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Syria

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

Filming in Syria

For an introduction to shooting in Syria 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.

Syria Film Locations

Syria is a regional center for Arabic TV drama productions and period pieces. Film locations the country is best known for include ancient ruins, medieval souks, mosques, monasteries, desert landscapes, mountains, and beaches. Agricultural film locations of note include wheat fields, olive and citrus groves.

Productions that have filmed in Syria include For Sama (2019), The Cave (2019), City of Ghosts (2017) and The White Helmets (2016).

The 14 governorates of Syria include:

Damascus Governorate

Located in the south-central region, Damascus, the “City of Jasmine”, is the capital and main production centre where crew and equipment are based. Locations of interest to filmmakers and photographers include the Umayyad Mosque, Azm Palace, Citadel of Damascus, Al-Hamidiyah Souq, Al-Buzuriyah Souq, Tekkiye Mosque, Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque, Khan As’ad Pasha, Umayyad Square, Bab Tuma, and Bab Sharqi.

Rif Dimashq Governorate

Located in the south-central region, the Rif Dimashq Governorate has the Mediterranean Sea to the west and the Syrian Desert in the east. The Rif Dimashq Governorate surrounds the city-governorate of Damascus.

Mount Qasioun is a mountain overlooking the city of Damascus.

Heading north of Damascus the Greek Orthodox Our Lady of Saidnaya Monastery is one of the world’s oldest monasteries. Further north, the Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian is an ancient Catholic mountain monastery.

Quneitra Governorate

Located in the southwest, the Quneitra Governorate is best known for the Golan Heights. Quneitra is the destroyed and abandoned capital located inside the UN-patrolled buffer zone.

Daraa Governorate

Located in the south, the Daraa Governorate is known for Bosra’s Roman Amphitheater.

As-Suwayda Governorate

Located in the southeast, the As-Suwayda Governorate is known for Salkhad Citadel.

Tartus Governorate

Located in the west on the Mediterranean Sea, the Tartus Governorate is known for its Alawite majority population.

Margat is a Crusader fortress that was once a major stronghold of the Knights Hospitaller.

Arwad is an ancient island city known for its fortress. It is located 3km offshore from Tartus.

Latakia Governorate

Located in the west on the Mediterranean Sea, the Latakia Governorate is a coastal and mountainous region. Alawites also form the majority in this area.

The seaside resort city of Latakia is known for its beaches and shipping port. Heading out from Latakia film locations of note include the Citadel of Salah Ed-Din, and Jableh Roman Amphitheater.

Hama Governorate

The Hama Governorate is located in the western-central region. In the city of Hama film locations of note include the Norias of Hama, Great Mosque of Hama, and Azm Palace.

Outside of the city you can find Masyaf Castle and Chmemis Castle.

Homs Governorate

The Homs Governorate is located in the western-central region. The city of Homs, which saw a great deal of destruction during the Syrian Civil War is known for the Khalid ibn al-Walid Mosque.

Krak des Chevaliers Crusader castle is located 50km west of the city of Homs.

The ancient city of Palmyra is located in an oasis in the middle of the Syrian Desert. Ancient locations of note include Palmyra Castle, Temple of Bel, and the Tetrapylon. 

Idlib Governorate

The Idlib Governorate is located in the northwest of the country. The city of Idlib saw a great deal of destruction during the Syrian Civil War.

Al Bara and Serjilla are two well preserved Byzantine-era Dead Cities.

Aleppo Governorate

Located in the northwest of the country, Aleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Film locations of note include the Great Mosque of Aleppo, Citadel of Aleppo, Souk al-Saqatiya, National Museum of Aleppo, Ar-Rahman Mosque, Bab al-Faraj Clock Tower, Al-Shibani Church, Hammam Yalbugha, and Beit Ghazaleh. Aleppo saw a great deal of destruction during the Syrian Civil War but efforts are being made to rebuild.

A 30km drive from Aleppo you can find Church of Saint Simeon Stylites.

Raqqa Governorate

Located in the north of the country, the Raqqa Governorate is known for Qal’at Ja’bar Castle, Euphrates Dam, and the Great Mosque of Raqqa. The city of Raqqa, located on the Euphrates River, was the capital of ISIS.

Deir ez-Zor Governorate

Located in the east the Deir ez-Zor Governorate is known for the Euphrates River which runs through it. The town of Baghuz was the last ISIS stronghold to fall in 2019.

Al-Hasakah Governorate

Located in the northeast the Al-Hasakah Governorate, this fertile part of the country is known for Mount Abdulaziz.

Syria Film Location Permits

The ongoing conflict in Syria makes it a very dangerous place to film. Permits for foreign journalists are difficult to obtain. Best to enter with the assistance of local individuals or groups you wish to work with. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Syria’s inland areas are drier and hotter than the wetter and cooler conditions found on the Mediterranean coast. Summers (June to August) are hot and dry. Winters (December to February) are cold with snowfall common in mountain areas. Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are the best months to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Ramadan is widely observed with many services closed during this period.

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

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.

Syria Costs & Tax Incentives For Filming

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 Syrian 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 Syria.

Syria Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Syria 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 Syria.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Syria offers mainly Arabic looking talent with Kurdish looks also possible. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad.

Syria Syria Film Equipment

Equipment. Some very basic camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally. You will need to bring in most equipment from abroad.

Communication. Some websites are blocked from access.

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.

Syria Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is very basic.

Studios. Only basic facilities belonging to local TV stations exist.

Backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Syria Visas & Work Permits For Filming

Citizens of all countries require a visa to enter Syria. Applications are to be made at your closest Syrian embassy or diplomatic mission.

Filmmakers, photographers and journalists who expect to travel to the United States in the future ought to also bear in mind the possible repercussions of having a Syrian visa stamped in their passport.

Syria Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Many roads have been damaged by conflict. Many international airlines have suspended flights to Damascus due to the Syrian Civil War. Depending on where you want to go, entering via a land border may be a more effective approach.

Accommodation. Hotels in Damascus include:

Four Seasons Hotel
Beit Zafran Hotel de Charme
Queen Centre Arjaan

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For journalists entering conflict zones our Syrian fixer might be able to help arrange safe hosted accommodation.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

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 Syria, please see below:

Hire Syria Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Syria, 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.