BFC Welcome Filming In Belize

Filming Guidelines

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Films document a nation's culture and make permanent, memories that often fade with time. With this in mind the Belize Film Commission has a few guidelines for filmmakers wishing to film in Belize.

1. Letter of Email or Intent

All inquires regarding filming in Belize, should be addressed to the Film Commissioner at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Inquires should be accompanied by a description of your project, a company description and contact info, a clear explanation of what you intend to film in Belize, a list of proposed locations and any additional production assistance you may require in Belize.

2. Local Coordinator/Production Manager

It is now mandatory for all foreign filmmakers scouting or filming in Belize to hire the services of a local production manager or coordinator (local being defined as a Belizean citizen or legal resident of Belize) for a minimum duration being the length of stay in the country. It is recommended that this person be your liaison with Belizean Authorities during your stay in the country as well as handle all your travel and accommodation needs for better deals. If you do not already have a local coordinator, the Belize Film Commission can recommend someone to you.

3. Film License Application Form

Upon definite plans to film in Belize, a completed FILM LICENSE APPLICATION FORM should be scanned and emailed along with all necessary accompanying documents to the Belize Film Commission Office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The APPLICATION however, will not be processed unless the non-refundable processing fee (US$250 for film/video or US$150 for still photography) has been paid to NICH either in cash, a local cheque, or by wire transfer. Wire transfers carry an additional US$15 fee to cover transfer costs.

Upon approval, applicant receives a LICENSE TO FILM IN BELIZE which is a general license and entirely separate from LOCATION PERMITS & FEES. The use of LOCATIONS in Belize (whether privately owned, for NGOs or for the Government) MAY REQUIRE FEES which are negotiated apart from this License. It is the responsibility of the APPLICANT to secure permissions for shooting on any property in Belize before filming commences or face repercussions by its owner or managing authority. The BFC will, however, guide and assist you in securing permissions, in particular with government agencies.

4. Non-Belizean Personnel and Filming Equipment

The Belize Film Commission works closely with the Customs and Immigration Departments of the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Finance to ensure the smooth entry of non – Belizean film personnel and filming equipment into the country on a temporary basis.A complete list of non-Belizean personnel,(crew position, name, nationality, passport number, and ARRIVAL and DEPARTURE information) should be submitted approximately two weeks in advance of first crew arrival. If the crew is arriving on separate days, please make separate lists per arrival dates. NOTE: Hiring Belizeans, if qualified, is recommended.

A complete list of equipment (qty, description, serial # and value for customs purposes) should be submitted to the BFC approximately two weeks in advance of first arrival. If equipment will be arriving on different days or on different flights on the same day, please make separate equipment lists per flight and per day. Please also identify one person (per list) travelling with the equipment as his or her passport will be stamped with the temporary importation permit that will need to be cancelled out by Customs on their departure from Belize along with the equipment.

All Lists should be clearly marked with the same name written on the application form as the FILM APPLICANT.

How it works

After vetting by the BFC, the equipment and personnel lists are forwarded to the Ministry of Finance who then formally requests temporary importation status for your team and equipment from Customs and Immigration. The BFC receives a copy of that letter sent to Customs and Immigration and forwards it to you along with a copy of your LICENSE TO FILM IN BELIZE. The letter is an exact copy to that held by Customs and Immigration officials and eliminates possible confusion upon your arrival.

5. Locations

Accompanying the FILM APPLICATION FORM should be a list of locations where you expect to shoot and letters (or emails) from the owner or managing authority of the location or event authorizing APPLICANT to film there.

6. Filming Schedule

A film schedule (the most updated at the time of Application) should also accompany the FILM APPLICATION FORM on the understanding that changes should be forwarded to the Commission as they become available.
 


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