When Filming in Ivory Coast


Film Locations in Ivory Coast

The Final Year (2018) filmed in Cote D’Ivoire.

Film locations can be divided into the following regions:

Lagunes. Abidjan is the largest city and although it’s not the capital, still remains the administrative centre. Abidjan has a skyscraper skyline and a busy street market. La Pyramide is a ziggurat-like building. Outside of Abidjan, beautiful beaches with surf breaks can be found at Assouinde, and the old French-colonial town of Grand-Bassam.

Northern Savanna. Comoë National Park is the largest protected area in West Africa. It is home to a wide variety of animals including lion, leopard, chimpanzees, elephant, and hippos. Bouaké is the second largest city in Cote D’Ivoire. Korhogo is busy with cotton and cashew trade from February to May.

Southwestern Forests. Taï National Park, and Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve are great places to film chimpanzees, leopards, lions, elephants, crocodiles, and pygmy hippos. Two towns of interest in this region are Sassandra (for beaches) and Man (for verdant hills and countryside).

Eastern Plantations. Yamoussoukro is the official capital. One film location that stands out is the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, a huge building modelled on the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica. It is an interesting structure given that only a third of the country is Christian.

Agricultural looks of interest include cocoa, cotton and cashew plantations.

Location Permits / Visas / Work permits for Ivory Coast

Visitors travelling to Cote D’Ivoire must obtain a visa from one of the Ivorian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries.  E-visas are also available at the airport upon arrival, but they must be requested online prior to arrival in Côte D’Ivoire. Proof of yellow fever immunization is required for entry into Côte D’Ivoire.

Film crews entering the country are encouraged to apply for business visas. That way if they get an overzealous customs and immigration agent, they are covered. Our local Cote D’Ivoire film fixer will arrange a Letter of Invitation for submission of your visa application.

A Film Permit is required to film in Cote D’Ivoire. A local film fixer / service producer submits an application which has to include a project synopsis, dates, visiting film crew passport information pages, and an imported film equipment list with values. If you are coming to film with a local organisation you will also need to include a Letter of Invitation from this organisation. The local film fixer will submit this to the Ministry of Communications in person, on your behalf. If the application is complete and the film subject matter isn’t potentially negative to the image of the country or government, then it takes 3 working days for approval the Film Permit. A copy of the Film Permit will be emailed to you for presentation at the port of entry.

To ensure everything runs smoothly our local film fixer will be waiting for you at the airport pick up, with original documents in hand.

Note, trying to deal directly with permitting authorities to save money, may be tempting but it’s really risky. You don’t want to find out at the 11th hour that your application was never received. Also, you must be accompanied by a local film fixer / service producer when filming in Cote D’Ivoire. The local producer is held liable for the visiting production teams activities including ensuring that the conditions of location permits are adhered to.

Once you obtain a film permit , location permits are easily obtained for a fee and is negotiated for the local location manager within a week. For larger more complex projects such as those involving street closures or large set construction, allow at least one month for permission.

When to film in Ivory Coast

The climate of Cote d’Ivoire is warm and humid, ranging from equatorial in the southern coast to tropical in the centre and semiarid in the far north. There are three seasons. November to March is warm and dry. This is the best time to film for weather and wildlife. March to May is hot and dry. June to October is hot and wet.

Festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include Carnival in Bouaké in March, Fête du Dipri in April, and Festival of Masks in November.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability, and costs.

Consult your local line producer in this regard.

Unique Local Stories for Ivory Coast

Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local researchers are great at sourcing those unique stories and characters.

Costs & Tax Incentives for filming in Ivory Coast

Local film costs. Film locations, local talent and support film crews are inexpensive. It is recommended that all heads of departments are brought in from abroad.  Ivoirian film fixers will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Local film costs. Film locations, local talent and support film crews are inexpensive. It is recommended that all heads of departments are brought in from abroad.  Ivoirian film fixers will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiated on a personal level. Cote D’Ivoire offers mainly West African looking talent with Akan, Voltaiques, Northern Mandes, Krous and Southern Mandes being the largest ethnic groups. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad.

Cote D’Ivoire Film Equipment

Film cameras, lighting, and grips. Cote D’Ivoire has basic camera kits, grip, lighting, and drone equipment available locally. More sophisticated film equipment needs to be brought in. Cote D’Ivoire is an ATA carnet country.

Communication. Internet access is restricted.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing is available.

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 time zones 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 in Ivory Coast

Art department and set construction is very basic.

Film Studios None exist at present.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. The road system is one of the better ones in West Africa. That said, driving at night is not recommended. For driving in rural areas our local Ivoirian fixer organizes safe and reliable 4WD transport. Several international airlines service flights to Abidjan.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Abidjan:

Villa Anaka
Hotel Ivoire Intercontinental
Sofitel Abidjan
Novotel Abidjan

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Hoodlum Films is a production service facility with its main focus on providing fixing and location scouting services.