Tsimihety, Sakalava, and Antaisaka. There are also minorities of French, Indian, Creole, Comorian, Chinese people. All other talent looks are best cast abroad.
Madagascar Film Equipment
Equipment. Some very basic camera, grip and lighting gear is available locally. We advise you bring in your preferred equipment from abroad. A National Film Permit is required to bring gear in on a carnet.
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.
Studios and backlots. None exist at present.
Post Production. Post abroad.
Visas & Work Permits
All visitors to Madagascar are required to have a visa. Visiting film crews are required to have authorisation from the Madagascan Ministry of Information, Culture and Communication. Entry visas can be obtained on arrival but to save time on arrival, you can also obtain a visa prior to departure from your closest Malagasy embassy. US passport holders see here for more information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Several international airlines service flights to Madagascar. Considering the large size of the island and poor state of most roads, taking a local flight can save quite a lot of time. Our Malagasy fixer also organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation.
Accommodation. Film friendly hotels in Madagascar:
Please contact us for corporate rates.
For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.
Final Notes. Respect local traditions. Known as fady, Madagascar has a wide range of cultural taboos which vary by region.
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 Madagascar, please see below:
Hire Madagascar Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Madagascar, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Madagascar, 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.