Frequently Asked Questions

At Film Fixers Madagascar, our aim is to offer solutions, and you will find that we have answered the often asked questions and concerns regarding filming in this one-of-a-kind country. Whether you’re looking for information on acquiring permissions, choosing filming locations, managing cultural considerations, or planning logistics, our FAQ has all this answered. Discover the materials we’ve gathered based on our significant expertise over the years of working with film crews on shoots in Madagascar. If you have any particular questions that are not answered here, please contact our staff directly for tailored support. Let us help you have a successful filming experience in Madagascar.

Do I need permits to film in Madagascar?

Yes, you need permits in order to film in madagascar, this film permit is a requirement for any production coming to Madagascar be it reports, documentery, future film or movie, cinematographic works or animated images. The permits are issued by the ISSM for any film project in the country and contact has to be established in advance so that they can be able to do the due diligence before commissioning you to film and also clearance with the ministry of communication. Get ready to provide any requirement deemed.

What do i need to get a filming permit?

  • A request for filming authorization addressed to the Minister Communication and Culture and a completed corpus form of ISSM.
  • The synopsis / script of the work being filmed, detailing shoot dates, crew members and roles.
  • Copies of the national identity card or passport of the members of the team
  • List of filming equipment for temporary admission to customs subject to a compliance check by the air and border police on arrival of the film crew.
  • Press / cards  where available.
  • Allow atleast 3 weeks for the permits to be processed

What are the visa requirements for filming crews?

Filming crews typically require a visa to enter Madagascar. It’s essential to check with the Malagasy embassy or consulate in your country to apply for the visa.

Requirements for the visa include;

  • Filled in Visa application form.
  • Passport valid least 6 months.
  • Passport sized photograph with a white background.
  • Proof of Yellow Fever vaccination.
  • Filming permit issued by Ministry in charge of communication and the ISSM.

Are there any restrictions on drone usage for filming?

Yes, drone usage for filming in Madagascar is subject to regulations and may require special permits. Importing and using drones for filming in Madagascar is legal as long as you have the necessary permits.  The Civil Aviation of Madagascar issues drone filming permits. In order to apply for the permit, you must prepare a letter seeking drone importation. In addition, information about the drone kind, specifications, and purpose of filming will be needed. This is a lengthy and arduous process because the application must go through multiple offices of authority before being granted authorization. To complete this task properly, you will need the assistance of a local fixer. Please keep in mind that this procedure can take up to two weeks or more to complete, so submit your application as soon as possible.

What are the rules and regulations of using a Drone in Madagascar?

Madagascar as a country has several drone laws that need to be followed when flying in the country. Drone Operators should ensure that they follow the drone laws when flying in Madagascar to avoid any complications with the authorities.

Do not fly your drone over people or large crowds
Respect others privacy when flying your drone
Drones are not allowed to fly over airports or in areas where aircraft are operating
Drone flights have to be operated during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions
Drones are prohibited in sensitive areas including government or military facilities

What are the best times of year for filming in Madagascar?

There are two seasons in Madagascar. It is hot and rainy, the rains are prone to cyclones from November to April. October to May is dry and chilly. The rainy season is ideal for those interested in filming wildlife, but the dry season is better in terms of weather and capturing landscapes. The annual festivities also have to be taken into consideration when choosing a time to film in Madagascar.

Are there any health considerations for filming crews in Madagascar?

Vaccinations for diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and typhoid may be recommended to protect you against getting them. Other than than that you are safe but from time to time you are advised to keep an eye on the travel advisory before setting out to come for your filming work.

What are the logistics of transporting filming equipment within Madagascar?

Transportation in general is available. Once you leave the airport, the main roadsdeteriorate further, therefore keep in mind the vast distances that must be covered. The state of the roads is both Marram and tarmac roads. Travelling by car in a country where you are vulnerable to “local law” and attempted bribery is not the safest option, especially for foreigners. It is usually advisable to travel with a local fixer who has the technical know-how and will help you deal with the political and social bonds in the country. Using a 4×4 or a vehicle with adequate clearance is always advised and you need to have pre-booked it in advice so that you don’t get last minute issues.

What are the accommodations options for filming crews in Madagascar?

Accommodation alternatives for film crews in Madagascar are diverse, catering to a wide range of needs and preferences. Hotels and resorts in cities like Antananarivo and beach towns like Nosy Be offer easy and comfortable lodging with services such as spacious rooms, dining facilities, and conference spaces for production meetings. These lodgings provide convenient access to metropolitan infrastructure and amenities, making them perfect for teams operating in more developed sections of the country.

In contrast, for shoots in distant or rural areas, guesthouses, lodges, and camping become more common. Guesthouses and lodges provide a more intimate experience, often set in Madagascar’s breathtaking scenery, and have basic facilities such as meals and public places for relaxing. Camping can be a useful option for teams filming in national parks or wilderness areas, allowing for close proximity to filming locations and a deeper connection with nature. Additionally, rental villas or apartments may be available in some tourist destinations, offering more space and flexibility for longer stays or larger crews. Ultimately, the choice of accommodation depends on factors such as the location of the shoot, budget considerations, and the level of comfort desired by the production crew.

Are there any language barriers for international film crews?

Well if you are french then you should not have an issue navigating the country. So you have to consider getting a local fixer who is fluent in both languages used in order to have a successful shoot in the country.

Malagasy the official language and spoken by nearly 90% of the population. It is distinct among African languages since it is a member of the Austronesian language family. It has a variety of dialects spoken around the island, with the Merina dialect being the most common. This language is necessary for connecting with locals and for daily communication.

French though less common than Malagasy,is another official language. About 25% of people can communicate in French to some extent. French is more common in government, certain enterprises, and urban locations.Some situations can benefit from having a rudimentary understanding of French.

English though not commonly spoken is used by some people and it is increasing as the tourism sector develops.

Are there any cultural sensitivities to be aware of when filming in Madagascar?

It’s essential to respect local customs, traditions, and cultural sensitivities when filming in Madagascar. Seek permission before filming in villages or private properties, and be mindful of religious or cultural ceremonies that may be taking place. There are sites that are sensitive and you need to be mindful before doing any kind of filming. Seek for permission from authorities. 

What are the possibilities for hiring local crew members and extras?

Hiring local crew members and extras typically involves working with local production companies or casting agencies and adhering to labor regulations. We have varity of crew available in the country, from producers, creative directors, cameramen, soundies, among other crew is availble, the team needs to tell us there requirements for the shoot and we can get crew that is spacific to there needs. 

Are there any specific safety precautions for filming in Madagascar?

Madagascar filming has special safety issues, which production crews must address to ensure a smooth and secure shoot. While Madagascar is generally safe for filming, particularly in tourist regions and urban centers, it is critical to be aware of potential hazards and take the required precautions. Petty crime, such as stealing and pickpocketing, can occur in crowded areas or tourist destinations, so it’s best to keep valuables secure and cautious, especially in cities. Working with local fixers or production coordinators who are familiar with the location can provide vital information about potential safety issues and assist in navigating unfamiliar situations. In that sense, when working in remote and crowded areas, consider having a security personale, to keep an eye on the gear and also to ensure that you are generally safe.

When filming in Madagascar, crews need consider not just physical safety but also logistical and environmental considerations. Madagascar’s infrastructure may be less developed in isolated or rural locations, making it critical to prepare transportation routes and communication systems ahead of time. Road conditions might change, and driving at night may pose additional risks, so plan your trips during daytime hours if possible. Furthermore, crews should be aware of environmental conservation initiatives and follow regulations when filming in protected regions in order to reduce ecological effect and maintain Madagascar’s unique biodiversity. By putting safety and environmental stewardship first, then you will have a successful shoot and meet the deliverables.

What are the electrical voltage and plug standards in Madagascar?

For most people these are the normal power needs as in your home country. Electrical voltage is typically 220 volts, and the plug type is usually Type C, E, or J. Adapters may be necessary for international equipment, you are advised to carry the three pin adapter commonly used worldwide.

What are the costs associated with filming permits and location fees?

Costs for filming permits and location fees vary depending on the specific requirements and locations. It’s essential to budget accordingly and send through your paperwork and we will send them through to the authorities to get costs in. our team of fixers is very professional and has the techincal know how to handle all situations and they do have connections within authority offices to ease the process.

Are there any specific customs regulations for importing filming equipment?

Importing filming equipment requires customs declarations and payment of duties fees. Madagascar is under the carnet system as such you have tp prepare the carnet before travel and send it through for verification. Even though you have a carnet, you need to work with a customs agent to process the bond for the filming equipment in advance of your arrival. Our bonded agents are reliable options to ensure smooth transition on arrival and charge a minimal fee for handling.

Are there any cultural sensitivities to be aware of when filming in Madagascar?

It’s essential to respect local customs, traditions, and cultural sensitivities when filming in Madagascar. Seek permission before filming in villages or private properties, and be mindful of religious or cultural ceremonies that may be taking place. There are sites that are sensitive and you need to be mindful before doing any kind of filming. Seek for permission from authorities. 

What are the available transportation options for traveling within Madagascar?

Local transport services are available and reliable for use in Madagascar. The transport system is very efficient and safe. You have several options to choose from. This choice will depend on your budget, crew size, equipment, and any other preferences you may have. Africa Fixers provides these transportation services with professional and well-versed drivers in Madagascar’s local areas.

How can we ensure the protection of wildlife and natural habitats during filming?

Ensuring the safety of wildlife and natural ecosystems while filming necessitates a proactive and ethical attitude. First and foremost, considerable research is required to grasp the local environmental restrictions and sensitivities of Madagascar’s filming locations. Engage with local conservation organizations and professionals to learn about the specific biodiversity and ecosystems that exist. During filming, stay on approved trails and filming locations and avoid feeding or engaging with wildlife. To reduce your environmental impact, use eco-friendly practices like biodegradable goods and low-impact filming techniques. Implement waste management measures to ensure proper rubbish disposal and pollution reduction. By partnering with local stakeholders and prioritizing conservation initiatives, we can ensure that filming operations in Madagascar contributes positively to the protection of its precious wildlife and natural habitats.

Are there any local film industry resources or support services available in Madagascar?

Madagascar’s film industry is still emerging, but there are local resources and support services available for filmmakers. There are production companies and freelance professionals in Madagascar specializing in various aspects of film production, including equipment rental, and post-production services. While the industry may not be as developed as in some other countries, tapping into these local resources can provide valuable support for you shoot like additional AC, sound op, additional gear where needed. Also we have access to casting crew and talent so in case you need these we can avail them at short notice. 

What are the emergency medical services available for filming crews in Madagascar?

Emergency medical services for filming crews in Madagascar can vary depending on the location and the level of infrastructure available. In major cities like Antananarivo and Toamasina, there are hospitals and clinics that can provide emergency medical care. However, in more remote areas or when filming in rural regions, access to medical facilities may be limited. It’s essential for filming crews to have a comprehensive medical kit on hand and consider contracting with a local medical provider or evacuation service for emergencies. Additionally, having a designated local contact(fixer) who knows the area well and can assist in case of medical emergencies is advisable. Ensuring crew members have adequate travel insurance that covers medical evacuation is also highly recommended when filming in Madagascar. We can arrange this for the crew. 

What are the telecommunications and internet connectivity options for staying connected during filming?

In Madagascar, the telecommunications and internet connectivity options can vary depending on the location. In major cities like Antananarivo and Toamasina, you can generally find reliable 4G LTE networks provided by local telecom operators such as Telma, Orange, and Airtel. These networks offer decent coverage and speeds suitable for basic internet browsing, emails, and some video streaming. However, in more remote or rural areas, connectivity may be limited or unreliable. It’s recommended to have backup solutions such as satellite internet or portable Wi-Fi devices (Mi-Fi) for essential communications during filming in areas with inconsistent network coverage. Additionally, local SIM cards are readily available and can be used in unlocked mobile devices to access local networks, providing a convenient option for staying connected while filming in Madagascar.

Are there any specific environmental regulations or conservation efforts to be aware of when filming in Madagascar?

When filming in Madagascar, it’s important to be aware of specific environmental regulations and conservation efforts aimed at protecting the island’s unique biodiversity. Madagascar is home to numerous endangered species and fragile ecosystems, so filmmakers must adhere to strict guidelines to minimize environmental impact. One key consideration is obtaining permits from the appropriate authorities, such as the ISSM, Ministry of Environment, for filming in protected areas or near sensitive habitats. You should consider working with a local fixer and local conservation organizations and communities to ensure responsible filming practices and promote environmental stewardship. By respecting these regulations and engaging in conservation efforts, filmmakers can contribute positively to preserving Madagascar’s natural heritage while showcasing its beauty on screen.

Contact Us

We offer comprehensive support, including local expertise, equipment rental, and crew hiring. Contact us today to explore the diverse filming opportunities Madagascar has to offer. Let’s bring your vision to life amidst Madagascar’s stunning backdrops.

info@filmfixersmadagascar.com

(255) 732-650620

Antananarivo, Madagascar

M-F: 8am-5pm, S-S: Closed

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