A Guide To Filming In Madagascar

This extensive guide to filming in Madagascar compiled by our Film fixer in Madagascar based in Antananarivo offers responses to commonly asked queries about filming in Madagascar. You’ll find all the relevant information you need to plan your shoot in Madagascar. This guide walks you through the various processes involved in getting location permits, getting media credentials, hiring a local fixer or producer, and much more. You will also discover how to hire talent and crew, obtain equipment clearance from customs, and make use of all the additional services that fixers offer to assist you in organizing a productive shoot in Madagascar.

Madagascar is known as the “eighth continent” because of its distinct biodiversity and seclusion, this island republic is located off the coast of Africa. It is a place full of vibrant cultures, lemurs, and baobabs that is just waiting to be discovered and filmed. Diverse Landscapes: Madagascar has an astonishing diversity of landscapes, ranging from the lush rainforests of the east to the barren plains of the south. Explore the surreal limestone pinnacles of Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park on foot, or unwind on the immaculate beaches of Nosy Be.

Film Fixer In Madagascar

Are you interested in filming in Madagascar, At Africa Fixers, we are pleased to offer a range of filmmaking services for your upcoming feature or documentary.  Our local Madagascar film fixer also looks at other important considerations when planning a shoot. Are you looking for a Madagascar film fixer to assist you with press credentials, work permits and visas, kit customs clearance, travel, housing, and filming authorization? For all of your filming needs, look no further than Africa Fixers, where you can get the most experienced and reliable film fixers.

What Is Needed To Get Permission For Filming In Madagascar

Filming in Madagascar requires you to have a filming permit which is issued out by Ministry in charge of Information and the ministry in charge of culture. The filming permit usually takes about 2 weeks and more depending on the shoot. The following is needed for the application to be done.

  • Name of Production Company or organization
  • Topic and title of the shoot
  • Filming dates
  • The location you are interested in filming
  • List of equipment
  • Biodata information and passports
  • Any other pertinent information or contacts or host organization in Madagascar
  • Accommodation details (This has to be registered with the government when you arrive.)
  • Emergency contacts (inside and outside of Madagascar.)

Visa Requirements Of Madagascar.

Madagascar has different types of visas for different purposes. For filming purposes, the recommended visa is the Film/Media Visa. You need the following documents to apply for the visa.

  • Visa application form with all information filled in
  • Original Passport with at least 6 months validity
  • Passport-sized photograph with a white background. This has to be a recent photo.
  • Proof of status such as identity documents and work Identification, school identification.
  • Proof of Yellow Fever vaccination. Those who will just get their Vaccination, it must be done 6 days before arrival into the country.
  • Filming permit issued by Ministry in charge of information and the Ministry in charge of Culture.

Equipment Importation In Madagascar

Madagascar has strict laws governing the import and export of commodities, particularly equipment used for filming. Should you intend to travel with filming equipment, you will have to declare it at the border and might have to pay taxes or customs charges. Obtaining an ATA Carnet, an international customs document that streamlines the customs process for temporary imports, is advised.

Hiring Equipment In Madagascar

Madagascar has a pool of basic equipment available for hire. In order to know what is available, you have to send us your desired list of equipment and then we can be able to identify what is available and what is not and also provide alternatives. For big shoots that requires specific gear we recommend that crews fly in with their equipment and we can help with customs clearance at entry.

Drone Importation In Madagascar.

Importing and using drones to film in Madagascar is allowed as long as you have the required permit.  The drone filming permit is issued out by the Civil Aviation of Madagascar. In order to apply for the permit, you have to write a letter requesting for drone importation. In addition to that, information of the drone type, specs and the purpose of filming will be required. This process is very lengthy and tiresome as the application goes through several offices of authority to be granted permission. You need the help of a local fixer to be able to get this done smoothly. Please note that this process can take about two weeks and more to be finalised so application has to be done early.

Rules And Regulations Of Drone Filming 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.

Filming Locations In Madagascar

East African island nation Madagascar is situated in the Indian Ocean. Madagascar is home to 5% of all plant and animal species worldwide, including the well-known baobab tree and several chameleon and lemur species, notably the indri and sifaka lemurs. The country is renowned for its rich biodiversity. With its unique national parks, tropical rainforests, tropical dry forests, thorn forests, deserts, xeric shrub lands, white sand beaches, tropical islands, coral reefs, volcanic regions, mountains, and limestone formations, Madagascar is a filmmaker’s dream come true. The filming locations in Madagascar include the following:

The central province Antananarivo that is home to the remains of the Rova Palace Complex, the Ambohimanga traditional walled royal village, the Andafiavaratra Palace, the Ambohitsorohitra Palace, the Monument aux morts, the Analakely Market, and the Parc de Tsarasaotra.

The province of Antsrinana that is home to Toamasina, islanda of Nosy Be, Nosy Antshoha, Nosy Sakatia, Nosy Anko and Nosy Tankiely. National parks Marojejy, Masoala national park and Montagne d’Ambre. Lokobe and Maromokotro reserve,

The Fianarantsoa pronvince that is home to national parks Andrringitra, Tsimanampetsotsa, Kirindy Mitea, Isalo, Ranomafana and Midongy du sud .

The south province of Toliara is where the following are located: Aven Cave, Ifaty, Andohahela National Park, and the Avenue of Boababs.

The Mahajanga North province is known for the Ankarafantsika National Park, Tsingy De Bemaraha National Park, and Ambalabongo Canyon.

Toamasina province in the east is home to the paradise island, Andasibe – Mantadia National Park and Zahamena national park

How should one conduct themselves when filming in Madagascar?

Observing proper etiquette is crucial when filming in Madagascar. Ensure to follow the rules and regulations set by the government of the country in order to have a smooth shoot.  It is customary to respect everyone. Show respect for the local environment by avoiding wasteful practices.  Adhering to these cultural norms fosters positive interactions and mutual respect during your time in Madagscar.

Are there any limitations on the type of content that can be filmed in Madagascar?

Please note that when filming in Madagascar, Anything considered harmful to moral image of the country prohibited. Most of the filmed content should have no negative effect on the country’s government to avoid any backlash on your project.

Best Time To Film In Madagascar

There are two seasons in Madagascar. It is hot, rainy, and 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.

Language Spoken In Madagascar

The official languages used in Madagascar are French and Malagasy. So you have to consider getting a local fixer who is fluent in both languages 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.

Filming Wildlife In Madagascar

Madagascar has a number of national parks that are home to several wildlife species. You will be required to have the general filming permit and in addition to that, you have to get the respective location permits for every national park. In addition to this, you have to follow the respective rules and regulations that are put in place to protect the wildlife. When filming wildlife, a code of conduct must be followed. Some regulations include keeping a safe distance from the animals, not damaging the environment, refraining from animal disturbance, etc.

Safety Precautions When Filming In Madagascar

The country is generally safe, but be aware of any potential threats and keep up with local security developments. Seek advice from knowledgeable experts or local authorities to ascertain what safety precautions and procedures are required for your shoot. It is generally advisable to have a local fixer with you, particularly in isolated places.

Local Transport Services In 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.

Local Crew in Madagascar

Madagascar has a number of local producers, camera operators and crew to work on your shoot. Although the filming industry is still growing, you can be able to find worthy candidates to work with on your shoot. It is advised to at least have one or two members from your side to fly in and be a part of the production if you decide to hire the crew locally.

Access And Affordability

The main ways to reach Madagascar are by air into the country. Once you leave the airport, the main roads deteriorate 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.

Projects Filmed In Madagascar

Madagascar has been the site of numerous filming productions, from small documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters. These include Madagascar (2005), Island of Lemurs: Madagascar (2005), Alaotra: Endangered Treasures of Madagascar (2014), The Aviator (2004), Planet Madagascar and so many more. 

Why Use Africa Fixers For Your Shoot In Madagascar

Africa Fixers is an African fixing company. We support production companies and filming companies in Madagascar and other countries that are listed on our website. Over the years, we have worked with many production firms on several projects, making us quite experienced in this area. We manage all fixer services required with our skilled staff of local fixers. We have all required relationships with various service providers and government authorities in Madagascar to ensure that accreditation and filming permissions are processed fast. For further information and other necessary specifics for a successful filming experience, get in touch with us.