WHAT OUR FILM FIXERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT FILM PRODUCTION IN DJIBOUTI
Djibouti is located on the northeast coast of the Horn of Africa. It is situated on the Bab el Mandeb Strait, which lies to the east and separates the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aden.
In Djibouti, the summers are short, sweltering, and mostly cloudy, the winters are long, warm, and partly cloudy and it is oppressive, dry and windy year-round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 74°F to 106°F and is rarely below 71°F or above 110°F. The best time of year to film in Djibouti is from early November to mid-March.
The unit of currency is the Djibouti franc (DFr). All the ATMs in Djibouti City accept Visa. ATMs accepting MasterCard are harder to find. Visa credit cards are accepted at some upmarket hotels and shops, and at some larger travel agencies and airline offices. Some places levy a commission of about 5% for credit-card payment. There are many banks and a couple of authorised foreign exchange bureaux in the capital. Outside the capital, banking facilities are almost non-existent. The euro and the US dollar are the favoured hard currencies; euros and dollars in cash and an ATM card – preferably Visa – are the way to go.
The official languages are Arabic and French. Afar and Somali are spoken locally. English is spoken by hoteliers, taxi drivers and traders.
In general crime levels in Djibouti are relatively low. That’s not to say that the country is crime free, so you should always use your common sense and be particularly alert for pickpockets and theft in general.
Religion is a main element of Djibouti culture, and two major sects are prevalent. Islam is the most practiced, appearing as early as the 7th century. About 94 percent of the people are Sunni Muslims adhering to the Shafi’i tradition. Others belong to the Salihi Sufi, Ahmadi and Qadiri orders.So observe Moslem culture and very importantly treat the elderly with great respect.
For local travel be aware that once you deviate from the main roads there are not roads so to visit the major sites you will need a 4×4 and a very experienced driver.
Local film fixers will advise on film friendly hotels and serviced apartments in Djibouti.
At present there are no tax incentives for foreign films production in Djibouti.
WHAT OUR FILM FIXERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT FILM LOCATIONS IN DJIBOUTI
Djibouti is one of the smallest and least-filmed nations in Africa. The landscape primarily consists of rocky desert, volcanic plateaus, and arid mountain ranges. It has virtually no arable land.
Agricultural include the herding of sheep and goats. Fishing boats are available for filming. Salt is mined.
Film locations worth considering are the whitewashed French colonial buildings and Moorish arcades lined with cafes , markets selling fruit, vegetables and spices, Mosquée Al-Hamoudi, Djibouti Cathedral, People’s Palace,a rail road that runs from Addis Ababa to the Port of Doraleh in Djibouti City , the Red Sea for underwater photography ,The Gulf of Tadjoura and Gulf of Aden have beaches and turquoise waters and the Maskali Island and Moucha Island, Lake Assal , a crater lake in the Danakil Desert of central Djibouti , the Grand Bara Desert, known for its sand flats, sparse desert grasses and scrub vegetation, crosses southern Djibouti , Mousa Ali volcano, located in the north of the country, is Djibouti’s highest point and the Day Forest National Park is located in the heavily vegetated Goda Mountains
WHAT OUR FILM FIXERS IN DJIBOUTI HAVE TO SAY ABOUT FILM PERMITS AND VISA APPLCATIONS
Most locations however unauthorised photography of government buildings, military installations, and other infrastructure such as air and sea ports, bridges, and public buildings, as well as of religious sites, such as mosques, is illegal in Djibouti. Local film fixer are available to assist with film permits.
Crew of all nationalities travelling to Djibouti can obtain a visa on arrival. The visa must be applied for at your closest Djiboutian embassy prior to travelling. The visa is valid for up to 30 days. Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required with the application.
Journalists require a letter of accreditation approved in advance by the Ministry of Communication and Culture. U.S. journalists and other journalists working for U.S.-based media institutions should contact the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs section at least two weeks prior to travel to facilitate this accreditation process.
MORE FROM LOCAL FILM FIXERS ABOUT FILM PRODUCTION IN DJIBOUTI
Only the most basic camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally. You will need to bring in most equipment from abroad.
A small pool of local film crew is available but for bigger productions it is recommended to bring in HOD’s from abroad.
The Djibouti film fixers will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of film production support to match every budget.
Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. French and Arabic are the official languages.
The Somalis and Afar are the largest ethnic groups. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad.