Here we have tried to give answers to some of the general questions (FAQ's) that most of the film makers would like to know on various topics like film production service in Nepal, film shooting permit in Nepal, local coordinations, filming crews, Nepal government rules & regulations.
Q: Is it mandatory to acquire permits prior shooting in Nepal?
A.Yes it is. Shooting without permission is a violation of the law.
Q: How do I get started with the process?
A. Desirous film-makers who opt to shoot a film in Nepal are suggested to lease or hire a Nepalese coordinator, which may be a local film production company or some prominent persons deployed in film line. This is because there are certain processes to be followed before and after acquiring shooting permits in Nepal. These coordinators will provide decisive support to attain local permits and also assist to contact Nepali authorities that are required for the process of film production.
Q: What other responsibilities does a local coordinator hold?
A.Apart from assistance to acquire local permits, the coordinator helps the film crew members to attain film permissions, gives advice on taxation and other obligatory payments and also extends general film production support in Nepal.
Q: How can I trace and find a good coordinator?
A. Hiring or leasing a local film production company as a chief coordinator is highly recommended and advisable. A list of local coordinators indulged with the Ministry of Information and Communications as well as with the Film Development Board, Nepal can be found at http://www.film.gov.np & http://www.moic.gov.np
You can browse and check the best coordinator suiting your needs and providing you with all your necessary proceedings. Coordinators are specialized in their respective fields, for example some may serve Japanese or Chinese clients, while others may have wide experiences working with American, European, Australian or Indian film-makers. However, it is highly suggested to sign a letter of agreement/contract (both host and clients) prior beginning of the collaboration.
Q: What natures of productions are eligible to apply for shooting permits to the Ministry of Information and Communications?
A.Commercials for TV, Feature films, TV soaps, Documentaries, Music videos, Mini-series and other TV serials/programs are eligible and can apply for shooting permits to the Ministry of Information and Communications, provided that the contents are deemed to be fit for all viewers and does not produce any harmful or adverse effects to an individual, the society or the whole nation.
Q: What are the required documents to be submitted to the Ministry of Information and Communications?
A. Below are the documents to be submitted:-
1.A letter stating the purpose for application of shooting permit issued by the assigned local coordinator, informing the audio-visual section of the Ministry of Information and Communications.
2.An assignment letter from foreign film-makers clearly stating that a local coordinator has been preferred and hired or leased.
3.An Application form.
4. Other supporting documents required for shooting permits:
• Story line for commercials of TV
• Treatment for Documentaries
• Concepts, lyrics and/or themes for Music videos.
• Brief objectives and purpose of the programme.
• Presentation for TV programmes.
5. Filming schedules stipulating accurate shooting dates and locations.
6. List of names, passport details, designation and date of arrival to Nepal for all foreign film crew members.
Q: How much time does it take to acquire a shooting authorization from the Ministry of Information and Communications?
A.The whole process can be fulfilled in not more than 2 working days.
Q: Where can one obtain a shooting permit for other types of production apart from film production?
A.All other types of production like Feature films, Docu-dramas, TV soaps, Mini series etc. can avail shooting permits from the Ministry of Information and Communications.
Q: How much time is required to get approval from the government authorities?
A.For projects like feature films, TV soaps, Fictional stories or Docu-dramas, a minimum of 2 weeks has to be allocated for scrutiny and consideration of your script by the Ministry of Information and Communications.
NB: For shootings with an involvement of National parks, temples, monasteries or shrines and other world heritage sites, the time required for obtaining approval may take slightly longer. This is because the preferred local coordinator has to organize and surrender pre-requisite documents to other governmental authorities.
Q: How do I get a confirmation to know whether my film has attained the required shooting permission?
A.Permission will be granted after the concerned authorities scrutinize your script thoroughly. If the script is deemed not fit for shooting, the Ministry of Information and Communications will present you with a valid cause. After the verdict, the film-maker may consequently decide to make changes in the script and carry on with the shooting.
Q: What are the limitations regarding the shooting permits?
A.It is obviously advisable that your script does not contain any abusive or offensive materials causing adverse effects to any of Nepal’s national institutions, customs, culture or religion. And also the film should not be reckoned as a threat to national security or it should not hamper or smash up the environment.
Q: What is the criteria for shooting in locations such as temples or shrines, monasteries, palaces, national parks and world heritage sites?
A.First and foremost, you need to acquire consent from the Ministry of Information and Communications. After the shooting authorization in hand, your coordinator will then begin the process to meet or contact the persons concerned in the appropriate sectors.
Q: Does acquiring a shooting permit require any fees to be paid?
A.No, shooting permits does not require any amount to be paid, except a postal stamp with nominal amount which has to be duly affixed on the application form.
Q: Will there be any other expenses incurred?
A.Yes, once you obtain the required permit, it is mandatory for one of the representatives from the Ministry of Information and Communications to be present at the shooting. A per diem should be predetermined for the representative in accordance to the rules of motion pictures. In case the official requires traveling outside Kathmandu valley, accommodation, meals and all air fares should be arranged. The overall expenses should be met by the concerned film-maker.
For documentaries, music videos or other commercial ads, the shooting crew will be escorted by one representative. For other feature films, TV soaps & mini-series and docu-dramas, the Ministry of Information and Communications will dispense one representative to accompany each shooting unit.
Q: What is the chief responsibility of the representative from the Ministry of Information and Communications?
A.The major function of the representative from the Ministry of Information and Communications is to check and verify that the film or documentary being shot is in conformity with the previously approved script. In case of variation from the original script, the representative has the right to decide whether to stop the shoot or continue with necessary amendment in the script.
Q: What is the procedure to pay location fees?
A. Filmy Location and fees and all other production affairs will be dealt with by your locally appointed coordinator. So, it is important that you appoint a skilled and knowledgeable coordinator to manage all your official formalities including all your production concerns.
Q: Which visa type do we need to obtain?
A.Crews who intend to stay in Nepal for a constrained period of time, i.e. up to 150 days should solicit for a Tourist Visa.
Q: Do the filming crews staying in Nepal for a short span of time require work permit?
A.No, a tourist visa is sufficient for staying in Nepal for a short time period.
Q: What should I do if I am not allowed to shoot in some locations in spite of producing my shooting permits acquired from the Ministry of Information and Communications?
A.The owner of a particular locality needs to be informed that you possess a shooting permit from the Ministry of Information and Communications. This permit facilitates you to shoot films in Nepal, but at times, some negotiation needs to be done by you or your local coordinator for each location in case you come across any major intricacies.
Q: I did not apply for my equipments and materials to be air-lifted to Nepal on a ‘temporary basis’. Is there any way that I can still bring my equipments in and out of Nepal?
A.Yes, you need to apply to the Film Development Board-Nepal to bring your equipments and materials to Nepal on a ‘temporary basis’. Failing to do so, you must prepare cash or a bank guarantee acceptable by any Nepalese bank so as to guarantee your equipments. The amount of cash or bank guarantee is based on the evaluation of the materials/equipments airlifted to Nepal.
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