Film Permits & Location Shooting in Cape Town

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Producing a shoot, whether for a movie or a commercial or just one still, can be a complicated process.  Before you find the perfect shot, you need to find the perfect location. And before you find the location, you need to get the permission. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to shoot on location in Cape Town.

READ MORE: Our Favourite Places to Take Photos in Cape Town

Cape Town, with its beautiful locations, gorgeous people and attractive exchange rate, has long been a desirable location for international productions. Boasting a diversity of natural and architectural locations, experienced English-speaking talent and industry, plus the undeniable advantage of long summer hours during the northern hemisphere winter and under the European time zone, Cape Town and South Africa make a compelling destination for film and photo shoots.

Cape Town becomes packed with local and international productions from October to April

With a busy production season from October to April, Cape Town becomes packed with local and international crews filming in and around the city, you should book your filming location and apply for your permit well in advance.

The City of Cape Town Film Permit Office provides a one-stop solution for all aspects of the permitting of film activities on council-owned land within the jurisdiction of the municipality. First, you will need to register with the office, as well as sign an indemnity form and provide proof of public liability insurance. Once you have completed these steps, you can apply online for a film permit.

No film permits are needed for shoots on private locations

You don’t need a film permit if you’re filming on private property or for news or personal use, provided it does not impact negatively on private citizens or the environment. This encourages productions, making the process simpler and cheaper. And with a vast array of private locations in the Cape, the possibilities are almost endless.

Working with a locations scout can not only help find the ideal location, but they can calculate the costs and logistics of any potential solution. Amazing Spaces is the largest location specialist company in South Africa with hundreds of unique spaces in Cape Town and Johannesburg, offering everything from beach houses and gardens to nightclubs and farms, and are highly recommended.

Whether you need a film permit or not, it’s always advisable to secure your location agreement in writing. Protect yourself, protect your work, and happy shooting!

Download DLPHOTO’s Location Shoot Agreement template.