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Turkmenistan

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

Filming in Turkmenistan

For an introduction to shooting in Turkmenistan 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.

Turkmenistan Film Locations

Turkmenistan is a desert country located in Central Asia with the Caspian Sea bordering to the west. Sitting at the crossroads of civilisations for centuries, the country is known for its Silk Road locations, grandiose national monuments, Soviet architecture, and the Karakum Desert which covers much of the country.

Turkmenistan is primarily an oil and gas extraction based economy. The country also manufactures textiles. Agricultural film locations include fields of cotton, wheat, potatoes, rice, and apples.

Film locations can be divided into the following provinces:

Ashgabat

Located in the south of the country, the capital Ashgabat is known for its white marble buildings, wide boulevards, green parks, residential towers, magnificent government buildings, mosques, and museums. Film locations of note include the Gypjak Mosque, Independence Monument, Arch of Neutrality, Palace of Turkmenbashi, Wedding Palace, National Museum of Turkmenistan, National Press Building, Alem Entertainment Center, Constitution Monument, Turkmenistan TV Tower, Meteorological Tower Ashgabat, Turkmen Health Ministry, Turkmen State University, Oguzkent Hotel, Yyldyz Hotel, Tolkuchka bazaar, a revolving golden statue of the late President Niyazov, Monument to President Berdimuhamedow, and a golden Alabay dog statue. Ashgabat International Airport is a beautiful modern structure. The Ashgabat hippodrome hosts Akhal-Teke horse race.

Ahal

The province of Ahal, which surrounds Ashgabat, is located in the south of the country.

Just outside of Ashgabat, the ruins of Nisa was once a Parthian settlement.

The Serdar Health Path, built by Niyazov, is a 37km concrete path at the foothills of the Kopet Dag Mountains just outside of Ashgabat.

Köw Ata is an underground sulphur lake.

Saparmurat Hajji Mosque is located in Geok Tepe.

Balkan

Balkan province is located in the west of the country, on the Caspian Sea.

Turkmenbashi is an oil rich city located on the Caspian Sea coast. The Avaza tourist zone is an area modelled on Dubai.

Yangykala canyon is a beautiful film location.

Daşoguz

Daşoguz province is located in the north of the country.

The Darvaza Flaming Crater is a natural gas field in a vast desert landscape that has burned continuously since 1971.

Konye-Urgench was an important stop along the Silk Road.

Lebap

Lebap province is located in the northeast of the country.

Mary

Mary province is located in the southeast of the country.

The ancient town of Merv was an important stop along the Silk Road.

Turkmenistan Film Location Permits

Photography of public locations is strictly monitored by the extensive police presence so you will definitely need to have prior permission from all the relevant authorities prior to setting up your shots. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Most of Turkmenistan has a desert climate with little rainfall. Summers (May to September) are very hot and dry. Winters (January to May) are very cold and dry. Spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) are the best seasons to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Nowruz Bayram is celebrated in March.

Ramadan is observed by the majority Muslim population with some services closed during this period.

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

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 Turkmen 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 Turkmenistan.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Turkmenistan has a very small 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 Turkmenistan.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable.

Turkmen is the official language. Russian is also widely spoken.

Turkmen are the main ethnic group. Minority groups of note include Uzbeks, Russians, and Kazakhs. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad.

Turkmenistan 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. Internet is slow and unreliable outside of major population centres. 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.

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

Citizens of all countries require a visa to enter Turkmenistan. A Letter of invitation is required which our local fixer / service producer will arrange for visiting crew. Once you have that letter you will need to apply for a visa at your closest Turkmenistan embassy along with other required documents. US passport holders see here for more information. A special permit, issued prior to arrival by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is required if visiting the Atamurat, Cheleken, Dashoguz, Serakhs, or Serhetabat. Each crew member is required to register with the State Migration Service within 3 days of arrival.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Main roads are up to international standards. Remote areas are best travelled by 4WD which our Turkmen fixer can organise. Avoid road travel by night on rural roads. Domestic flight fuel costs are subsidisedf helping make flying a cheap way to get around. Several international airlines service flights to Turkmenistan.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Ashgabat include:

Sofitel Ashgabat Oguzkent

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. The famed Akhal-Teke horses are native to Turkmenistan. Go ride one!

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 Turkmenistan, please see below:

Hire Turkmenistan Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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