Mali 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 Mali? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Mali
For an introduction to shooting in Mali 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.
Mali Film Locations
Mali is a landlocked country located in West Africa. The north of the country lies in the southern Sahara desert. The south is the subtropical and savannah zone.
A land that is steeped in rich traditions and culture, Mali is best known for its medieval mosques and tombs made of mud, straw, and wood.
Mali’s agricultural film locations mostly lie along the banks of the Niger River and the Inner Niger Delta where you can find small-scale traditional farming of rice, cotton, and sorghum. Nomadic herding of cattle, sheep, and goats is a common scene. In terms of industrial locations gold is mined in the south and salt is mined in the north.
Samsara (2011) filmed in Djenné.
Film locations can be divided into the following regions: Kayes, Koulikoro, Bamako, Sikasso, Ségou, Mopti, Tombouctou, Gao, Kidal, Taoudénit, and Ménaka.
Bamako is the capital and largest city in Mali. Parc national du Mali. Bamako City Centre Market. Sacred Heart Cathedral.
The fabled Timbuktu and its medieval mosques and tombs. Djingareyber Mosque is a holy structure and learning centre made of mud, straw, and wood. The location was built in 1327 and is still in operation today as one of the three mosques that make up the University of Timbuktu. Sankoré Madrasah is believed to be established by Mansa Musa.
Film locations of interest include the Great Mosque of Djenné, and colourful Mopti market.
Bandiagara is known for its Dogon village of ancient mud huts built into a cliff.
Tomb of Askia in the city of Gao, the town of Ségou, Boucle du Baoulé National Park, and the Niger River. The Bamako-Dakar railroad offers an interesting train journey through the Mali countryside.
Taoudenni is a salt mine located in the far north of the country.
Mali Film Location Permits
Most locations are possible given time, money and the right approach. Note, unauthorised photography of public locations such as government buildings or transportation infrastructure may lead to penalties including fines, imprisonment and confiscation of footage and film equipment. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
The rainy season runs between May and November, diminishing the farther north you go. During this time, flooding of the Niger River is common. November to February is a cooler period and best time to film for weather. This is followed by extremely hot, dry weather from February to June. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:
• The Budapest-Bamako car race takes place in January / February with the terminus city changing to another West African city depending on the security situation in Mali.
• Festival on the Niger in Ségou in February.
• Desert Festival in Timbuktu in February.
• Dogon Mask Festival in April.
• Plastering the Great Mosque. Sometime between April and May, the people of Djenné gather to apply fresh mud on the Great Mosque.
• Antogo Fishing Frenzy, in Koro, takes place around May.
Ramadan is widely observed with most services closed during this period.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Mali.
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. 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 Malian fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
The West African CFA franc (XOF) is the official currency.
Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in Mali.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Mali has a very small local pool of 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 Mali.
Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiated on a personal basis. French is the official language. Mali is made up of a diversity of Sub-Saharan ethnic groups including the Bambara, Fulani, Sarakole, Senufo, Malinke, Dogon, Songhai, and Bobo people. The Tuaregs and Moors are nomadic ethnic groups living in the north. All other talent is best cast abroad.
Mali Film Equipment
Equipment. Bring in all camera, grip and lighting equipment from abroad.
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
Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Crews travelling on Western passports are required visas to enter Mali. Visitors are required to show proof of immunization against yellow fever. US passport holders see here for more information. Contact your local Malian embassy or representative for more information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Mali has paved roads leading from Bamako to most major cities in the south and east. Road conditions range from fair to very bad with some roads becoming impassable during the rainy season. Avoid road travel by night. Our local Malian film fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Several international airlines service flights to Mali.
Accommodation. Film friendly hotels in Bamako:
Please contact us for corporate rates.
For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Visit the fabled city of Timbuktu.
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 Mali, please see below:
Hire Mali Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Mali, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Mali, 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.