Maldives 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 the Maldives? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in the Maldives
For an introduction to shooting in the Maldives 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.
Maldives Film Locations
The Maldives consist of approximately 1,196 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls. Located south-west of India, the islands are spread over an area of 90,000 sq kms (35,000 sq miles) of the Indian Ocean. The highest point is only 2.4 metres above sea level, making it the world’s lowest-lying country.
The Maldives are famed for their paradise island locations of tranquil turquoise waters, white sand beaches, coral reefs, surf breaks, luxury resorts, over-the-water bungalows, and wild tropical greenery. Most of the islands are privately owned or are resorts. Beyond the luxury locations, the Maldives are also a popular location with underwater filmmakers, as well as photographers of birdlife.
Agricultural film locations includes small plantations of coconuts, bananas, breadfruit, papayas, and mangoes. Traditional Dhoni fishing boats are available for filming. Tourism is the economic mainstay.
Films shot in the Maldives include Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Kon-Tiki (2012), and The Fall (2006).
Malé is the capital and main entry point by air. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Malé is known for its mosques and colourful buildings. Film locations of note include the Friday Mosque, National Museum, Republic Square, Mulee’aage, Tsunami Monument, Sinamalé Bridge, and Malé fish market. Most productions only transit through Malé on their way to the luxury resorts and paradise island locations the Maldives are famous for.
Some noteworthy paradise islands and atolls include Alimatha, Amilla Fushi, Anbaraa, Baa, Baros, Bathala, Biyadhoo, Bodu Mora, Cocoa, Dhigu, Fihalhohi, Finolhu Kanifushi, Fulhadhoo, Gan, Hadahaa, Halaveli, Hulhumale, Kanifushi, Kihaad, Kihavah Huravalhi, Komandoo, Kuramathi, Laamu, Landaa Giraavaru, Lankanfushi, Maafushi, Meeru, Mirihi, Nalaguraidhoo, Omadhoo, Reethi Rah, Sun, Thulusdhoo, Ukulhas, Vaadhoo, Vabbinfaru, Veligandu, Villingili, to name only a few.
Gan on Laamu Atoll featured in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016).
Not all locations are picture-perfect. The island of Thilafushi has a large garbage dump.
Maldives Film Location Permits
Visiting productions are required to have a National Centre for the Arts Film Permit to film on the islands. The process involves the following: Send your information to the local service company including your company details, passports information pages of arriving crew, shoot dates, type of shoot, locations you will film. Our local producer will submit the application on your behalf. The permit takes about 7 days to process. You need to have the permit on you during shooting in case you’re stopped by local authorities.
Permission to film on any privately owned locations, like luxury resorts, needs to be arranged directly with those locations. Our local producer has connections should you need any special access.
Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
The temperature of the Maldives is hot throughout the year and although the humidity is relatively high, the constant sea breezes help to keep the air moving. December to April is the dry season. This is the best time to shoot for sunny weather. The rainy season runs between April and October, when strong winds can also be expected. November and April offer the best water visibility for underwater filming. June to August is the best time to film surfing. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
The Maldives is a Muslim country. Ramadan is observed so some services are closed during this period.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in the Maldives.
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. Overall the Maldives are quite an expensive place to shoot. The luxury resorts the country is famous for are pricey, particularly during the busy dry season when hotels are often sold out. Islands are spread out over vast distances so local travel can be expensive. The Maldives have no local agriculture so most food needs to be imported and is expensive as a result. Since only a small local film infrastructure exists most visiting productions bring in their own crew, equipment, and talent which adds considerably to travel costs. In any case, whatever your project requires, our Maldivian fixer will work to negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. Although there are no specific tax incentives for filming in the Maldives, the tourism ministry is open to assisting visiting productions in cash or kind. Assistance is decided on a case by case basis.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. The Maldives have a very small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Key crew is best brought in from abroad. India and Sri Lanka are the closest larger film production service 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 the Maldives.
Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Day rates are reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis. Local model and casting agencies exist but the local talent community is small, so it’s best to cast foreign looks abroad. The largest ethnic group are the Dhivehis, an Indo-Aryan people. Dhivehi is the official language. English is widely spoken.
Maldives Film Equipment
Equipment. Some local gear exists including RED cameras, SONY FS7, SONY A7III, Canon 5D MARKIV, DJI MAVIC 2 PRO, and a range of lighting and grip equipment. Underwater cameras and housing are best brought in from abroad. Most visiting crews choose to bring in their own equipment like cameras and lenses, and hire larger local equipment like larger lights. If you need additional gear quickly, Sri Lanka and India are popular places to source that.
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 limited to locally available looks such as such luxury room interiors, hammocks, and watercraft. Best to bring in all other props and wardrobe from abroad.
Studios and Backlots don’t exist. Productions visit for the locations.
Post Production. Basic post production available. Visiting productions mostly post back at home.
Visas & Work Permits
Visiting crews from all nations can get tourist visas on arrival for stays of up to 30 days. You can usually arrive on a tourist visa, but it’s probably better to apply for business visas as that’s technically the government requirement for a National Centre for the Arts Film Permit, which you will need to film on the islands.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. The Maldives have 4 international airports with Malé’s Velana International Airport being the main entry point by air. Given that the Maldives span a vast ocean area, boat and plane are the best options to travel between islands. The country doesn’t have helicopters but it does have one of the world’s largest seaplane fleets. For shorter distances speedboats are a popular choice. Roads in Malé and on the airport island are well-maintained, as are roads at the resorts. Beyond that there are few or no roads on the hundreds of smaller islands.
Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in the Maldives include:
For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. The Maldives is a safe place to shoot. See here for up to date travel advice.
Respect. The Maldives are a Muslim country. Alcohol can be consumed in resorts but it is not sold or permitted to be consumed outside of resort areas. If you plan to also film on local islands, it’s possible to shoot bikini wear, but once you’re in more populated areas, more modest attire is recommended.
Down Time. Splash out on a luxury getaway.
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 the Maldives, please see below:
Hire Maldives Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in the Maldives, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in the Maldives, 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.