Russia 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 Russia? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Russia
For an introduction to shooting in Russia 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.
Russia Film Locations
Russia is rich in history and massive in scale. Spanning 10 time zones, it is by far the world’s largest country. Russia offers a wealth of locations ranging from unique imperial splendour to vast frozen wilderness, from Soviet Era apartment blocks to shiny modern architecture. The Trans-Siberian Railroad starts in Moscow and ends in the eastern city of Vladivostok, a journey that covers 9,258km (6,152 miles).
Agricultural film locations include wheat, barley and rye fields, which are located in the warmer, southern regions of the country. Russian caviar products from the Caspian Sea and Black Sea are famous. Industrial film locations include oil and gas facilities, diamond mines, gold mines, lumber yards, steel mills, and vast factory complexes that produce everything from vehicles to armaments. Energy locations include coal-fired power plants, nuclear plants, hydroelectric dams, as well as wind and solar energy facilities.
Russia has hosted productions such as Sputnik (2020), The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead (2018), War and Peace (2016), Snowden (2016), Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), Salt (2010), Get Smart (2008), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), Downfall (2004), Cast Away (2000), Blade (1998), and GoldenEye (1995).
Russian film locations can be divided into the following federal districts:
This Central Western district located includes the federal subjects of Belgorod Oblast, Bryansk Oblast, Vladimir Oblast, Voronezh Oblast, Ivanovo Oblast, Kaluga Oblast, Kostroma Oblast, Kursk Oblast, Lipetsk Oblast, Moscow, Moscow Oblast, Oryol Oblast, Ryazan Oblast, Smolensk Oblast, Tambov Oblast, Tver Oblast, Tula Oblast, and Yaroslavl Oblast.
Moscow. Moscow is Russia’s capital, largest city, and main film production centre. The city is home to Red Square, The Kremlin, hundreds of museums, theatres, churches, parks, and sporting venues, as well as Soviet-era locations.
Red Square is known for Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin Mausoleum, State Historical Museum, Resurrection Gate, Kazan Cathedral, Middle Trade Rows, and GUM department store. Snowden (2016), Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), Get Smart (2008), Cast Away (2000), and Air Force One (1997) filmed Red Square.
The Moscow Kremlin is known for the Kremlin Walls and Towers, Grand Kremlin Palace, Dormition Cathedral, Cathedral of the Archangel, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Terem Palace, Poteshny Palace, Senate Building, State Kremlin Palace, Faceted Chamber, Kremlin Armoury, and Kremlin Arsenal.
Other religious locations of note include Novodevichy Convent, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Church of the Ascension, Andronikov Monastery, Donskoy Monastery, Krutitsy Metochion, and Moscow Cathedral Mosque.
Theatres of note include the Bolshoi Theatre, Theatre of Nations, Maly Theater, Moscow Cats Theatre, Moscow International House of Music, and Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.
Museums of note include State Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, State Darwin Museum, Polytechnic Museum, Central Armed Forces Museum, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russian Impressionism Museum, Moscow Design Museum, State Museum of Oriental Art, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Bakhrushin Theater Museum, Shchusev State Museum of Architecture, GULAG history museum, Bunker-42 Cold War Museum, Museum of Soviet Arcade Games, Museum of the Moscow Railway, Mosfilm Museum, Children are the Victims of Adult Vices sculptures, Worker and Kolkhoz Woman sculpture, and Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics.
Palaces of note include Tsaritsyno Palace, Kuskovo Summer Palace, and Kolomenskoye.
Parks of note include Gorky Park, Alexander Garden, Sokolniki Park, Botanical Gardens, VDNH Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy, and Zaryadye Park which has a floating bridge, concert hall, and amphitheatre.
Soviet-era locations of note include Moscow State University campus, Red Gates Stalinist skyscraper, Hotel Ukraina, Russian Academy of Sciences building, House of Atomists building, Bunker 703, Ostankino TV Tower, Soviet-era metro stations, Monument to the Conquerors of Space, and Monument to Yuri Gagarin. Lubyanka is the the former KGB headquarters. Butyrka Prison is an infamous prison. Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry is a Soviet-era complex where Sputnik (2020) was filmed. 1980 Moscow Olympic venues of note include Luzhniki Stadium, Druzhba Multipurpose Arena, Luzhniki Small Sports Arena, Olympic Pool, Olympic Stadium, CSKA Arena, Alexander Gomelsky Universal Sports Hall CSKA, Central Dynamo Stadium, Krylatskoye Velodrome, Krylatskoye Rowing Canal, Cosmos Hotel, and Round Houses.
Other sport venues of note include Otkrytie Arena, and Lokomotiv Stadium.
Central Moscow Hippodrome is the largest horse racing track in Russia.
The Moscow International Business Centre is a modern city tower skyline.
Peter the Great Statue sits at the confluence of the Moskva River and the Vodootvodny Canal.
Izmailovo Kremlin is a fairytale-like cultural complex modeled after Old Russia.
Other Moscow locations of interest include Sanduny Baths, Pashkov House, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Pashkov House, Novodevichy Cemetery, and Tsentrosoyuz building designed by Le Corbusier.
Moscow Oblast surrounds the capital, Moscow.
Yuri A. Gagarin State Scientific Research-and-Testing Cosmonaut Training Center is located in Star City.
Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities main Mission Control Center is located in Korolyov.
Patriot Park is a military theme park located in Kubinka. The location includes military exhibits, combat training facilities, a shooting range, and the Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces.
Central Air Force Museum is an aviation museum in Monino.
Istra High Voltage Research Center, located outside the town of Istra, is a Soviet-era Marx generator with several huge Tesla coils.
Moscow Oblast has many onion-domed Orthodox locations. Trinity Lavra of St Sergius monastery, Church of Michael the Archangel and the Chernigov Skete are located in Sergiev Posad. New Jerusalem Monastery is located in Istra. Vysotsky Monastery is located in Serpukhov. Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery is located in Zvenigorod. Znamenskaya Church is located is located in Dubrovitsy. St Nicholas Cathedral is located is located in Mozhaysk. Nikolo-Berlyukovskaya Monastery is located in Avdotino. Cathedral of Michael the Archangel is located in Bronnitsy. Joseph Volokolamsk Monastery is located in Teryaevo. Nikolo-Ugreshsky Monastery is located in Dzerzhinsky. Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin is located in Zaraysk. Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is located in Kashira. Church of St John the Divine is located in Likino-Dulyovo. Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is located in Orekhovo-Zuevo. Church of St Nicholas the Wonderworker is located in Serebryanye Prudy.
Stately homes of note include Arkhangelskoye Palace, Marfino Manor, Serednikovo estate, and Bykovo Estate.
Borodino is the site of the famed Napoleonic battle.
Tchaikovsky House-Museum is located in Klin.
Abramtsevo Museum-Reserve is located in this area.
Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Biosphere Reserve is home to European bison.
Volen Ski Resort, and Sorochany Ski Resort are located in this area.
Snezh.Kom is an indoor ski complex.
Belgorod Oblast. Belgorod is known for the Diorama Battle of Kursk Museum, and Transfiguration Cathedral.
Bryansk Oblast. Bryansk is the largest city in this area.
Vladimir Oblast. Vladimir is known for the Golden Gate, Cathedral of St Demetrius, Dormition Cathedral, Nativity Monastery, St Nicetas the Martyr’s Church, Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin on the Nerl River, and Legislative Assembly of Vladimir.
Suzdal is known for the Suzdal Kremlin, Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery, and Cathedral of the Nativity of the Theotokos.
Muromtzevo Castle is an abandoned castle in Sudogda.
Voronezh Oblast. Voronezh is known for Lenin Square, Annunciation Cathedral, Voronezh State Theater of Opera, and Voronezh railway station.
Ramon Palace is located in Ramon.
Svyato-Spassky Cave Convent is located in Kostomarovo.
Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant is located near Novovoronezh.
Ivanovo Oblast. Ivanovo is known for the Museum of Industry and Art, Museum of Soviet Car Industry, Sviato-Vvedensky Monastery, and Transfiguration Cathedral.
Kaluga Oblast. Kaluga is known for Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics, Kaluga Museum of Fine Arts, and Kaluga Railway Station.
Optina Pustyn monastery is located in Kozelsk.
Convent of St Ambrose and Our Lady of Kazan is located in Shamordino.
St Paphnutius of Borovsk Monastery is located in Borovsk.
Kostroma Oblast. Kostroma is known for Ipatiev Monastery, Church of the Resurrection, Susaninskaya Ploshchad, Gostiny Dvor trading arcade, and Fura Shopping Mall which is a unique truck shaped building.
Kursk Oblast. Kursk film locations include Znamensky Monastery, and Kursk Train Station.
Kursk is the location of WWII’s largest tank battle.
Kursk Nuclear Power Plant is located near Kurchatov.
Lipetsk Oblast. Lipetsk is known for the Novolipetsk Steel Plant, Mezhdunarodnyy Aeroport Lipetsk Airport, and Lipetsk Train Station.
St Dimitrievsky Ilarionovsky Troekurovsky convent is located in Troekurovo.
Oryol Oblast. Oryol is known for Epiphany Cathedral, Ivan Turgenev Museum and Ivan Bunin Museum.
Orlovskoye Polesye National Park is home to European bison.
Ryazan Oblast. Ryazan is known for the Ryazan Kremlin, Ryazan Museum of Long-Range Aviation, Pozhalostin Museum, Memorial Museum-estate of academician I. P. Pavlov, and Summer Club Of Noble Gathering.
Smolensk Oblast. Smolensk is known for Smolensk Kremlin, Assumption Cathedral, St Michael’s Church, and Smolensk railway station.
Katyn Memorial Complex is located near Smolensk.
Griboedov manor house is located in Khmelita.
Smolenskoye Poozerye National Park is landscape of forests and lakes. It is home to a diversity of birdlife.
Smolensk Nuclear Power Plant is located in this area.
Tambov Oblast. Tambov is known for the Cathedral of the Saviour’s Transfiguration, and Kazansky Monastery.
Tver Oblast. Tver is known for the Imperial Travel Palace in Tver, and St Catherine Church on the Volga River.
Kalyazin is known for Kalyazin Bell Tower, and RT-64 radio telescope.
Nilov Monastery is situated on Stolobny Island.
Boris and Gleb Monastery is located in Torzhok.
Kazansky Female Monastery is located in Vyshny Volochyok.
Manor houses of note include Stepanovskoye-Volosovo Estate, and Znamenskoye-Rayok House.
Rzhev Memorial to the Soviet Soldier is located near Rzhev.
Kalinin Nuclear Power Station is located near the town of Udomlya.
Tula Oblast. Tula is known for Tula Kremlin, and Tula State Museum of Weapons.
Yasnaya Polyana was the home of Leo Tolstoy.
Bogoroditsk Palace is located in Bogoroditsk.
Yaroslavl Oblast. Yaroslavl is known for Dormition Cathedral, Tolga Monastery, St Alexander Nevsky’s Chapel, St John the Baptist’s Church, St Elijah the Prophet’s Church, Yaroslavl Planetarium, Znamenskaya Tower, Volkov Theater, Yaroslavl-Glavny railway station, and the Soviet-era administrative building on Sovetskaya Square.
Rostov Kremlin, and Uglich Kremlin are also located in Yaroslavl Oblast.
The Rybinsk State History, Architecture and Art Museum is located in Rybinsk.
Goritsky Monastery of Dormition is located in Pereslavl-Zalessky.
This North Western district includes the federal subjects of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Vologda Oblast, Kaliningrad Oblast, Republic of Karelia, Komi Republic, Leningrad Oblast, Murmansk Oblast, Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Novgorod Oblast, Pskov Oblast, and Saint Petersburg.
The Volga-Baltic Waterway is a 229 miles (369 km) canal, and the White Sea-Baltic Canal is a 141 miles (227 km) canal located in North Western Russia.
Saint Petersburg. St Petersburg is Russia’s old imperial capital. The city is known for its palatial locations, churches, museums, theatres, forts, Soviet-era architecture, gardens, bridges, and many canals and waterways. Downfall (2004), and GoldenEye (1995) filmed in St Petersburg.
Palace Square is known for the Winter Palace, State Hermitage Museum, Alexander Column, General Staff Building, and the Admiralty Building which is the headquarters of the Russian Navy.
Peterhof Palace includes the Grand Palace, Grand Cascade, Upper Garden, Monplaisir Palace, and Marli Palace.
Catherine Palace is known for the Amber Room.
Other palatial locations include Oranienbaum, Saint Michael’s Castle, New Michael Palace, Marble Palace, Alexander Palace, Menshikov Palace, Stroganov Palace, Yelagin Palace, National Congress Palace, Beloselsky Belozersky Palace, Anichkov Palace, Nicholas Palace, and Pavlovsk Palace.
Religious locations include the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral, Smolny Convent, Alexander Nevsky Monastery, Kronstadt Naval Cathedral, Trinity Cathedral, and St Petersburg Mosque.
Museums of note include Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology at Kunstkamera, Rasputin Museum at Yusupov Palace, Fabergé Museum in the Shuvalov Palace, Erarta Museum, Artillery Museum, Cruiser Aurora Museum, icebreaker Krassin, Central Naval Museum, State Museum of Political History, Russian Ethnographic Museum, Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Museum of Russian Vodka, Russian Railway Museum, Dostoyevsky Literary Memorial Museum, Pushkin House, and Anna Akhmatova Literary and Memorial Museum.
Theatres of note include the Mariinsky Theatre, Alexandrinsky Theatre, and Mikhailovsky Theatre.
Forts of note include Peter and Paul Fortress, Fort Alexander, and Fort Zverev ruins.
Gardens of note include the Botanical Garden, Summer Garden, Alexander Garden, Catherine Park, Tauride Garden, Mikhailovsky Garden, Pavlovsk Park, and Field of Mars.
The Smolny Institute is the residence of the governor of St Petersburg.
Eliseyev Emporium is a beautiful Art Nouveau building.
Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange is another beautiful building.
The National Library of Russia is the country’s oldest library.
Soviet-era locations include the House of the Soviets, Russian State Scientific Center for Robotics and Technical Cybernetics, brutalist high-rise apartment buildings, Finland Train Station, as well as several unique metro stations. Avtovo metro station is known for its grand columns and marble interior. Gorkovskaya metro station looks like a space ship.
Divo Ostrov, and Waterpark Piterlend are amusement parks.
Arkhangelsk Oblast. Arkhangelsk is a port city known for Cathedral of the Archangel Michael, Arkhangelsk train station, and Port of Arkhangelsk.
Solovetsky Monastery is a fortified monastery located on the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea.
Plesetsk Cosmodrome is a Russian spaceport located in Mirny.
The region is also home to Solovki former monastery and gulag.
Novaya Zemlya is a far north archipelago where the Soviets tested Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear bomb explosion in history.
Franz Josef Land is a far north archipelago of 192 islands. Nagurskoye is Russia’s northernmost airforce base.
Russian Arctic National Park includes part of the Arctic Ocean, the northern part of Novaya Zemlya, and Franz Josef Land.
Onezhskoye Pomorye National Park protects pristine forests and coastal landscapes.
Vologda Oblast. Vologda is known for its Kremlin, Saint Sophia Cathedral, and Prilutsky Monastery.
Other notable Orthodox monasteries in Vologda Oblast include Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, Kamenny Monastery, Ferapontov Monastery, and Troitse-Gledensky Monastery.
Cherepovets is an industrial town known for its steel mills, chemical plants, and Cherepovets Railway Station.
Pyatak is an island prison known for its harsh conditions and isolation.
Kaliningrad Oblast. An semi-exclave located on the Baltic coast, Kaliningrad Oblast is Russia’s most western territory.
The city of Kaliningrad is known for film locations including Amber Museum, Königsberg Cathedral, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, King’s Gate, Museum of the World Ocean, House of Soviets, Brandenburg Gate, Rossgarten Gate, Rybnaya Derevnya, Fort Friedrichsburg, Bunker Museum, Botanical Gardens, and Kaliningrad Central Park. The Baltic Fleet is headquartered in Kaliningrad.
The Dancing Forest is a pine forest on the Curonian Spit in Kaliningrad Oblast.
Schaaken Castle and Ragnit Castle are ruined castles in Kaliningrad Oblast.
Cat museum is a quirky cat-themed museum located in a restored water tower in Zelenogradsk.
Republic of Karelia. Church of the Transfiguration of Our Savior on Kizhi Island was filmed for Anna Karenina (2012).
Valaam Monastery is known for its traditional chant singing.
Vodlozersky National Park is located in this area.
Komi Republic. Vorkuta is an abandoned coal-mining town.
Manpupuner Rock Formations are unique stone pillars.
Yugyd Va National Park is a vast landscape of taiga boreal forest and tundra.
Leningrad Oblast. Gatchina is known for Great Gatchina Palace, and Priory Palace.
Bogoslovka Ethnographic Park is known for its historical wooden architecture.
Tikhvin Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God is located in the town of Tikhvin.
Oreshek Fortress is located on Orekhovy Island in Lake Ladoga.
Ivangorod Fortress is located on the Narva River across from the Estonian city of Narva.
Osinovetsky Lighthouse is located on Lake Ladoga.
Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant is located in Sosnovy Bor.
Murmansk Oblast. Murmansk is a deep water northern port city known for the Alyosha Monument, Naval Museum of the Northern Fleet, Murmansk Regional Palace of Culture and Folk Arts, Murmansk Oceanarium, Murmansk central rail station, Port of Murmansk. The Lenin icebreaker is a decommissioned Soviet-era nuclear-powered ship.
Kirovsk is known for its abandoned train station, and Bolshoy Vud Yavr Ski Resort.
Kola Nuclear Power Plant is located near Polyarnye Zori.
Nenets Autonomous Okrug. This far north federal subject is the country’s least populated.
Novgorod Oblast. Novgorod is one of Russia’s oldest cities. Film locations include the Novgorod Kremlin, Millennium of Russia Monument, Cathedral of St Sophia, Museum of Fine Arts, St George’s Monastery, St Nicholas Cathedral on Yaroslav’s Court, Khutyn Monastery, Vyazhishchi Monastery, Znamensky Cathedral, and Vitoslavlitsy Museum.
Iver Monastery is located on an island in Lake Valdayskoye.
Pskov Oblast. Pskov is known for its Kremlin, Trinity Cathedral, and Mirozhsky Monastery.
Pskov-Pechory Monastery, and Krypetsky Monastery are also located in Pskov Oblast.
This southwestern district includes the federal subjects of Republic of Adygea, Astrakhan Oblast, Republic of Kalmykia, Krasnodar Krai, Rostov Oblast, Volgograd Oblast, Republic of Crimea, and Sevastopol.
Republic of Adygea is known for its rivers, lakes, and mountains.
Maykop Cathedral Mosque is located in Maykop.
Astrakhan Oblast. The Volga River flows to the Volga Delta, and Caspian Sea.
Astrakhan is known for its Kremlin, Ascension Cathedral, White Mosque, Astrakhan State Opera Ballet theatre, and Museum of Military Glory.
Republic of Kalmykia is located on the Caspian Sea.
Kalmyks are the largest ethnic group.
Kalmykia is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is the predominant religion.
Elista is known for the Golden Abode of the Budda Shakyamuni, Geden Sheddup Choikorling Monastery, Pagoda Semi Dney, Golden Gate, and Museum of Chess Glory.
Krasnodar Krai. Sochi is a summer beach resort city located on the Black Sea. Locations of note include Stalin’s Dacha summer residence, Sochi seaport, Sochi Art Museum, Summer Theatre, Winter Theatre, Bogatyr Hotel, Rodina Grand Hotel, Metallurg Health Resort, Ordzhonikidze Health Resort, Sochi Casino, Sochi Arboretum, and Dagomys Tea Plantation. Sochi Autodrom is a motor sports race track. Sochi hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. Sochi Olympic Park venues include Fisht Olympic Stadium, Bolshoy Ice Dome, Shayba Arena, Adler Arena Skating Center, Iceberg Skating Palace, Ice Cube Curling Center, Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort, Sliding Center Sanki, Laura Biathlon & Ski Complex, RusSki Gorki Jumping Center, and the Olympic Park railway station.
Sochi National Park is Russia’s oldest national park.
Sochi Skybridge is a suspension bridge that spans 439 metres (1,440 feet).
Rostov Oblast. Rostov-on-Don is known for Rostov City Hall, Cathedral of the Nativity of the Theotokos, Rostov Arena, and Gorky Park.
Ascension Cathedral is located in Novocherkassk.
Rostov Nuclear Power Plant is located near Volgodonsk.
Volgograd Oblast. Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, was the scene of the WWII Battle of Stalingrad. Film locations of note include the Motherland Calls Monument, Volgograd Panorama Museum, Gerhardt’s Mill, Volgograd railway station, Volgograd Metrotram, Volgograd Planetarium, Kazan Cathedral, Volgograd Synagogue, Volgograd Arena, Volga-Don Canal, and Volga Hydroelectric Station. The Volgograd Tractor Plant was designed by Albert Kahn.
Lake Elton is a salt lake.
Republic of Crimea. The Crimean Peninsula is located on the Black Sea.
Crimea is famous for its spectacular seaside palaces including Swallow’s Nest, Vorontsov Palace, Livadia Palace, Khan’s Palace, Massandra Palace, Yusupov Palace, and Genoese fortress.
Yalta is a Black Sea resort city famous for hosting the 1945 Yalta Conference. Nikitsky Botanical Gardens is located near Yalta.
Church of Christ’s Resurrection is located near Baidarsky Pass.
Assumption Monastery of the Caves is locate near Bakhchysarai.
Adzhimushkayskiye Kamenolomni is a war museum in Kerch.
Black Sea beaches of note include Massandrovsky beach, Zolotye Peski beach, Jasper Beach, Olenevka beach, Batiliman beach, Mojito beach, Lazurny Bereg beach, Super Aqua beach, Lyubimovka beach, and Kapsel beach.
Lake Sasyk-Sivash is a beautiful pink salt lake in the Crimea.
Koyashskoye is a salt lake on the coast of the Kerch Peninsula.
Marble Caves are a sprawling cave system.
Aq-Qaya rock is located in Qarasuvbazar.
Valley of Ghosts is a valley of unique rock structures.
RT-70 radio telescope, and Pluton deep space communications and planetary radar are located in Yevpatoria.
Perovo Solar Park is an expansive solar energy location.
Sevastopol. Sevastopol Naval Base is home to the Black Sea Fleet. Film locations include St Vladimir’s Cathedral, Count’s Jetty, Monument to the Sunken Ships, Museum of the Black Sea Fleet, and Panorama Museum on the Siege of Sevastopol. The Valley of Death is the site of the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade. Balaklava is an abandoned underground nuclear submarine base.
This most southwestern district includes the federal subjects of Republic of Dagestan, Republic of Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Stavropol Krai, and Chechen Republic.
Republic of Dagestan is located on the Caspian Sea.
Avars, Dargins, Kumyks, and Lezgins are the largest ethnic groups.
Film locations include the Makhachkala Grand Mosque, Znamensky Cathedral, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Dormition, Dagestan State Russian Gorki Drama Theater, Sassanid Fortress in Derbent, and Chindirchero Ski Resort.
Republic of Ingushetia. The Ingush people are the largest ethnic group.
Ingushetia is best known for its medieval Ingush towers such as the Erzi Towers Complex, Two Wives Towers, and Pyaling Towers.
Memorial Pamyati I Slavy is located in Nazran.
Myat-Seli is a pagan temple located on the sacred Table Mountain.
Kabardino-Balkarian Republic. Kabardians are the largest ethnic group.
Mount Elbrus, located in Prielbrusye National Park in the Caucasus Mountains, is the highest peak in Russia and Europe. Mount Elbrus is one of the world’s Seven Summits.
Chegem Waterfalls freeze in the winter.
Cheget Ski Resort is located in this area.
Karachay-Cherkess Republic. Karachays are the largest ethnic group.
Cherkessk is known for Cherkessk Mosque, and St Nicholas Cathedral.
Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Science is a telescope located near Nizhny Arkhyz.
Dombai Ski Resort is located in this area.
Republic of North Ossetia-Alania. Ossetians are the largest ethnic group.
The City of the Dead is a medieval Ossetian necropolis located in Dargavs.
Vladikavkaz is known for Mukhtarov Mosque, St George’s Cathedral, and Vladikavkaz Railway station.
Alaniya National Park is known for its high mountain peaks, glaciers, and alpine meadows. The park is home to the west Caucasian tur.
Stavropol Krai. Zheleznovodskiy Kurortnyy Park is located in Zheleznovodsk.
Chechen Republic. Chechens are the largest ethnic group.
Grozny is the capital of Chechnya. Film locations include The Heart of Chechnya Mosque, National Library of the Chechen Republic, and Akhmat Tower.
Shali Central Mosque is located in Shali.
This southwestern district includes the federal subjects of Republic of Bashkortostan, Kirov Oblast, Mari El Republic, Republic of Mordovia, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Orenburg Oblast, Penza Oblast, Perm Krai, Samara Oblast, Saratov Oblast, Republic of Tatarstan, Udmurt Republic, Ulyanovsk Oblast, and Chuvash Republic.
Republic of Bashkortostan. Ufa is known for Monument to Salavat Yulaev, Bashkir State Academic Theatre of Drama, Lyalya Tyolpan Mosque, and Cathedral of the Nativity of the Theotokos.
Abzakovo Ski Resort is located in the Urals.
Kirov Oblast. Kirov is known for Holy Uspensky Trifonov Monastery, Kirov State Circus, and Alexander Garden.
Mari El Republic. Yoshkar Ola is known for the newly built Tsarevokokshaysky Kremlin, Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, Blagoveshchenskaya Tower, and Brugge Embankment.
Republic of Mordovia. Saransk is known for Saransk Regional Museum, Cathedral of St Theodore Ushakov, Saransk Railway Station, Opera and Ballet Theatre of Saransk, Mordovian State University campus, and Mordovia Arena.
Sanaksar Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God is located in the Temnikov district.
Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. Nizhny Novgorod is known for Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin, Dmitrievskaya Tower, City Duma building, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Pechersky Ascension Monastery, Stroganov Church, Nizhny Novgorod Planetarium, Nizhny Novgorod Fair building, Chkalov Stairs, and Soviet-era metro stations.
Zheltovodsky Makaryev Convent of the Holy Trinity was filmed for Salt (2010).
Sarov is known for the Serafimo-Diveevsky Monastery, and the Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God.
Orenburg Oblast. Orenburg is the largest city in this area.
Penza Oblast. Penza is known for Uspensky Cathedral, and Penza Oblast Theater of Drama.
Troitse-Scanov Convent is locate near Narovchat.
Perm Krai. Perm is known for the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre, Perm Museum of Contemporary Art, Perm Stefanov Holy Trinity Monastery, and Perm railway station.
Perm-36 labour camp was a gulag now turned museum.
Kungur Ice Cave is located near the town Kungur.
Belogorsky Convent is located on Belaya Gora.
Samara Oblast. Samara is known for Samara Space Museum, Stalin’s Bunker, Church of St George, Iversky Women’s Monastery, Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, Samara State Philharmonic, Samara Mosque, Cosmos Arena, Zhiguli Mountains, and the Volga River.
Garibaldi castle is a fairytale castle in Khryashchevka.
Saratov Oblast. Saratov is known for Pokrovskaya Church, Saratov Conservatory, Saratov Orthodox Theological Seminary, and Saratov Engels Bridge over the Volga River.
Balakovo nuclear power station is located in Balakovo.
Republic of Tatarstan. Tatars are the largest ethnic group.
Kazan is known for the Kazan Kremlin, Kul Sharif Mosque, Cathedral of the Annunciation, Spasskaya Tower, Söyembikä Tower, Kazan Temple of All Religions, National Cultural Center Kazan, National Museum of the Republic Tatarstan, Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Mardzhani Mosque, Kazan circus, Tatarstan Museum of Natural History, Millennium Bridge, and Millennium-Park.
White Mosque is located in Bolgar.
Nizhnekamsk is known for the Central Mosque.
Assumption Cathedral is located on the town-island of Sviyazhsk.
Raifa Monastery is located in Raifa.
Udmurt Republic. Izhevsk is known for St Michael’s Cathedral, Presidential Palace, and the Kalashnikov Museum and Exhibition Complex of Small Arms.
Ulyanovsk Oblast. Ulyanovsk is the largest city in this area.
Chuvash Republic. The Chuvash people are the largest ethnic group.
Cheboksary is the largest city in the Chuvash Republic.
This central district includes the federal subjects of Kurgan Oblast, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Tyumen Oblast, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, Chelyabinsk Oblast, and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.
Kurgan Oblast. Kurgan is the largest city in Kurgan Oblast.
Sverdlovsk Oblast. Yekaterinburg is the largest city. The Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land stands on the site where Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed. Their remains were buried at Ganina Yama. Other Yekaterinburg film locations include Kharitonov Palace, Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center, Yekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, Sverdlovsk Philharmonic Concert Hall, Sevastyanov’s House, Yekaterinburg Railway station, Sverdlovsk Railway Museum, UMMC Museum Complex, Yekaterinburg Circus, Iset Hotel, Ural Federal University, White Tower, and Central Stadium. Yekaterinburg is home to an interesting gangster cemetery.
Evraz Nizhny Tagil Iron and Steel Works is located in Nizhny Tagil.
Nevyansk is known for its leaning tower.
Kirillov’s House is a uniquely decorated house located in Kunara.
Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Station is located near Zarechny.
The town of Asbest is known for its huge open pit asbestos mine.
Tyumen Oblast. Tyumen is known for the Church of the Saviour.
Tobolsk is known for its Kremlin.
Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. Khanty-Mansiysk is known for the Church of the Resurrection.
Fyodorovskoye Field, Samotlor Field, and Priobskoye Field are among the largest oil fields in the world.
Chelyabinsk Oblast. Chelyabinsk is known for Alexander Nevsky Church, Chelyabinsk State Academic Drama Theatre, Chelyabinsk Opera and Ballet State Academic Theatre, and South Ural State University.
Magnitogorsk is known for the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, Great Mosque of Magnitogorsk, and Church of the Ascension of the Lord.
Taganay National Park is a landscape of jagged rocky outcrops, forests, alpine meadows, rivers, and lakes.
Solnechnaya Dolina – Miass-Chelyabinsk Ski Resort, and Zavyalikha Ski Area are located in this area.
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. This Arctic region is one of Russia’s least populated.
The Gulf of Ob is the world’s longest estuary.
Zapolyarnoye gas field is located in this area.
Known for its extremely cold winters, this central district includes the federal subjects of Altai Republic, Altai Krai, Irkutsk Oblast, Kemerovo Oblast, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Novosibirsk Oblast, Omsk Oblast, Tomsk Oblast, Tuva Republic, and Republic of Khakassia.
Altai Republic. The Altai Mountains are known for their rugged mountain ridges, glacial lakes, alpine meadows, and deep river valleys. Belukha Mountain is the highest peak of the Altai Mountains. Pereval Katu-Yaryk is a high mountain pass. The Mushroom Stones of Altai are unique rock structures.
Altai Krai. Ozero Burlinskoye is a pink coloured salt lake that has a train passing through the centre.
Irkutsk Oblast. Irkutsk is known for Kazan Church, Epiphany Cathedral, Prince Vladimir Temple, Local Lore Museum, Irkutsk Academic Drama Theatre, and Irkutsk railway station.
Lake Baikal is considered to be the deepest lake in the world. Containing 20% of the world’s fresh water, Baikal is one of the clearest lakes in the world. Lake Baikal is home to a diversity of underwater life from ancient sponge forests to the freshwater Baikal seal. The lake freezes over from January to May. Lake Baikal is part of parks including Pribaikalsky National Park, Zaybaykalsky National Park, Trans-Baikal National Park, Baikal Nature Reserve, Barguzinsky Biosphere Reserve, and Baikal-Lensky State Reserve. Shamanka Rock is located on Olkhon Island in Lake Baikal.
Baikalsk-Sobolinaya Ski Resort is located in this area.
Bratsk hydroelectric power plant, and Ust-Ilimsk Hydroelectric Power Station are located in this area.
Kemerovo Oblast. Kemerovo is known for Znamenskiy Cathedral, Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, Munir Cathedral Mosque, Kemerovo Regional Museum. Tomskaya Pisanitsa Museum, known for its petroglyphs, is located nearby.
Novokuznetsk is known for Kuznetsk fortress, Temple of the Holy Martyr John the Warrior, Cathedral of the Nativity, Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, Novokuznetsk Drama Theater, and Novokuznetsk railway station.
Shorsky National Park is a landscape of mountains, river valleys, and dark taiga tree forests.
Sheregesh Ski Resort offers early snowfall and powder skiing.
Krasnoyarsk Krai. Krasnoyarsk is known for Krasnoyarsk Regional Museum, krasnoyarsk Culture and History Center, Krasnoyarsk State Opera And Ballet Theatre, Krasnoyarsk railway station, Krasnoyarsk Riverport, Krasnoyarsk Krai government building, Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel, Central Stadium, Bobrovyy Log Ski Resort, and Stolby Nature Reserve.
Norilsk offers bleak industrial film locations.
Cathedral of the Holy Cross is located in Lesosibirsk.
Tunguska Event Epicenter is located in Krasnoyarsk Krai.
Putoransky State Nature Reserve, located north of the Arctic Circle, is a landscape of taiga, tundra, and arctic desert. Reindeer migration routes cross the reserve.
Krasnoyarsk Dam, and Boguchany Dam are located in this area.
Novosibirsk Oblast. Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia. Film locations include the Novosibirsk State Art Museum, Novosibirsk State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Ascension Cathedral, City Trade House, Grand Novosibirsk Planetarium, Novosibirsk circus, Museum for Railway Technology, Novosibirsk-Glavny railway station, and Bugrinsky Bridge.
Novosibirsk Maldives is the nickname for a turquoise blue lake located outside the city of Novosibirsk. The lake’s colour comes from the local power station dumping ash filled with harmful metal oxides.
Akademgorodok is the educational and scientific centre of Siberia.
Omsk Oblast. Omsk is known for Dormition Cathedral, Achairsky monastery, Omsk State Academic Drama Theatre, Omsk District Museum of Visual Arts, Omsk State Library, and Omsk Railway station.
Tomsk Oblast. The Great Vasyugan Mire is the largest swamp in the northern hemisphere.
Tuva Republic has a landscape of mountains, rivers, and lakes.
Tuvan people are the largest ethnic group.
Kyzyl is known for the National Museum, and National Theatre.
Republic of Khakassia. Abakan is known for the Hakasiya National Regional Studies Museum, and Cathedral of the Transfiguration.
Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam is located near Sayanogorsk.
This far eastern district is the largest in the country. The district includes the federal subjects of Amur Oblast, Republic of Buryatia, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Zabaykalsky Krai, Kamchatka Krai, Magadan Oblast, Primorsky Krai, Sakha Republic, Sakhalin Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai, and Chukotka Autonomous Okrug.
Amur Oblast. Blagoveshchensk is located at the confluence of the Amur and the Zeya Rivers, opposite to the Chinese city of Heihe. Blagoveshchensk is known for the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe Bridge, and Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Vostochny Cosmodrome is located in Tsiolkovsky Science City.
Republic of Buryatia. Ulan-Ude is known for Odigitrievsky Cathedral, Ivolginsky Datsan Buddhist Temple, Museum of Buryatia History, and Ulan-Ude Ethnographic Museum.
Tunkinsky National Park is a landscape of glacial valleys, mountains, hot springs, meadows, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. The snow leopard can be found in this park.
Mönkh Saridag is the highest peak in the Sayan Mountains.
Jewish Autonomous Oblast. The Jewish Autonomous Oblast is one of two official Jewish territories in the world, the other being Israel.
Zabaykalsky Krai. Chara Sands is a small desert with the Kodar Mountains as a backdrop.
Alkhanay National Park is located in this area.
Kamchatka Krai. The remote Kamchatka Peninsula lies between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea. Kamchatka is known for its hundreds of active volcanoes, snow-capped peaks, hot springs, black sand beaches, and brown bears feeding at the many rivers and lakes.
The Valley of Geysers is located in Kronotsky Nature Reserve.
Kutkhiny Baty is an otherworldly film location made of whitish pumice stone.
Khalaktyrsky Beach is a beautiful black sand beach.
Magadan Oblast is a landscape of mountainous desert, tundra, taiga, forests, and the Sea of Okhotsk.
Magadan is known for the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Kadykchan is a ghost town.
Primorsky Krai is located on the Sea of Japan.
Vladivostok is known for Soviet submarine S-56 museum, Vladivostok container port, Russky Bridge, Zolotoy Bridge, Egersheld Lighthouse, Triumphal Arch, Primorsky Aquarium, Vladivostok Fortress, Vladivostok Railway Station, Lesnaya Zaimka, and Primorsky Stage of The State Academic Mariinsky Theatre. Russia’s Pacific Fleet is based in Golden Horn Bay.
Bikin National Park is home to the largest remaining old-growth mixed forest in the Northern Hemisphere. The park is also home to the Amur tiger.
Sakha Republic is located on the Arctic Ocean. The expansive area also includes Arctic islands such as the New Siberian Islands.
The Yakut people are the largest ethnic group.
Yakutsk is the coldest large city in the world. Film locations include the Mammoth Museum, Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, Melnikov Permafrost Institute Underground Laboratory, and Yakut State Museum of History and Culture of the Northern Peoples.
Oymyakon is the coldest inhabited place on earth.
Lena Stone Pillars along the banks of the Lena River are a beautiful film location.
Mirny Diamond Mine is a massive open pit.
Sakhalin Oblast is located between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan.
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is known for Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ, Sakhalin Regional Museum, and Anton Chekhov Museum.
Aniva Rock Lighthouse is located on Sakhalin Island.
The Kuril Islands are a volcanic archipelago. Ebeko is an active volcano located on Paramushir Island. Atlasov Island is famed for its perfect volcanic shape.
Khabarovsk Krai is located on the Sea of Okhotsk.
Khabarovsk is known for Lenin Square, Far Eastern Art Museum, Khabarovsk Krai Administration building, Transfiguration Cathedral, and Khabarovsk Dormition Cathedral.
Anyuysky National Park covers the Anyuy River basin. The park is home to the Amur tiger.
Shantar Islands National Park is home to spectacular rugged islands in the Sea of Okhotsk.
Kondyor Massif is a rare form of igneous intrusion.
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug is located in the far northeast of the country on the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea. Chukotka Autonomous Okrug is one of the least populated regions of Russia.
Beringia National Park is Russia’s largest national park.
Chikoy National Park is a landscape of rivers, pine forests, mountain steppe, and alpine meadows.
Pevek is an Arctic port town. Akademik Lomonosov is a floating nuclear power station that powers the town.
Big Diomede Island is located in the Bering Strait.
Russia Film Location Permits
You generally don’t need permits for b-roll in and around major cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg unless you are going into parks, palaces, museums, and other government buildings. For larger projects that require shutting down busy city streets or filming in popular public areas, particularly in the business centres of Moscow and St Petersburg, permits are more expensive and require more lead time. Permission to film more sensitive locations (eg: Restive areas, North Korean border) or subject matters (issues the government is sensitive about) may require additional levels of permitting. Where there isn’t a streamlined permitting process, it’s always a good idea to allow for extra in the budget in case its needed for miscellaneous location costs. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Given the size of Russia, the climate varies considerably depending on the region and time of year. Much of Russia only has two seasons, a hot summer (peaking in July) and a harsh, very cold winter (with lows in January). Siberian wildfire smoke brings a period of smokey skies in affected areas during the summer months. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
The Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated in January.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Russia.
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. Filming in Russia is quite expensive even when compared to more established service centres in Europe and North America. Moscow, much like New York, is a major business centre and as a result the factors of production are very expensive. Filming outside of Moscow or St Petersburg can add significant travel costs. Our locally based fixers and service producers will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. In most cases, it is not advised to film in Russia unless the project absolutely requires it. The Bulgarian capital Sofia is often used to reproduce Moscow suburbs looks at a fraction of the cost.
Tax Incentives. Russia offers a cash rebate of up to 40% for qualifying visiting productions.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Russia has a small but good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are non-union. Russia has a good depth of experienced key crew. Some crews speak fluent English.
Contact us if you are looking for a Moscow or St Petersburg 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 in Russia.
Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Russia is home to as many as 160 different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples with over 100 local languages spoken. Talent looks offered consist mainly of people from former Soviet states with the largest groups being the ethnic Russians, Tartars, Ukrainians and Bashkirs. Most other talent looks need to be cast abroad.
Russia Film Equipment
Equipment. Russia has a range of standard and specialized camera, grip and lighting equipment available locally. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Russia is an ATA carnet country.
Communications. 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.
Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production
Art department and set construction is of a high standard.
Studios and Backlots. Russia has several studio facilities including Gorky Film Studios which were founded in 1915.
Post Production. Russia has all the standard facilities.
Visas & Work Permits
The most common visa entry options for crews coming to film in Russia are a Media Visa, Cultural Visa, or Business Visa.
Media Visas are most often applied for by journalists. Visiting crew submit their application and passport scans to the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Russian fixer / service producer then deals with the Russian Foreign Ministry on your behalf. Once Telex numbers processed the Media Visa is stamped in crew passports. Process takes about 2 weeks. Visas are usually valid for around 1 month, which makes them good for short form projects.
Cultural visas are valid for around a year so a better option for long-form shoots or shoots involving multiple entries. Visiting crew submit their application and passport scans. Usually takes 2-3 weeks to process. Russian Immigration services issue physical invitations which the Russian fixer / service producer sends to the Moscow embassy for visiting crew to collect. The embassy takes about 3-5 days to process once they receive the invites.
Visiting on business visas is a better option for crews that don’t have the lead time and are only planning to shoot small-footprint shoots in mostly private locations. Not a good idea if you are planning a larger footprint shoot or are filming in sensitive locations.
Arriving as a tourist is the riskiest option. Western passport holders who apply to enter as tourists require a Russian-based sponsor. Regular processing times run about 10 business days, but expedited options are available at extra cost. Entering as a tourist is only really an option if you are only shooting a non-sensitive, small-footprint shoot in private locations and are renting gear locally. Generally it’s safer to get at least a business visa.
Each project requires its own approach. Contact us for our local team to advise on the approach that best suits the specifics of your shoot.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Main roads are up to international standard. Rural roads are slower going with many becoming impassable during heavy winter snowfalls. Moscow experiences very congested traffic. If you’re looking to film outside of Moscow or St Petersburg the distances are vast and best reached by air. There are over 100 regional airlines in Russia. Travelling Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway is a popular way of filming the country. Many international airlines service flights to Russia.
Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Moscow and St Petersburg. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Hotels of note include:
For productions looking to film in remote locations our Russian fixer / producer also organises stays with local communities.
Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Bolshoi ballet. Vodka. Solyanka. Russian baths.
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 Russia, please see below:
Hire Russia Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Russia, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Russia, 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.