Ethiopia offers a vast range of locations to suit different projects. We have information that can help you find the right locations for your production.
Ethiopian screen agencies can provide information about filming in Ethiopia to film and television companies. Some regions handle enquiries in-house, others provide assistance through external organisations.
Most of the screen agencies can help with:
Location finding and negotiations with location owners
Useful local contacts – including the police and local authorities
Local information – crew contacts, production facilities, accommodation and other useful support
Location managers and scouts
Given the wealth of locations available in the Ethiopia, we advise international productions to use an experienced Ethiopian location manager or scout.
A location scout, usually employed for a fixed period during pre-production, will advise on suitable locations and arrange location visits and reports.
A location manager will offer scouting services, but also handle contracts and fees. Most location managers work with the crew throughout production, providing useful advice on local issues and local resources.
Find a location manager
You can find a location manager in several ways:
Contact the Ethiopian Film Commission
You can find out about possible locations in Ethiopia by using a location library or location-finding company. Some offer Ethiopian-wide services, others specialise in particular areas or types of location. Fees are usually based on locations used rather than recommended.
It is advised to make an appointment before visiting a location library.
Filming in public spaces
If you want to film on public land you will need permission from the appropriate local authority or council. They are responsible for public land, public buildings, roads and parking. Ethiopian screen agencies can help you get in touch with the appropriate local authority contact.
You will need the full co-operation of the local police force if you plan to film on a public highway or use special effects, explosives or fire arms (including replicas). You will also need permission to portray uniformed police officers or marked police vehicles on film.
You should inform the local police force in writing of any planned filming within its jurisdiction. Ethiopian screen agencies can help you arrange this process.
Filming on public roads
Before filming on a public road you must contact the local police and the Highways Department of the local authority. Both will need to make sure that your plans are safe and pose no threat to road users. If you plan to stage stunts, a stunt co-ordinator should be involved in any planning discussions.
You will need details of the safety conditions covering any tracking vehicles you hire and also find out what permissions and rights clearances have been granted at the location – for example, are you entitled to film the signage on any commercial premises in the area?
Advice about permission and Rights clearances
If you film an actor inside a store or restaurant, you need written permission to use the location and also to show the chain’s name or trademark.
If you film outside a store or restaurant you do not need permission to show its name or trademark – however, if the location chosen is used to communicate a negative message in your film (for example, a film about ‘poisoned restaurant food’) you may risk legal proceedings.
Ask passers-by for permission to feature their faces in a film, even though the copyright of film shot in a public place resides with the filmmaker.