UGANDA FILM VISAS AND FILM PERMITS
Selecting Film Fixers to manage your Uganda film visas and film permits and utilising our know-how will make a difference to your production.
Whilst Uganda is emerging from a fairly turbulent history, and establishing itself as one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, it is equally well-known for its stunning film locations, which have been a magnet for crews wanting raw beauty and exotic scenery. As with other countries in Africa, filming in Uganda also comes with certain challenges, but they are certainly manageable and, in the main, restricted to roads, traffic, infrastructure and other logistical issues.
But Uganda has many positives to offset against any challenges aside from these challenges. Besides the stunning locations, Ugandans themselves are amazing always willing to help.
Government itself is extremely proactive, recognising the potential of the industry in terms of tourism and presenting the positive image to the rest of the world.
It is one of our favourite locations.
Uganda National Forest Authority
Uganda has a number of protected forest areas – particularly those that are the home of protected wildlife – which is often the reason for the filming itself, particularly Budongo, Kibale and Mabira forests. For obvious reasons, film crews require permissions to film in these areas. This requires formal permit applications to the National Forestry Authority. Such forests include Budongo forest, Kibale Forest, Mabira forest among others. These applications can take anthing from a few days to a week to finalise – and will need written motivation from the production house or client themselves.
Film Fixers work closely with the Uganda National Forest Authority, but it is advisable to get applications in early – filming in these forests are quite popular with film crews and we need to ensure we block off dates.
Uganda Wildlife Authority
Filming in any of the Uganda National Parks will require a formal permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. This is, in essence a filming contract or Memorandum of Understanding entered into with the Authority which details location, dates, nature of filming etc.
There is obviously a cost involved, which will depend on the nature of the filming – mountain gorillas are a premium, as are chimpanzees!
Please note that you need to allow for at LEAST three weeks for this process to run – UWA are very amenable and approachable and – in our experience – have always been very pro-active, but they do have processes to work through.
Re-fundable Fee – Please note that you will be required to pay a refundable fee of $1000 – this is only refunded once you have forwarded them 2 DVD copies of the production.
Film Fixers will take the hassle out of the process by managing these UWA fees and refunds on your behalf whilst we sort out the other Uganda film visas and film permits.
Uganda Customs and Equipment
Uganda has very similar customs procedures to Zimbabwe – they do NOT work with the ATA CArnet system, and all equipment coming into Uganda is subject to a temporary import permission process.
This will require advance application – with equipment type, description, serial number and value. We use reliable clearing agents who will manage all the paperwork and clearance process – subject, obviously, to a fee that is generally calculated based on the value of the equipment.
On exit from Uganda, there is an export process to ensure that all the equipment is accounted for.
Selecting Film Fixers to manage your Uganda film visas and film permits and utilising our know-how will make a difference to your production. It’s not difficult, but it is time-consuming.
Uganda Drone Permit
Uganda, like most African countries faced with poaching, are extremely strict regarding the use of drones. If you want to fly drones, it is advisable to apply well in advance – at least 3 months in fact. Permits are issued by the local Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), but with recommendation from police as well as the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF). The procedure is to submit UAV specifications (and pics if possible) together with an official letter to the Civil Aviation Authority – this should outline the reasons (nature of shoot), dates, location etc. It should also carry a biography of the intended pilot/operator. If and once approval is given it will be subject to strict conditions – and all affected areas will be notified. A long process!
Uganda Media Council
Accreditation by the Uganda Media Council is the first step in the process of filming in Uganda. requires any foreign journalist and all film crew members to be accredited. You will have to fill in the famouus Form G, which gathers all the details required by Uganda Media Council which should be filled and returned by email plus two passport photos and a copy of your Passport. This is not the cheapest process – it costs upward of $175 per person, depending on the length of time – but at 2-4 days processing time it is relatively quick Please note that if you are filming for more than one month, then the fees per media cards will increase.