As the curtain lifts Nepal stages the astonishing spectacle of nature and culture en bloc that you are left gasping and yearning for more as an audience.
Blessed with dramatic landscapes, marvelous hills and majestic mountains, rich bio-diversity and unblemished water resources it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that this country is a real life colossal studio nature has erected itself.
The assemblage of people from different regions with cultural, religious, linguistic and other social distinctions speak monologue of its own.
With a choice to explore and exploit in abundance, Nepal has been a host to many filmmakers across the globe to shoot their projects here including feature films, documentaries, TV series, TV commercials, TV reality shows and music videos.
However, before getting the splendor of the kaleidoscopic view of Nepal into your lenses you ought to abide by the regulations and rules for obtaining a permit to get you through.
How To Get Filming Permits in Nepal : Procedure
- The process of applying for a permit has to be carried out by a registered company for foreign filmmakers with the assistance of a local agency therefore any approach made solely by an individual/crew is mostly rejected. These local agencies are responsible for your production logistics throughout your stay here in Nepal.
- It is mandatory that your proposal for commencing principal photography in various locations should be sanctioned by the local department. For example, if you want to film around Pashupatinath Temple an approval by Pashupatinath Development Fund and Department of Archaeology is a must. Depending upon the various sites and the rules exercised by their respective regulatory bodies, certain fees/charges can be anticipated.
- All the necessary documents have to be presented forth to various administrative bodies before reaching the desk of the Ministry of Information and Communication, who will make the final call.
Getting Filming Permit Required Documents To Be Presented
- Your local agency will ease you with your perplexing paper works during the initial stage of your filming. Their expertise can be resourceful for location scouting and overcoming several difficulties that may arise while filming. Therefore it is wiseful to coordinate with them in order to gain the permit for the project’s successful completion
- A letter from the production team appointing a local agency as their coordinating team which would further make correspondence to Ministry of Information and Communication seeking approval for filming purposes.
- A synopsis/script of the film has to be produced if it’s a feature film, documentary or a TV series. For music videos and commercials the lyrics, soundtrack and theme has to be presented. Any derogatory material or offensive depiction with regards to the people, culture, tradition, religion, national sovereignty of Nepal will likely cancel your permit therefore it should be noted that the elements in your content should not hurt the sentiments of people of Nepal.
- A full list of crew members along with their bio-data, designations, arrival dates and passport numbers is required.
- An itinerary of accommodation and the places where the crew would stay, work/travel to should be presented too. This should be inclusive of the dates and day of filming.
- For custom clearance in the airport, your list of equipment along with their value is asked. If you want to skip the hassle you can choose to purchase/rent the equipment and tools from Nepal itself.
- A list of sites where you would be shooting should be given to your appointed local agency beforehand so that they would make necessary arrangements like seeking permits for you for different locations from local authorities.
How Much Does It Cost For Filming In Nepal
Well, compared to many other locales around the world Nepal is quite cheaper destination for filming.
To film in Nepal the makers will have to spend somewhere close to 15,000 NPR only to acquire the filming permit to begin with excluding the fee charged by the hired local agency.
The filming permit would be valid from 1- 3 years depending upon the type of project. Also, the liaison officers ought to be provided with all the same amenities the crew enjoys. This includes accommodation, allowances, transportation cost, necessary clothes to brave extreme weather conditions, medical support etc.
Life insurance of minimum 300,000 has to be bought for the liaison officer and amid the shooting if any unfortunate incident is to occur he has to be paid 200,000 NPR for the harm/injuries caused.
Procedure To Obtain UAV filming permit
Due to beautiful yet complex topography of Nepal filming in the region often becomes a herculean task requiring a lot of time, effort and resources. At times like these UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) filming with drones is preferably a good alternative.
However, before hovering the sky with your drone you have to comply with the regulations set by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). You do not need to acquire a permit from CAAN if your drone weighs less than 2 kg and if you intend to fly it below 200 ft. and the whole process is free of cost.
- It is a must that you seek approval from Defence Ministry, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and Ministry of Information and Communication.
- A profile of a pilot who has the dexterity of drone operation should be submitted.
- A map and itinerary of the filming zone must be forwarded along with the location coordinates and date of the filming schedule.
- The additional permits should be obtained from the department of wildlife reserves, conservation areas or any national parks in order to film there. These include the mountain base camps like Everest and Annapurna.
Types Of Filming Permits In Nepal
- Nepal Filming Permit (mandatory)
- National Parks Filming Permit
- Heritage Areas Filming Permit
- Public Area Filming Permit
- Private Property Filming Permit
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Some Basic Rules To Follow While Filming With A Drone In Nepal
- You are not allowed to carry/ transport/ drop any item using your drone.
- You are forbidden to fly your drone in and around sensitive areas including airport, military base, archaeological sites, government/administrative offices etc.
- Every flight must be monitored by the operator without losing their sight and should not exceed the distance and altitude limit set by CAAN.
- The operator must be liable for any harm caused to people or property by his drone and should also be wary of filming on private premises. A breach of privacy is discouraged.
- Do not operate drone in unfavourable weather conditions as this may incur damages and injuries.
*Any violation of law and codes set by the Ministry of Information and Communication and CAAN while regular/drone filming is subject to serious legal penalties.