What our Film Fixers say about Filming in Eritrea:
Eritrea Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews
Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Eritrea? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Eritrea
For an introduction to shooting in Eritrea see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.
Eritrea Film Locations
Eritrea is a country located on Africa’s Red Sea coast. It is best known for its Italian Art Deco buildings.
Barley, wheat, and livestock including camels are the main agricultural products.
Eritrea has hosted productions such as Nike’s Breaking2.
Film locations can be divided into the following six Zobas (regions):
The smallest region in Eritrea, Maekel contains the national capital, Asmara. The city is known for its interesting Modernist architecture built during Mussolini’s occupation of Eritrea, including the Art Deco style Cinema Impero, Cinema Roma, Governor’s Palace, and the Futurist style Fiat Tagliero Building. Other locations of note include Enda Mariam Orthodox Cathedral, Cattedrale di Asmara, Asmara Central Market, and Cimitero Italiano Di Asmara.
This centrally located region is predominately highland plateau, which is cooler than the regions around the coastal plains. Semenawi Bahri National Park is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including leopards and many species of birds.
The northern region is known for the Anseba River and the city of Keren. The region is predominately highland plateau, which is cooler than the regions around the coastal plains.
Situated in the south, the region is rich in agriculture and minerals, including marble. Towns of note include Barentu, Agordat, Molki, Sebderat, and Teseney.
This southern region is predominately coastal plains. Mount Soira is the highest point in Eritrea. Qohaito is a pre-Aksumite archaeological site.
Northern Red Sea
The region is mostly coastal plains, which are hotter than the regions around the highland plateau. The Dahlak archipelago has unspoilt beaches, turquoise waters, coral reef and underwater photography options. Lake Kulul is in this region. The port city of Massawa, knowns for its Italian, Egyptian and Ottoman architecture is located in this region. There is an old steam train running from Massawa to Asmara that travels over bridges and through striking mountainous landscapes. Adulis is an important archaeological site.
Southern Red Sea
Eritrea Film Location Permits
Most locations are possible given time, money and the right approach. Unauthorised photography of military or government installations is illegal. Penalties may include arrest, fines and confiscation of film equipment. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
The central highlands, coastal region, and western lowlands each have a different climate. Generally speaking, Eritrea has good year-round sunny and dry filming conditions. Short rains fall from February to April and long rains fall from June to September. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
The Eritrean National Festival takes place in August. Ramadan is widely observed by the majority Muslim population living in the lowland areas, with many services closed during this period.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Eritrea.
Unique Local Stories
Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.
If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.
If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.
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 Eritrean 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 feature films shooting in Eritrea.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Eritrea has a very small pool of local directors, videographers and stills photographers. Key crew should be brought in from abroad. Eritrea’s proximity to Dubai and Kenya allows easy access to those experienced crews.
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 Eritrea.
Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. The Tigrinya and Tigre make up the vast majority of Eritrea’s nine ethnic groups. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad.
Eritrea Film Equipment
Equipment. Only the most basic camera, lighting and grip equipment is available locally. You will need to bring in most standard equipment from abroad. Please note, all electronic equipment including cameras and laptops need to be declared upon arrival. Failure to do so may result in their confiscation by customs officials when you depart.
Communications. Slow internet and unreliable coverage.
Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.
Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.
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 timezones 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
Art department and set construction is very basic.
Studios and backlots. None exist at present.
Post Production. Post abroad.
Visas & Work Permits
Most nationals are required to have a visa to enter Eritrea. US passport holders see here for visa application information. Contact your closest Eritrean embassy or representative for more information. Travel outside of Asmara requires a special permit from the Ministry of Tourism. Our local fixer in Asmara is able to assist with the process to ensure the application process runs smoothly.