Filming in Sudan

Filming in Sudan

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for filming in Sudan or photography production support or shooting crew in Sudan? Contact us for trusted fixers in Sudan, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Sudan

For an introduction to shooting in Sudan see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.

Sudan Film Locations

The Republic of the Sudan is located in Northeast Africa on the Red Sea. The landscape is predominately flat plains broken up by several mountain ranges. The north has the very dry Nubian Desert. The south has swamps and rainforests. The White Nile and Blue Nile rivers run south to north through the country. Other film locations of note include pyramids, temples, palaces, tombs, mosques, markets, and wildlife parks. The dry regions are plagued by sandstorms which can completely block out the sun.

Agricultural film locations, which are concentrated along the River Nile, include plantations of cotton, peanuts, sesame, gum arabic, and sugarcane. Cows, sheep, and camels are herded. Sudan mines gold, iron ore, and chromite. Energy locations include hydroelectric dams, and thermal power plants.

Sudan has hosted productions including You Will Die at 20 (2019), and Talking About Trees (2019).

Film locations can be divided into the following states: Khartoum, North Kordofan, Northern, Kassala, Blue Nile, North Darfur, South Darfur, South Kordofan, Gezira, White Nile, River Nile, Red Sea, Al Qadarif, Sennar, West Darfur, Central Darfur, East Darfur, and West Kordofan.

Khartoum, located where the Blue Nile meets the White Nile to form the River Nile, is the national capital. Film locations include the Presidential Palace, Republican Palace Museum, Sudan National Museum, Ethnographic Museum, University of Khartoum, Al-Rikini Mosque, Al Kabir Grand Mosque, Al-Nilin Mosque, King Farouq Mosque, St Matthew’s Cathedral, Souq al Arabi, Khartoum Botanical Garden, Khartoum Stadium, and Khartoum International Airport.

Omdurman is the most populous city in the country. It is located on the west bank of the River Nile, opposite Khartoum. The Sheikh Hamad-al Nil Tomb sees Sufi worshippers whirl around the tomb in a trance-like state as part of a sacred ritual called dhikr, every Friday. Omdurman Camel Market is also located in Omdurman.

Port Sudan is a city located on the Red Sea.

The Pyramids of Meroe, located in the deserts of eastern Sudan, along the banks of the Nile River, is a collection of nearly 200 ancient Nubian pyramids.

Jebel Barkal, located on the Nile River, surrounded by desert sands, is known for its Nubian temples ruins, palaces, and pyramids. The largest temples include Temple of Amun, and Temple of Mut.

Naqa archaeological site comprises several of Meroitic structures including the Temple of Amun, Temple of Apedemak, and Roman Kiosk.

Kerma is another important Nubian archaeological site.

The ruins of Suakin Island are located on the Red Sea.

Dinder National Park, located in the southeast of the country, has a landscape of grasslands and rivers. Wildlife of note includes lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, painted hunting dogs, black rhinoceros, elephants, giraffes, buffalos, ostriches, and a diversity of migratory birds.

Sanganeb Marine National Park and the Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park are located on the Red Sea. The parks are known for their azure seas, coral reefs, mangroves, empty beaches, and underwater photography options. Sanganeb lighthouse is a picturesque film location.

Deriba Caldera in the Marrah Mountains, located in Darfur, is the country’s highest peak.

Précontinent II are the remains of Jacques Cousteau’s 1960’s underwater village.

Roseires Dam is a dam on the Blue Nile at Ad Damazin.

Sudan Film Location Permits

Most locations are possible given time, money and the right approach. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

In the north, April to October is very hot and dry with Saharan sandstorms blowing in. In the south, April to October is hot and rainy. November to March is warm with clear skies. This is the best time to film for the weather.

The Kassala camel races are held in September / October.

Sudan is a predominately Muslim country so most festivals and events are based on the Islamic calendar. Ramadan is widely observed with many services closed during this period.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Sudan.

Unique Local Stories

Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.

If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.

If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Locations, local talent and support crew are inexpensive but since little to no filming infrastructure exists all key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. Our Sudanese fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in Sudan.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Sudan has a very small pool of directors, videographers and stills photographers. Key crew should be brought in from abroad.

Contact us if you are looking for a director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman/camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA/runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Sudan.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable.

Sudan has 70 different languages. Arabic and English are the official languages.

Arabs are the main ethnic group. Minority groups include Nubians, Beja, Fur, Nuba, and Fallata people. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad.

Sudan Film Equipment

Equipment. Bring in all camera, grip and lighting equipment from abroad.

Communications. Internet is slow and unreliable.

Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.

For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is very basic.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. Must post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Entry visas or entry permits are required for visiting crew planning to film in Sudan. Crew members must register at the Ministry of Interior within three days of arrival. If travelling more than 25 kilometres outside of Khartoum, a travel permit must be obtained from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs in Khartoum. A separate travel permit is required for travel to Darfur. A photography permit from the Sudanese Ministry of Interior, Department of Aliens.

Filmmakers, photographers and journalists who expect to travel to the United States in the future ought to also bear in mind the possible repercussions of having a Sudanese visa stamped in their passport.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Road conditions are poor outside of major towns. Roads in the south during the wet season can become impassable. Road travel by night is not recommended. Our local Sudanese film fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Several international airlines service flights to Sudan.

Accommodation. Recommended film-friendly hotels in Khartoum include:

Al Salam Rotana
Burj Al-Fateh Hotel
Khartoum Regency Hotel

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Sudan, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Sudan, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.