Filming in Kazakhstan
Filming in Kazakhstan opens up a world of possibilities. Kazakhstan may be a country that not much is heard of but a single visit makes it unforgettable. Its endless steppes, snowcapped peaks, and wild deserts are incredibly cinematic. The original travelers on the Silk Road chose a beautiful route.
Let our production fixer in Kazakhstan guide you to through this experience. Our services are essential for getting your pre-production done right. From film permits to booking talent and importing film gear, we do it all. Consider Fixer Kazakhstan the local extension of your production team, the one that gets it done.
Production Assistance and Access for Filming in Kazakhstan
The film industry in Kazakhstan is part of the Film Commission for Central Asia, together with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Of these 3 countries, Kazakhstan’s film industry is the most advanced but still very limited.
There is limited key crew and equipment rental available locally. What is available you will most likely find in the South-Eastern city of Almaty. Although it is not the capital, it is the most modern city in Kazakhstan. Often, it is also the starting point for filming in Kazakhstan.
It is important to keep close contact with our location scout because of how large Kazakhstan is. Filming in more than one location likely involves considerable travel time and logistical planning. Give us as detailed information as possible to ensure you have the best production assistance.
The good news is that the paperwork for filming in Kazakhstan is relatively easy to process. The Film Commission for Central Asia and the Kazakh government do not impose very tight restrictions. However, there is a certain way to go about it.
For the most effective and complete production assistance, we request adequate lead time. We also recommend ample travel time worked into the filming schedule.
Getting Film Permits in Kazakhstan
Getting film permits for Kazakhstan requires several weeks of lead time. This is not so much due to extensive paperwork but for coordination. The Film Association of Central Asia is quite flexible with issuing permits as long as there has been adequate communication beforehand.
Certain filming locations do not require a separate film permit. In most areas, film crews can freely film in public spaces and urban areas. However, when government buildings are part of the scene further coordination may be necessary. The same applies to special holidays and celebrations such as the Chabana Festival and Navroz, the Islamic new year celebrations.
A chance to visit the Baikonur Cosmodrome is one of the most exciting aspects of filming in Kazakhstan. However, this space center is on loan to Russia. This means that Russian regulations apply, not Kazakh. Let Fixer Kazakhstan know in advance if this area interests you.
Crew holding European Union passports can enter Kazakhstan without a visa. A visa may be necessary for the US and other citizens.
There is no specific work permit that foreign film crews need to acquire before arrival in Kazakhstan. However, your presence must be registered at the appropriate embassies.
Tax Rebate & Cash Incentives for Filming in Kazakhstan
There are no specific cash incentives for filming in Kazakhstan at the moment. However, the government offers a 30% tax rebate for certain productions. This is decided on a case by case basis.
Consult us to find out which tax rebates might be possible for the costs your production company incurs. It is important to remember that larger-scale film productions will require foreign key crew and equipment. Therefore, the costs that are eligible for rebates might be limited.
Our production fixer can advise you on what is possible locally and what will need to be brought in from abroad. We can help with cost estimation and comparing the different alternatives. What is available locally will be negotiated for by your assigned fixer for better local deals.
Although the cost of living in Kazakhstan is relatively low, production costs are not necessarily cheaper. This has to do with the logistics, customs clearance, and transportation when filming in multiple locations.
Simply traveling from one city to the next is time-consuming. For example, driving or taking the train from Nur-Sultan to Almaty takes 17 hours, and a flight over 4 hours. That is how far-reaching Kazakhstan is. Keep these costs in mind in your planning.