Nepal is a naturally and culturally diverse country, that offers locations, narratives and inspiration for film makers and content creators aplenty.
Nepal has a rapidly growing film industry and culture, and this has led to a wide availability of local human resource and film technologies within the country.
Nepal is a tourism based economy, and the society is welcoming towards film production activities. In the same tune, the government also welcomes film productions in the country, and regulations are pretty lenient.
Nepal has various natural and manmade areas that might suit as locations for a variety of film shoots. Natural locations like mountains, rivers, lakes and waterfalls, and manmade locations like exotic and ancient architecture, monuments, temples are both available. Click the image below to access Cine Makers’ Nepal filming locations photo archive.
Professional film productions in Nepal require a variety of permits, which are, to some extent, based on the shooting locations. There are various types of governmental and local permits that a production company or team should know about before shooting in Nepal. Please note that filming permits in Nepal cannot be independently applied for by foreign production companies; a local film company will be needed here. That’s where Cine Makers comes in!
The types of permits and their respective costs are explained below.
This is a one-time permit, which is mandatory, regardless of where the shoot is to take place. This is how the government keeps track of filming activities in the country. Issued by the Ministry of Information & Communication (MOIC), this permit also comes with a government-assigned Liaison Officer, who’ll remain with the filming team for the entirety of the shoot and will monitor all filming activities, to ensure that they are not impacting the environment, the society or the people in any negative way. The liaison officer holds full authority to suspend all filming activities if s/he thinks it is unlawful or is impacting the country and its image in any negative way.
The permit will cost approximately USD 150.
The liaison officer, also mandatory, will cost approximately USD 150 per day, exclusive of all meals, accommodation and transportation expenses.
Nepal has around 20 conservation areas, national parks, and restricted zones, which require separate royalties to be paid for filming permits. In addition to this, all members of the crew will also be treated to a per person park entrance fee. The latter will differ as per the nationality of the visitor (crew member, in this case). The specific royalties and permit costs are given in the table below.
Filming activities in cultural heritage areas like temples, monuments, palaces and so on have to be endorsed by the municipality or the district office. The offices should be submitted a petition before-hand with all the possible information give on the shoot. Please note that these authorities have the right to reject any petitions should they feel the mentioned filming activities to be negating. Once the petitions are approved, the authorities will then determine the cost for these specific permits, which can be anywhere from between USD 150 – USD 350. Productions can also receive a gratis permit from the authorities, completely free of charge if the authorities feel that the petitioned filming activities will positively contribute to the promotion and conservation of concerned heritage sites.
Filming activities in public areas will have to be endorsed by the local police authority and can be conducted so long the activities do not render any kind of harm to the public. Public area charges will be determined by the local police authority and will vary from USD 50 – USD 200.
There are no rate estimations for shooting at privately owned properties like hotels and restaurants, private parks, recreation centers and cinema halls etc. The team may have a gratis permission to shoot, or the property may charge the team directly. No estimation is available for this permit.
Ministry of introduction and Communications (foreign film production).It grants a shooting permit to international filmmakers.Film Development Board – Nepal grants permission to domestic film production.
Filmmakers wishing to shoot a film in Nepal are recommended to hire Nepali coordinator companies or individuals for a help, as there re procedures which need to be followed both before and after the filming permit is granted.They also help you with local permissions and contacting Nepali authorities and local people concerned in your production.
The coordinator helps the film crews to obtain film permits, gives you advice on tax payment, and also supports on general production.
You can hire atrekking agency or a local film production company as a coordinator.Ministry of Information and Communications and film Development Board – Nepal has a list of coordinators which you can refer to.Some coordinators may specialize in serving Japanese clients, some might have experience working with filmmakers from India, America, Europe.etc while some of them might have experiences working for filmmakers from around the globe.For both parties benefits, an agreement letter must be made on mutual understanding.You can find the list of local coordinators that have worked with the Ministry of Information and Communications and Film Development Board-Nepal at http://www.moic.gov.np and http://www.film.gov.np
TV commercials, documentaries, music, videos, Tv programmes, feature films, mini-series, TV serials, etc that do not contain any negative connotation or unfavorable message about Nepal and Its people can apply for permission at the Ministry of Information and Communications.
The documents that need to be submitted are enlisted as under:
A letter made by the assigned local coordinator informing the Audio-Visual Section, Ministry of Information and Communications for the purpose of applying for the shooting permit.
An assignment letter made by the foreign filmmakers showing that may have already chosen and hired a local coordinator.
An application form.
Supporting documents needed for permit consideration:
Storyboard for TV commercials
Treatment for documentaries
Theme (concept) and Lyrics for music videos.
Details of content and objectives of the programme
Presentation for TV programmes.
A schedule of filming in Nepal specifying exact dates and location (for all types of productions).
Name-list, passport numbers, positions and arrival dates of all foreign film crews.
The process will be completed within two working days.
A shooting permit for the types of film production like feature films, docu-dramas, TV dramas and mini-series should be submitted at the Ministry of Information and Communications.
The required documents are as follows:
For feature films, TV serials, docu-dramas or any fictional stories, allow no less than 14 working days for the Ministry of Information and Communications to consider the script.
NOTE: Depending on the requirements of the script i.e shooting locations including conservation areas, cultural heritage sites, etc., the period for approval may take slightly longer as the local coordinator has to arrange for the other concerned government departments to view the script in details.
Permission will be issued after your script has been studied.If it is not acceptable, the Ministry of Information and Communications will give you the reasons. Whether you agree to make changes to your script is entirely up to you.
When applying for filming in Nepal, it is advisable that you do not have anything in the script that offends Nepal’s national institutions, religion, customs, and culture. The film must not be deemed a threat to security. Finally, Shooting must not cause any significant effect/damage on the natural environment.
No fees have been allocated for the filming permit.However, a Nepali postal stamp amounting NPR 50 should be affixed in the application form.
Yes, there are. Once the permit is granted, a representative from The Ministry of Information and Communications is required to accompany the crew every day in all shooting locations.A per the crew every day in all shooting locations. A premium for the representative is fixed according to the motion picture rules and is covered by the filmmaker.Should the official travel outside Kathmandu, then air/ground transportation fares, accommodation and meals should be arranged for him/her, also by the filmmaker.
For documentaries, commercial advertisements and music videos, the film crew will be accompanied by one representative.For feature films, docu-dramas and TV series, the Ministry of Information and Communications will assign one representative to accompany each shooting unit.
Location fees and other production matters should be discussed with the appointed local coordinator.This is why it is essential to appoint an experienced coordinator.S/he will deal with all the production issues.
The duty of the Ministry’s representative is to make sure that what is actually being shot has followed the script that has been approved by the Ministry.In case the scenes vary from the script, the representative is there to advise as to whether it is possible to shoot those scenes or not.
Crews intending to stay in Nepal within the filming permit period can do with a tourist visa.
No, they don’t.
The film permit enables you to film in Nepal but you have to negotiate to shoot in each location by yourself or your local coordinator.The owners/authorities of the locations will need to know that you have filming permit in hand.
Yes, if you don’t have applied for the filming equipment and materials to be brought into the company on a ‘Temporary Basis’ on Film Development Board – Nepal.you must prepare cash or bank to guarantee accepted only at the Nepal Banks to guarantee your equipment.The amount of cash or bank guarantee is based on the value of the equipment.
Yes, you do. Shooting without a permit is a violation of the law.