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Western Sahara

Western Sahara Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Western Sahara? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Western Sahara? See below for an introduction to Western Sahara locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Western Sahara Film Locations

Western Sahara is a disputed territory. The western part is under the administration of Morocco and the eastern border area (Free Zone) is controlled by the Polisario Front on behalf of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

The beautiful shifting sand dunes of the Sahara Desert are the main point of interest for visiting filmmakers and photographers. Other than that there are very few natural wonders. Much of the country is low-lying, arid, rocky desert. The beaches are also rocky. Laayoune (El-Aaiún) is the capital. Although it is not an especially beautiful city, it has a certain charm with its faded colonial facades, bustling markets and call to prayer. Dakhla is known for its beaches and windsurfing. Western Sahara is home to the World’s Longest Conveyor Belt System which runs for 62km from the desert to the coast.

Western Sahara Film Location Permits

Moroccan authorities are generally hostile to any filmmaking and photography in Western Sahara. Official permission to film needs to come from the Ministry of Communications in Morocco, and possibly several other government departments, depending on the specifics of your shoot. Expect to be stopped and questioned at the many military checkpoints. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Western Sahara has a year-round desert climate characterised by very hot, dry days and cold nights. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

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

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 Sahrawi / Moroccan 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 Western Sahara.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Western Sahara has a very small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Key crew must 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 Western Sahara.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiated on a personal basis. Sahrawis and Moroccans are the main ethnic groups in Western Sahara. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad.

Western Sahara Film Equipment

You will need to bring in all camera, lighting and grip equipment from abroad.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction are undeveloped.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Since the vast majority of Western Sahara is administered by Morocco, officially the same visa rules apply as for visiting Morocco. In practice, independent travel in the region is restricted.

Entry requirements for the SADR-controlled areas are also unclear. The area is entirely off-limits to visitors: You cannot legally cross the heavily guarded and mined Berm from the Moroccan-controlled side, the land border with Algeria is closed, and there are no legal border crossings from Mauritania into SADR-controlled territory either.

Contact your local Moroccan embassy or representative for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure is very basic. There is one main road running north / south. Be prepared for many police checkpoints. For off-road unexploded land mines pose a real danger but our Sahrawi / Moroccan fixer organizes safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Several international airlines service flights to Laayoune.

Accommodation. Film friendly hotels in Laayoune include:

Hotel Josefina

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. Western Sahara is at present a dangerous place for foreigners to visit. If you must shoot in Western Sahara appropriate personal security measures are essential.

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 Western Sahara, please see below:

Hire Western Sahara Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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