Foreign companies that have intentions to shoot films in Brazil must ask the permission of ANCINE, the Brazilian regulatory body in this area. We prepared a detailed guide containing all the legal requirements that must be followed by audiovisual companies from abroad.
Why shooting films in Brazil?
Brazil keeps calling the attention of filmmakers looking for a different and exotic scenario to shoot their movies and TV productions. It’s not difficult to know why. The country offer a number of possibilities to a range of filming locations.
Starting with its breathtaking landscapes and a variety of different vegetations and climates that fit into the photography of several films’ thematic proposals. We have thick rainforests (Amazônia and Mata Atlântica), partly untouched by humans, with their natural aspect, fauna and flora completely intact. There are several and amazing desert vegetation, sand dunes and kilometers and kilometers of Cerrado (typical vegetation similar to the African Savanas).
In addition, our beaches and seacoast pictures are internationally acknowledged for their beauty. Speaking of water, our huge waterfalls, caves under sea and blue water lagoons also capture filmmakers imagination.
But not only Brazil’s natural scenario is sought after by movie directors that want to shoot here. Actually, the some Brazilian urban areas, such as the worldwide known “favelas”, are highly demanded by foreign film producers, that see them full of collors exotic and violently dramatic.
The fact that Brazil has a very mixed population also aggregates value to the scenes shot here. There’s a lot of different faces in this country and the ethnic miscegenation that their integration provided created an interesting variety of physical appearances. Depending on the screenplay, this characteristic also enriches and gives sense to the footages.
Adds to all that the fact that Brazil is more in vogue than ever, due to the country’s economic growth that made it stand out in the global economy, not to mention the international popularity of former President Lula, that somehow put the country on the international spotlight. In addition, the fact that Brazil is hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, also make the producers seek for locations in the country.
Although Brazil offers a diversified range of shooting possibilities, most of the foreign shoots that took place here were all about the whole stereotype that the country deals with from foreign people: beaches, half-naked woman, lust, violence, poverty and lots of wild animals and jungles. Pitty.
Legal requirements to shoot foreign filming productions in Brazil
The Brazilian institution in charge of supervising and taking care of the legal aspects of foreign producers shooting in Brazil is Agência Nacional de Cinema (Cinema National Agency), known by the acronym ANCINE. Founded in 2001, ANCINE is a regulatory public agency whose duties are promoting, regulating and supervising audiovisual activities in Brazil.
For shooting films or TV shows in Brazil, a foreign crew must first enter into a partnership with a Brazilian production company, registered with ANCINE, for the purpose of making films and TV programs. You can check the list of registered Brazilian production companies here
This company is the one who will deal directly with ANCINE for all practical purposes and for all issues concerning permission to shoot in Brazil. After sealed the partnership, the Brazilian partner company in charge of the production will send a fax to ANCINE requesting permission for the shooting.
This request must include all the data listed below and must be signed by the Brazilian company's legal representative. The original document signed between the foreign company and the Brazilian intermediary must be mailed to ANCINE's headquarter offices in Rio de Janeiro. You can consult their address in their website
The permission request must contain the following information:
- Name and address of the Brazilian company in charge
- Name and address of the foreign company or the company legally in charge of the enterprise that will shot in Brazil
- Name, passport number and function of the foreign crew in charge of the film production.
- Name and DRT registration of the Brazilian crew hired
- Title of the film, video or show
- Theme of the work to be shot (in case of an advertisement piece, please state name of product, client and add agency in charge of the job)
- Time period when filming will take place
- Place where filming will take place
The foreign company must indicate a Brazilian Consulate or Embassy abroad to where ANCINE will send its agreement and permission for the foreign crew to come and work in Brazil. The following documents must be submitted by mail with the formal request from the partner Brazilian company:
- Copy of the contract signed between the foreign company or company legally in charge of the enterprise and the Brazilian company. Contract must clearly state responsibilities, reciprocities, form of payment, and the period the contract is valid for
- Copy of the translation of the contract above when not originally written in Portuguese
- Copy of the visa request made for the foreign crew at the Brazilian Consulate in the country of origin of the foreign company, signed by the company in charge of the enterprise
- Letter from the Brazilian company stating where visas should be applied for in the country of origin of the foreign company
- A list of equipment and materials to be brought into the country to be presented to the Customs clearance
- Copies of work contracts of the Brazilian crew involved
- A production plan stating locations in Brazil where filming or taping will take place.
It’s required that the Brazilian company inform ANCINE, upon requesting the permission for the shooting, a contact at the Brazilian office where the original company is from, and whenever possible, the name of the Consular Authority, phone and fax numbers where he/she can be contacted.
It is important to pay attention on the number of Brazilian technicians to be hired for the production: for every 3 foreign technicians, one Brazilian technician must be hired in Brazil. The Brazilian company partner/owner is also considered as a Brazilian technician hired.
After receiving the request from the partner Brazilian company, and processing the documentation, ANCINE will fax the filming permit to the Brazilian Consulate or Embassy where the foreign crew has asked for their temporary visas.
A copy of this filming permit will also be sent to the Brazilian partner company. Any alterations in the documentation must be informed to Ancine in a proper form.
Important: Journalistic footages don't have to follow the procedure described above. All others, must request ANCINE’s permission.
Foreign movies and music videos shoot in Brazil
Below, you can check a list of the most famous films and music videos that were partly or entirely shot by foreign companies in Brazil:
- Woman on top – Salvador-BA
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – Foz do Iguaçu-PR
- Wild Orchid – Rio de Janeiro-RJ
- The Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn part 1 – Rio de Janeiro-RJ
- The Tourist – Chapada Diamantina-BA
- The Mission – Foz do Iguaçu-PR
- Jorney to the End of Night – São Paulo, Santos, and Ubatuba-SP
- The Incredible Hulk – Rio de Janeiro-RJ
- The Miracle Match – Belo Horizonte-MG and Rio de Janeiro-RJ
- Killer Buzz – São Paulo and Guarulhos-SP
- Fast Five – Rio de Janeiro-RJ
- The Expandables – Rio de Janeiro-RJ
- Blindness – São Paulo-SP
- Anaconda – Manaus-AM
- Beautiful (Snoop Dog) – Rio de Janeiro-RJ
- Mas que Nada (Black Eyed Peas) - Rio de Janeiro-RJ
- I Got it From my Mama (Black Eyed Peas) - Rio de Janeiro-RJ
- They Don’t Care about Us (Michael Jackson) – Rio de Janeiro-RJ and Salvador-BA
- Jaleo (Ricky Martin) – Rio de Janeiro-RJ
- Walk on (U2) – Rio de Janeiro-RJ