Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which organisation grants a shooting permit?

A: Ministry of Information and Communications (foreign film production). It grants a shooting permit to international filmmakers. Film Development Board - Nepal grants permission to domestic film production.

Q: How do I start?

A: Filmmakers wishing to shoot a film in Nepal are recommended to hire Nepali coordinator companies or individuals for help, as there are procedures which need to be followed both before and after the filming permit is granted. They also help you with local permissions and contacting Nepali authorities and local people concerned in your production.

Q:What else does the coordinator do?

A:The coordinator helps the film crew to obtain film permits, gives you advice on tax payment, and also supports on general production.

Q: How do I find a coordinator?

A:You can hire a trekking agency or a local film production company as a coordinator. Ministry of Information and Communications and Film Development Board - Nepal have a list of coordinators which you can refer to. Some coordinators may specialise in serving Japanese clients, some might have experience working with filmmakers from India,America, Europe, etc while some of them might have experiences working for filmmakers from around the globe. For both parties’ benefits, an agreement letter must be made on mutual understanding.You can find the list of local coordinators that have worked with the Ministry of Information and Communications and Film Development Board - Nepal at http://www.moic.gov.np and http://www.film.gov.np

Q:What kind of production can apply for a shooting permit at the Ministry of Information and Communications?

A:TV commercials, documentaries, music videos,TV programmes, feature films, mini- series,TV serials, etc that do not contain any negative connotation or unfavourable message about Nepal and its people  can apply for permission at the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Q:What documents do I have to submit the Ministry of Information and Communications?

A:The documents that need to be submitted are enlisted as under:

  1. A Letter made by the assigned local coordinator informing the Audio-Visual Section, Ministry of Information and Communications of the purpose of applying for the shooting permit.
  2. An assignment letter made by the foreign filmmaker showing that they have already chosen and hired a local coordinator.
  3. An application form.
  4. Supporting documents needed for permit consideration:
    • Storyboard for TV commercials
    • Treatment for documentaries
    • Theme (concept) and Lyrics for music videos
    • Details of content and objectives of the programme
    • Presentation for TV programmes.
  5. A schedule of filming in Nepal specifying exact dates and locations (for all types of productions).
  6. Name-list, passport numbers, positions and arrival dates of all foreign film crews.

Q: How long does it takes to receive permission at Ministry of Information and Communications?

A: The process will be completed within two working days.

Q:Where should the other types of production be submitted for a permit?

A: A shooting permit for the types of film productions like feature films, docu-dramas, TV dramas and mini-series should be submitted at the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Q:What documents should I submit there?

A:The required documents are as follows:

  1. A letter made by the assigned local coordinator, informing the Ministry of Information and Communications of the purpose of applying for the shooting permit.
  2. An assignment letter made by the foreign filmmaker, showing that they have already chosen and hired a local coordinator.
  3. An application form.
  4. Supporting documents needed for permit consideration:
    • Synopsis
    • A treatment for the documentary
    • Full script
  5. A schedule of filming in Nepal specifying period of filming and shooting locations.
  6. Name-list, passport numbers, positions and arrival dates of all foreign film crews.

Q: How long will it take to get the approval?

A: For feature films,TV series, docu-dramas or any fictional stories, allow no less than 14 working days for the Ministry of Information and Communications to consider the script.

NOTE: Depending on the requirements of the script i.e. shooting locations including conservation areas, cultural heritage sites, etc., the period for approval may take slightly longer as the local coordinator has to arrange for the other concerned government departments to view the script in details.

Q: How do I know if my film will obtain the permission to shoot?

A: Permission will be issued after your script has been studied. If it is not acceptable, the Ministry of Information and Communications will give you the reasons.Whether you agree to make changes to your script is entirely up to you.

Q: Are there any restrictions?

A: When applying for filming in Nepal, it is advisable that you do not have anything in the script that offends Nepal’s national institutions, religion, customs and culture.The film must not be deemed as threat to security. Finally, shooting must not cause any significant effect/damage on the natural environment.

Q: How is the process to film conservation areas, cultural heritage sites, temples or palaces?

A: First of all you must obtain the permission from the Ministry of Information and Communications.Then your local coordinator can proceed to contact the concerned authorities of related locations with the filming permission in hand.

Q: Do I have to pay any for the filming permit?

A: No fees has been allotted for the filming permit. However, a Nepali postal stamp amounting NPR 50 should be affixed in the application form.

Q: Are there any other expenses?

A: Yes, there are. Once the permit is granted, a representative from The Ministry of Information and Communications is required to accompany the crew everyday in all shooting locations.A per diem for the representative is fixed according to the motion picture rules and is covered by the filmmaker. Should the official travel outside Kathmandu, then air/ground transportation fares, accommodation and meals should be arranged for him/her, also by the filmmaker.

For documentaries, commercial advertisements and music videos, the film crew will be accompanied by one representative. For feature films, docu-dramas and TV series, the Ministry of Information and Communications will assign one representative to accompany each shooting unit.

Q: How do I need to pay for the location fees?

A: Location fees and other production matters should be discussed with the appointed local coordinator.This is why it is essential to appoint an experienced coordinator. S/he will deal with all the production issues.

Q:What is the duty of the Ministry’s representative?

A:The duty of the Ministry’s representative is to make sure that what is actually being shot has followed the script that has been approved by the Ministry. In case the scenes vary from the script, the representative is there to advice as to whether it is possible to shoot those scenes or not.

Q:What kind of visa do we need?

A: Crews intending to stay in Nepal within the filming permit period can do with a tourist visa.

Q: Do short-stay crew need work permits?

A: No, they don’t.

Q: I got the approval from Ministry of Information and Communications and I showed the permission letter to shoot at a location but I didn’t get the permit to film in that particular place.What should I do?

A: The film permit enables you to film in Nepal but you have to negotiate to shoot in each location by yourself or your local coordinator. The owners/authorities of the locations will need to know that you have the filming permit in hand.

Q: I have not made an application for the filming equipment and materials to be brought into the country on a ‘Temporary Basis’. Can I bring in and send out these equipment without any application?

A:Yes, if you don’t have applied for the filming equipment and materials to be brought into the country on a ‘Temporary Basis’ on Film Development Board – Nepal, you must prepare cash or bank guarantee accepted only at the Nepal Banks to guarantee your equipments.The amount of cash or bank guarantee is based on the value of the equipment.

Q: Do I strictly need to get permission before shooting in Nepal?

A:Yes, you do. Shooting without a permit is a violation of the law.

                                                                        Quick Contact

Film Development Board
GPO Box 4400
Chabahil, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel.: +977 1 4812332, 4812387
Fax: +977 1 4812360
Email: fdbnepal@gmail.com
URL: www.film.gov.np