When Filming in Tunisia

Hoodlum Film Fixers - When filming in Tunisia

Film locations in Tunisia

Tunisia is a country about the size of California with a tremendous variety of scenery from forests, Tunisia is best known for its beautiful beaches, desert dunes, otherworldly arid mountain landscapes, oasis, souks, Roman ruins, and Islamic architecture. Despite its relatively small size, Tunisia offers a great diversity of unique film locations that could easily stand in for other Mediterranean countries, North Africa or The Middle East.  Tunisia has agricultural locations including olive groves, wheat and barley fields. Heading inland the landscape becomes more desert with beautiful oasis.

There is a solid infrastructure due to the well-developed tourist industry and a small number of excellent film crew.

The most commonly used film locations are in the South. It is an area of stark, almost alien-like landscapes. It is a place of isolated Berber villages on hilltops and troglodyte homes dug into the ground to protect them against the harshness of the climate. Ancient Ksars, traditional fortified granaries, dot the landscape.To the South and West, the shifting sand dunes take over. The Grand Erg Oriental is a field of sand dunes in the Sahara Desert and is one of Tunisia’s most remarkable and breathtaking settings.

The North is beloved by Tunisians but often overlooked by visitors from abroad. Not only it does have some of Tunisia’s finest and most secluded beaches, but it’s also home to extensive forests, rugged hills that drop preciously into glinting blue Mediterranean and rolling farmland that’s magnificently lush in winter and golden in summer. Tunis is the sprawling capital of Tunisia. It is the main production service centre where crew and equipment are based. The medina is the centre of city life with its chaotic souks and winding alleys. Other locations of note include the Al-Zaytuna Mosque, Bab El Bhar, and Bardo National Museum.

Film Location Permits for filming in Tunisia

A general film permit per project is required and is applied for by a local film fixer/producer. Tunisians like to do business in person so often our Tunisian fixer / producer will need to travel to the location to negotiate permission to film

This information can be obtained from the local film fixers. Local authorities are very supportive of film projects. A general film permit is required to cover all filming on public property. This takes around 3 days to permit. For larger projects looking to shut streets or take exclusive control of public space, individual permits require a longer lead time


Much of Tunisia has a Mediterranean – as opposed to an African – climate, with summer temperatures in Tunis ranging from 21C to 33C, while winter conditions range from about 6C to 14C. The average annual temperature is 18C. Conditions can be warmer and drier in the central plain, while northern regions are more mountainous with milder winters. Annual rainfall is concentrated during the winter months.

Tax Incentives

There are no formal incentive programmes in place at present. Significant projects will be evaluated on a case by case basis. However, the Tunisian government will assist with army personnel (extras/workers), army equipment (helicopters etc), the use of government buildings and property as locations and reduced hotel costs. Tunisia is also willing to help out (incentives, rather than cash with hotels, transport etc) on projects that are of proven promotional interest to the country. Please contact the production service company you are interested in working with, who in turn will contact the various government departments on your behalf. The VAT of 18% is refundable on all expenses for feature films. The negative is considered an export, so there are no charges to be paid through customs.

Tunisia offers

  • A VAT exemption for specific expenses;
  • Up to 80% off the cost of transport and accommodation. This is covered by the Ministry of Tourism and is subject to conditions;
  • Six airports providing regular flights around the world and inside the country;
  • Roads and highways, in excellent condition, from North to South;
  • Three, four and five star hotels are at very competitive rates;
  • Close proximity to European and other African countries;
  • Production costs up to 60% less than Europe;
  • A variety of landscapes at no more than 500km apart.

Local currency/banking

The unit of currency is the Tunisian dinar (DT) and is the only currency that can be used locally.

Even if you manage to find somewhere exchanging Tunisian dinar at home, don’t take them up on the offer. It’s illegal to bring the currency into the country and no place that’s reputable will sell it to you.

Once you arrive in Tunisia, British pounds will readily be accepted for exchange, as will euros and US dollars. Most other currencies are exchangeable too, but not as widely. If you’re happy to carry your cash on you, a good option is to take your spending money in one of these currencies and exchange it for dinar on arrival.

If you prefer to use your credit or debit card to withdraw money once you’re in Tunisia, that’s fine too as ATMs are widely available in tourist resorts and towns. However, you may be faced with surcharges of around 4% on your card, and you should still take a small amount of cash with you to exchange in case of emergencies or problems with your card.

Local film equipment levels are limited and there are no dedicated rental houses. Local film production companies do hold some stock, but again it is worth checking well in advance to see what is available. All other specialized film equipment and film crew need to be brought in from abroad.

Entry requirements
If you are planning on bringing film equipment in , the ATA carnet system would be the best approach.

Tunisia is a ATS carnet country

Film Crew

A small pool of excellent local film crew is available but for bigger productions it is recommended to bring in HOD’s from your relevant countries as needed

The Tunisian film fixers will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.


North African looking talent are plentiful and some Far Eastern and Arabic cast is available but all other talent will have to be brought in from abroad.

The local talent fees are negotiable and include usage. Tunisian crews have been servicing foreign productions since the 1970’s. They are skilled and experienced and most speak fluent French and English.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is impressive in Tunisia. Local crews have built sets for films such as Indiana Jones, Star Wars and The English Patient.

Film Studios

Few small studios at present.

Post Production

It is recommended that it gets taken abroad

Visas & Work Permits

Film crews travelling on Western passports can enter visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Work permits are not required to shoot in Tunisia

Tunisia Health Care and Vaccinations. * A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over one year of age arriving from an infected area. So if travelling from an African country the best option would be to have a yellow fever card and ensure that the vaccinations were done 10 days or prior to arriving in the country.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Tunisia has an extensive road network. Travel after dark outside of Tunis is best avoided. Desert travel is slower going and subject to sandstorms. Our local fixer will organise safe and reliable 4WD transportation for off-road travel. Several international airlines service regular flights to Tunis.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Tunis include:

Golden Tulip
Hotel le Consul
Les Berges du Lac

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

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