The Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal tempts with exotic locales and culturally rich backdrops. Filming here is economical too!
Nepal, also known as the little Switzerland of Asia, is not only beautiful with its snow-capped mountains in the Himalayas, crystal-clear lakes, gushing rivers, rare variety of flora and fauna, myriad temples and stupas but equally exotic as well. It’s a Shangri-La, where people come hoping to get a glimpse of Yeti, a mysterious abominable snow animal, or even in quest for nirvana or enlightenment. But at the same time, it is a country where tradition and modernity intermingle and peoples with diverse languages, religions and cultures co-exist.
Every year, many documentary filmmakers come to Nepal to capture the rich cultural heritage and diversity on camera. Some even come just to capture the rare natural beauty and virgin locales of the land.But even large-scale productions have been shot in Nepal. Films like The Little Buddha and The Golden Child have captured the country’s glorious past, diverse landscape, rich cultural heritage and architectural splendour. The Oscar-nominated Caravan, portraying the fortitude of people living amid adverse natural conditions in Dolpo, a mountain district, has captured the majestic panorama of mountainous landscapes and lakes.Besides this, numerous Indian films have been shot here, capturing beautiful and exotic locales, including Khuda Gawah (2001). A total of 41 foreign films have been shot in Nepal.
The Ministry of Information and Communications (foreign film production) grants a shooting permit to international filmmakers. The Film Development Board – Nepal grants permission to domestic film productions.
Filmmakers wanting to shoot a film in Nepal should preferably hire Nepali coordinator companies or individuals for assistance as there are procedures which need to be followed both before and after the filming permit is granted. They also help you with local permissions and contacting Nepali authorities and local people concerned with your production. The process will be completed within two working days.
TV commercials, documentaries, music videos, TV programmes, feature films, mini- series and TV serials that do not contain any negative connotations or unfavourable messages about Nepal and its people can apply for permission to the Ministry of Information and Communications.
1. A letter made from the assigned local coordinator informing the Audio-Visual Section, Ministry of Information and Communications, of the purpose of applying for the shooting permit
2. An assignment letter made by the foreign filmmaker showing that they have already chosen and hired a local coordinator
3. An application form
4. Supporting documents needed for permit consideration:• Storyboard for TV commercials• Treatment for documentaries• Theme (concept) and lyrics for music videos• Details of content and objectives of the programme• Presentation for TV programmes
5. A schedule of filming in Nepal specifying exact dates and locations (for all types of productions).
6. Name list, passport numbers, positions and arrival dates of all foreign film crews.
Foreigners returning from Nepal through Tribhuvan International Airport, taking goods brought in Nepal with them exceeding amount NPR 15,000, can enjoy tax returns from the Customs Office. They will be charged 3 per cent as a service charge on the value of the tax return.