São Tomé and Príncipe 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 São Tomé and Príncipe? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in São Tomé and Príncipe
For an introduction to shooting in São Tomé and Príncipe 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.
São Tomé and Príncipe Film Locations
Located on the equator in the Gulf of Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands of São Tomé and Príncipe. The islands are known for their unspoilt rugged landscapes, waterfalls, dense forests, and palm-fringed white and black sand beaches with some of Africa’s clearest waters.
Agricultural film locations include plantations of cocoa, coffee, coconuts, cinnamon, pepper, bananas, and papayas.
Slavery Routes (2018) filmed in São Tomé and Príncipe.
Film locations can be divided into the following:
São Tomé includes the districts of Água Grande, Cantagalo, Caué, Lembá, Lobata, and Mé-Zóchi.
São Tomé is the capital and largest city. One of Africa’s oldest colonial cities, locations of note include Portuguese colonial architecture, palm-lined boulevards, pretty plazas, Our Lady of Grace Cathedral, Central Market, São Sebastião Museum, and the Presidential Palace.
Pico Cão Grande is a unique needle-shaped volcanic rock structure located in Obo National Park.
Lagoa Azul is a beautiful bay with turquoise waters.
São Nicolau waterfall is a beautiful film location.
Ilhéu das Rolas is a paradise island location.
Porto Alegre is a ramshackle fishing village.
Roça Água-Izé is a former plantation and a great location for photographers looking for run down opulence in a jungle setting.
Beaches of note include Praia dos Tamarindos, and Praia Micondo. Praia Jale is a popular nesting site for sea turtles.
This includes the Autonomous Region of Príncipe.
Santo António is the largest settlement on the island of Príncipe.
Praia Boi and Praia Macaco are beautiful beaches.
Ilhéu Bom Bom is a beautiful forested paradise island. Praia Inhame is a palm-lined beach with turquoise waters.
São Tomé and Príncipe Film Location Permits
Most locations are possible given time, money and the right approach. Taking photographs of the Presidential Palace, military, or other government buildings is strictly forbidden. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
São Tomé and Príncipe has a tropical climate with heavy rainfall, high humidity and warm temperatures throughout the year. The south of the main island is wetter than the north. The main dry season runs from June to September. The wet season runs from October to December. The second dry season runs from December to February. The second wet season runs from March to May. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Humpback whale migration takes place from from July to October.
São Tomé and Príncipe is a predominately Christian nation, so those holidays are widely observed.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in São Tomé and Príncipe.
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 São Toméan fixer 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 films shooting in São Tomé and Príncipe.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. São Tomé and Príncipe has a very small local pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Key crew need to 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 São Tomé and Príncipe.
Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable.
Portuguese is the official language.
The local population are descendants of a mix of Portuguese colonists and enslaved Africans that migrated to the islands hundreds of years ago. Some Chinese looks also exist. All other talent looks are best cast abroad.
São Tomé and Príncipe Film Equipment
Equipment. You will need to 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. Most Western passport holders can enter visa-free. Other nationals can apply for an e-Visa ahead of travel. Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter. Contact your local São Tomé and Príncipe embassy or representative for more information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Major roads are paved. Rural roads are slower going. Our local São Toméan fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. A limited ferry service operates between São Tomé and Príncipe. Several international airlines service flights to São Tomé and Príncipe.
Accommodation. See here for options in São Tomé and Príncipe:
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. Hit the beach and explore the country’s slavery-era history.
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 São Tomé and Príncipe, please see below:
Hire São Tomé and Príncipe Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in São Tomé and Príncipe, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in São Tomé and Príncipe, 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.