Challenges in Filming in Nepal For Foreign Filmmakers

ARTICLE BY NEPAL FILM PRODUCTION TEAM

Nepal is considered one of the safest country in the world but there are certain challenges in filming in Nepal for foreign filmmakers.

In terms of crime, politics, and people, Nepal is not a risk for filmmakers across the globe.

But there are some challenges in terms of geography, land topography, altitude sickness, permits for filming, custom clearance, and much more. But the best possible way to outcome from this problem is to collaborate with Nepal based film production company.

Filming in Nepal

Nepal is a lot like a Bermuda Triangle, the beauty, landscapes, culture, Himalayan ranges, history, arts, architecture, temples, shrines, etc attracting thousands of people from across the globe and imprinting their mind with them.

Not only has Nepal has become the center of attraction for foreign filmmakers for being so affordable destination.

Each year thousands of filmmakers are heading in here in Nepal, a land of Himalayas, to capture and reflect the beauty into their movies, or documentaries.

Why Filming in Nepal is So Popular Among Foreign Filmmakers?

Some of the reasons why filming in Nepal is budding are:

  • Nepal, very cheap and affordable destinations for filming
  • A various popular destination like Everest Region, Annapurna Region, Mustang, Kanchenjunga, Durbar Squares, National Parks and so on
  • Varied terrain ranging from the world’s highest point (8848m) to lowlands (60m) 
  • A country full of cascading rivers, waterfall, glacier lakes, and other water sources
  • Rich in culture and History (over 500 years old)
  • Home to yogis, tantric, and shamans
  • The country formed with 100 ethnic groups, languages and corresponding rituals each with their own festivals running throughout the year
  • Various species of plant and wildlife

Challenges Foreign Filmmakers Might Face While Filming in Nepal

When it comes to traveling or carrying out some projects in a foreign land, the foremost things that come in the mind is “Safety”.

Politically, Nepal is in stable condition for decades.

So you don’t have to worry about the political clashes that might hamper your project.

Similarly, when it comes to crime, there hasn’t been any record of crimes involved in foreign travelers or movie makers.

In recent days, the Nepal government, seeing the potentiality of tourism in Nepal, they are promoting Nepal as the best tourist and filming destinations.

And also, the government is also supporting local film movie makers to raise the scope of filming in various locations in Nepal. However, there are some challenges in filming in Nepal for movie makers. Let’s know them in detail.

Geography and land Topography of Nepal

Nepal is filled with the Himalayas and high hills.

Most of the locations like Annapurna and Everest Regions falls under this land topography. So, going there for shooting along with your crew members and heavy equipment is not as easy as you have imagined. Even though you succeeded to reach there, but it will hard for most of the members to spend weeks over there.

Altitude sickness, uneven trails, frostbite, and natural calamities are a risk to your projects.

The best to overcome this risk is to cope with the film production houses who have needed experience in this kind of job in such a location. Make sure about the travel insurance sometimes, emergency medical help might be needed in that case, Nepal Mountaineering Association and Himalayan Rescue Association are there to help you in such a situation.

No matter which fixer you work with, tell them to do proper research of the location and ask about the challenges you might face there without hesitation.

Custom Fees and heavy charge for extra luggage

This problem is what you are going to tackle as soon as you land Nepal’s airport.

If you are working with some independent fixer or local co-coordinator, you might cost you arms and legs for custom fees and extra baggage. This will significantly hamper the budget of your projects. In addition to that, you might go through the problem of shipping large filming equipment in Nepal.

Here, you can team up with the film company based in Nepal to cut out all the extra charges and the trouble-free shipping of filming equipment in Nepal. Only they can help you with this matter. Being working in this field for so many years, they kind of have good networking with the ones who handle all these businesses.

Transportation

In the remote places of Nepal, the roads are very bad, uneven and quite dangerous as well. Traveling in such a location can be uncomfortable. You have to hire a tourist bus or jeep because talking to local buses is way out of your league as it will be very crowded and almost no rooms for your baggage and equipment. There are no proper regulations for traffic in the city area, so long traffic jams can be a big problem for your projects.

As you will be co-operating with the fixer of Nepal, they will handle all the transportation and also hire a tourist bus to give you enough rooms for your crew members and filming equipment. In those places where there is no proper road for business, pickups and jeeps are easily available.

Stay Away from Politics

Never show the political gestures of Nepal through your movie or even in real-time, as it can cause an unpredictable issue no one has imagined. Tell your film crew member to stay away from stating religious and political statements that directly harm the local sentiments.

Acquiring permits for Filming

Even though it is easy to get the permit for filming in Nepal, the process and the paperwork is very challenging. If you are planning to do it independently, I am afraid to say, the permit might get rejected. Some of the locations fall under the very sensitive and delicate areas of Nepal and need to be supervised by the concerned authorities. In addition to that, flying drones is also illegal in Nepal. You need to have a special permit from aviation as well.

So, it better you take a help from the filming company in Nepal as they will help you to get almost every permits you needed for filming.

FAQ

What are the challenges foreign filmmakers have to face while filming in Nepal?

Challenges like transportation, land topography, custom fees getting permits, political and religious are the challenges that foreign filmmakers have to face while filming in Nepal.

How easy is the transportation facility in Nepal?

Due to geographical conditions, road conditions in remote places is very bad. You need to hire pickups or jeep to get there. In areas where there is proper road management, you can hire a tourist bus for your crew members.

Do I face problems with the customs clearance at Nepal’s airport?

Yes, while coming with filming equipment the customs clearance authorities might ask you some of the questions or even told you to pay a hefty charge for it. It is better you tale a help from a film company in Nepal like Nepal Film Production as they have good networks in this matter.

Can I easily get the permit for filming in Nepal?

Yes, you can but you have to hire a fixer from Nepal like Nepal Film Production. They will handle all the visas and permits for filming in Nepal. All you need is to tell your requirements.

Can I use a drone for filming in Nepal?

Flying a drone without permission is considered as illegal in Nepal. For this, you need to have a permit from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.