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Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea 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 Papua New Guinea? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Papua New Guinea

For an introduction to shooting in Papua New Guinea 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.

Papua New Guinea Film Locations 

Papua New Guinea is a country in the South Pacific located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea that also includes numerous other offshore islands. The country is one of the world’s least explored, both culturally and geographically. Location wise, Papua New Guinea is known for its mountainous terrain, dense rainforests, islands, wetlands, rivers, beaches, coral reefs and active volcanoes. The mountain area is one of the world’s few equatorial locations that experience snowfall. The region of Madang is known for its world class diving and flights of bats in the evening. Papua New Guinea has several WWII historic sites including the Kokoda Track. Bougainville Island is an autonomous region. Port Moresby is the capital and international entry point into Papua New Guinea.

Highlands Region:

Provinces include Chimbu (Simbu), Eastern Highlands, Enga, Hela, Jiwaka, Southern Highlands, and Western Highlands.

Islands Region:

Provinces include Bougainville (North Solomons), East New Britain, Manus, New Ireland, and West New Britain.

Momase Region:

Provinces include East Sepik, Madang, Morobe, and Sandaun (West Sepik).

Southern Region:

Provinces include Central, Gulf, Milne Bay, Oro (Northern), and Western (Fly River).

Papua New Guinea has hosted productions such as Human, Mr. Pip, and Robinson Crusoe.

Papua New Guinea Film Location Permits

Locations in Papua New Guinea are nearly all privately owned. Most locations are possible given time, money and the right approach. To ensure a smooth shoot, trust must be established with the local elders and community. This can involve a lengthy process of community consultation, permission from and donations to local chiefs and the community as a whole. Allow plenty of lead time. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Papua New Guinea’s equatorial location means long shoot days all year round. Highland areas have cooler temperatures than coastal areas such as Port Moresby. The rainy season runs from December to March. The dry season runs from June through to September. This is the best time to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Highland tribes gather for colourful local rituals called Sing Sings. Festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:

• Mount Hagen Show in July.
• Tumbuan Mask Festival in July.
• Crocodile Festival in August.
• Enga Cultural Show in August.
• Goroka Show in September.
• Hiri Moale Festival in September.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Papua New Guinea.

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. Location fees, supporting crew and talent costs are reasonable, especially if you have done the important ground work of setting up local community relationships. That said, given the expeditionary nature of most shoots and the lack of local film infrastructure, Papua New Guinea can be an expensive place to shoot. All crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. Travelling outside of Port Moresby requires everything to be brought from the city including generators for electricity, food and sometimes even accommodation. In-country travel by 4WD, plane or boat is unpredictable. Excess baggage fees on domestic flights are especially expensive. Port Moresby hotels are very expensive. Additional safety precautions may add to costs. The local currency is also set high against major world currencies, so there are no exchange rate savings available either. Imported goods are expensive. In any case, our Papua New Guinean fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. There are no tax incentives for feature films or commercials shooting in Papua New Guinea.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Papua New Guinea has a very small pool of local directors, videographers and stills photographers. All other crew also need to be brought in from abroad. Australia and Singapore offer the closest pools of professional technical and creative film crews.

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 Papua New Guinea.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Day rates are very reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis.

Papua New Guinea is one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries. Despite a population of only 6 million it has around a thousand cultural groups speaking a reported 841 indigenous languages. Papua New Guinea is very rural with many people living off subsistence level farming. Only 18 per cent of its people live in urban centres.

If required, non-Melanesian looks need to be cast abroad.

Papua New Guinea Film Equipment

Equipment. Best to bring in camera, grip and lighting equipment.

Communications. Internet can be slow and unreliable.

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 basic and restricted to local looks only.

Studios and Backlots don’t exist.

Post Production. None available locally.

Visas & Work Permits

Western passport holders can obtain visas on arrival. US passport holders see here for more information. Contact your local Papua New Guinean embassy / representative for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Transport in Papua New Guinea is heavily limited by the country’s mountainous terrain and dense rainforest. Off-road vehicles are essential to reach most locations close to Port Moresby. Pirogue boats are the best way to travel by river. Port Moresby is not linked by road to any of the other major towns so many remote villages can only be reached by light aircraft. Travel times vary greatly depending on weather and safety conditions. Several international airlines service flights to Port Moresby.

Accommodation. Film friendly hotels in Port Moresby include:

Airways Hotel
Loloata Island Resort

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. For those looking to stay with local communities our Papua New Guinean fixer also organises hosted accommodation.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice. Armed guards, police escorts and travelling only during daylight is recommended, especially in Port Moresby and mountain areas.

Down Time.

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 Papua New Guinea, please see below:

Hire Papua New Guinea Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Papua New Guinea, 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.