One of the Worlds More Remarkable Yet Least Explored Filming Destinations
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is home to 135 different ethnic groups, densely forested mountains that soar over 5000 meters in altitude and a coast line blessed with hundreds of uninhabited tropical islands. Largely closed to the international community until very recently, Myanmar remains the least developed nation in the region and retains much of the traditional charm that Asia possessed in centuries past.
Exploring Myanmar can sometimes feel like you've stumbled into a living edition of National Geographic, c 1910. Trishaws still ply city streets, while the horse or bullock and cart is common rural transport. Drinking tea – a British colonial custom – is enthusiastically embraced in thousands of teahouses.
Film Permits and Permit Processing Time Frame
Myanmar has streamlined the film permit process significantly in recent years. While film permits are still a challenge, the country is now far more accessible for international film makers who are not focused politically sensitive issues.
The permit processing time frame in Myanmar depends upon the complexity of the shoot and the number of government agencies involved. Myanmar does not yet have a single agency which handles nationwide permits so it is necessary to gain permission from each state or 'division' in which filming will take place.
A straight forward shoot within a single state or division can usually be processed within 5 weeks (however we strongly advise allowing longer). On the other hand, if a shoot that visits several states, historical sites, religious sites which each require separate paperwork processing, the time frame will increase accordingly. It's usually possible to obtain even the more complex permits within 8 weeks. We can advise on what’s required once we have some details on your shoot including rough filming schedule and locations.
A note on Access for Foreign News Journalists
Myanmar is currently 137th in the World Press Freedom Index. This means journalists are not always able to deliver unbiased reports free from pressure from different takeholders. Press freedom in Myanmar is still very much repressed, so foreign journalists might experience some difficulties while working in the country. Filming in Myanmar as a press correspondent requires heavier caution than in the Western World. However, with our help as your local fixers, you can get access to interview officials and local contributors
Visas & Work Permits
Western passport holders can apply online for eVisas for tourism and business travel. An eVisa is issued within 3 working days, is valid for 90 days from the date of issue and allows a stay for up to 28 days (for tourists) or 70 days (for business travellers). The fee for a business eVisa is US$70, while a tourist eVisa costs US$50. Contact your local Burmese embassy or representative for more information.
Film Permit Processing Costs
The complexity and work load of processing each permit varies depending upon the number of departments and parties involved and the complexity and scale of the shoot. Therefore it’s only possible to provide an accurate permit processing estimate once some details on the shoot specifics have been provided. Feel free to send through some basic details on your shoot including: A brief Description of the program with a rough filming schedule noting the filming locations and size of crew. With this information in hand we’re able to come back quickly with a permit processing estimate.