Nepal is the greatest destination for filming and documentaries for those seeking spectacular natural beauty, incredible landscapes, culture, heritage, tradition, faiths, historical, endangered people’s habitat, bio-diversity, wildlife, outdoor activities, and many other things. Filming in Nepal is becoming a popular destination for filmmakers from all over the world. Nepal’s stunning scenery, beautiful flora and fauna, and magical cultural history have drawn a large number of tourists and film crews from all over the world. This country, blessed with dramatic scenery, magnificent hills and beautiful mountains, abundant bio-diversity, and unspoiled water resources, may be described as a real-life enormous studio built by nature herself.
It’s no surprise that Nepal has become a tremendous source of inspiration and a popular destination for both amateur and professional filmmakers from all over the world, thanks to its spectacular mountain scenery and diverse cultures. Any filming production in the country, however, must obtain a filming permit. Many filmmakers are put off by the lengthy and bureaucratic process when it comes to this. Below you may find a complete guide on how to obtain permit and required documents to do so:
Procedure to obtain Filming Permit in Nepal:
It is important to remember that if you are a foreign individual or company, you will not be able to apply for the permission on your own. It must be done through a local corporation, according to Nepalese law. As a result, the first step is to hire a local company to act as your formal representative during the entire permit application and shooting procedure. It is required that your plan for starting principal photography in various locations be approved by the local department. If you wish to shoot in World Heritage Sites, for example, you’ll require permission from the Department of Archaeology. To film in National Parks, separate letters of consent are required. Certain fees/charges can be expected depending on the various sites and the rules enforced by their individual regulating agencies. Before reaching the desk of the Ministry of Information and Communication, which will make the ultimate decision, all essential documentation must be provided to several administrative organizations.
Documents Required for Obtaining a Filming Permit:
Even if you’ve hired a local company to handle all of the paperwork for you, it’s a good idea to know what kinds of documents are required so you can help them out when they need it and speed up the process. The following documents are required:
- A letter from the filmmaker naming a local organization as your coordinator/representative.
- A letter to the Ministry of Information and Communications from your local agency
- A postal stamp on an application form cost of Rs.50
- A summary of the film
- List of music used in the film (If you are using music)
- A list of the crew members, together with their passport information
- Crew members’ arrival tickets
- Accommodation reservation for crew members
- A detailed itinerary for filming in Nepal, including particular dates and places.
- A list of filming equipment, along with their price (For custom clearance purpose)
- If you’re filming in one of Nepal’s four World Heritage Sites, you’ll need permission from the Department of Archaeology: Kathmandu Valley (which includes seven individual sites: Pashupatinath Temple, Swoyambhunath Stupa, Bouddhanath Stupa, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and Changu Narayan Temple); Lumbini; Chitwan National Park
- Approval issued by Department of Wildlife Conservation for filming in any Conservation Area
- Approval issued by Ministry of Culture Tourism & Civil Aviation for filming in Upper Mustang and Upper Dolpo, which costs USD 5000 in each area
- Approval issued by Lumbini Development Fund for filming in Kapilvastu and in Lumbini
Once you’ve completed all of the necessary paperwork. They should be submitted to the Ministry of Information and Communication, where they will be held until a permit is granted. You can now legally film in Nepal once the permit has been issued, but only under the supervision of a liaison officer assigned by the Ministry of Information and Communication. This officer will oversee the film crew’s filming activities to ensure that they do not have a harmful influence on the environment or the community. He or she has the discretion to halt shooting in the event of any law violations or activities deemed detrimental to the country. Furthermore, the filmmaker is responsible for the officer’s expenditures, which include a daily allowance, insurance, travel, meals, and lodging.
Conditions for obtaining a filming permit in Nepal:
Here are a few things to remember about the filming permit in Nepal, according to the Motion Picture Rules (Production, Exhibition, and Distribution 2057 B.S.):
- The filming permit remains valid for one year only
- License for feature film will remain valid for three years
- Life insurance for the liaison officer should cover at a minimum of NPR 300,000
- In case of accidents and the liaison officer is injured, an amount of up to NPR 200,000 is expected to be paid to him or her as a compensation
- Foreign film producers who plan a public screening should seek prior permission from the nearest Nepali Embassy with a royalty of NPR 150,000.
- Foreign film producers should submit a free copy of their production to Ministry of Information and Communication
- The liaison officer should be present during the shooting
- For shooting in mountain regions, necessary clothes and medical facilities should be provided to the Liaison Officer including any air transportation cost
What is the cost of obtaining a filming permit in Nepal?
In comparison to many other filming locations across the world, Nepal is a far more affordable option. To film in Nepal, the producers will need to pay around 15,000 NPR just to get a filming permit, without including the amount imposed by the contracted local agency. Depending on the sort of project, the filming permit could last anywhere from one to three years. In addition, the liaison officers should have access to the same amenities as the crew.
How to Get a Permit for UAV Filming in Nepal?
Because of Nepal’s gorgeous but difficult landscape, filming in the country is typically a herculean undertaking requiring a great deal of time, effort, and resources. Drone filming with UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) is a good alternative at times like these. The regulations that apply to UAV filming are significantly different, as detailed below. This permit is available under two conditions:
- You have had your filming permit (with procedures and cost explained above)
- You have a UAV pilot license
If your UAV weighs less than 2kg, the good news is that you don’t need a permit to fly it on private land. Anything that does not fall under this category would require a special permission to fly. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a hefty fine.
Documents required for UAV filming permit in Nepal:
Your agency will assist in the preparation of the following documents, which will be submitted for permit clearance to the Ministry of Information and Communication:
- Filming permit
- Approval from Ministry of Information and Culture
- Approval from Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation
- Approval from Defence Ministry
- Approval from Home Ministry
- Approval from other ministry and department if involved
- Approval from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN)
- UAV Pilot License of the drone operator
- Passport and Valid Visa of the drone operator
- A clear map of the flying area including latitude and longitude
- Specifications of the UAV
- Letter of commitment to fly within the conditions outlined in point 3 of UAV Flying Work Procedure 2072 BS
- An itinerary mentioning dates, time and places of the filming activities
How long does it take to obtain the filming permit?
It takes 2 to 14 days to get a normal filming permission. In rare circumstances, obtaining a UAV permit can take much longer.
Some Basic Rules to Follow While Filming with A Drone in Nepal:
You may not use your drone to carry, transport, or drop anything.
Drones are not permitted to be flown in or near critical places such as airports, military bases, archaeological sites, government/administrative offices, and so on.
The horizontal distance between the operator and the UAV should not exceed 300 meters.
The UAV’s endurance should not exceed 15 minutes.
The operator shall be held liable for any injuries or property damage caused by his drone, and he should avoid recording on private property. A breach of privacy is frowned upon.
Drones should not be operated in inclement weather since they might cause damage and injury.
*Any breach of the Ministry of Information and Communication’s and CAAN’s laws and rules while regular/drone filming may result in severe legal consequences.