Despite its relatively small size, Tunisia offers a great diversity of locations. As well as unique film locations, Tunisia also offers locations that double well for other Mediterranean, North African and Middle Eastern looks. Tunisia is best known for its beautiful beaches, desert dunes, otherworldly arid mountain landscapes, oasis, souks, Roman ruins, and Islamic architecture. Mediterranean Tunisia has agricultural locations including olive groves, wheat and barley fields. Heading inland the landscape becomes more desert and oasis.
Cost & Rebates
On average Tunisia is a cost competitive place to shoot. The favorable exchange rate offers considerable savings. The need to bring in some equipment, key crew and talent can add to costs. Depending on the project, Tunisia is more or less a similar price point to Morocco. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in Tunisia. The VAT of 18% is refundable on all expenses for feature films. The negative is considered an export, so there are no charges to be paid through customs.
When To Shoot
Northern Tunisia has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild, rainy winters. The central area is semi-arid and the south has a desert climate. The mild spring (March to June) and fall (September to October) are the best seasons to film for weather.
Crews travelling on Western passports can enter visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Work permits are not required to shoot in Tunisia.
Cast, Crew & Equipment
Tunisia has a small pool of directors, videographers and stills photographers. Tunisian crews have been servicing foreign productions since the 1970’s. They are skilled and experienced and most speak fluent French and English. Note, Tunisians like to do business in person so location departments tend to be larger than usual. As long as the best key crew are available it is usually not necessary to bring in key crew from abroad. Depending on the project, you might want to bring in a DoP, 1st AD and specialist hair / makeup crew. Tunisia’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those crews should you ever need to look further. Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Tunisia offers mainly Arab / Berber looking talent. There is also an expat community offering some European and African looks although the depth is only there for background roles. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad. No official locally based supplier. Local production companies have their own equipment. Some standard camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally. All other specialized equipment and operators need to be brought in from abroad. For temporary import clearance, Tunisia is an ATA carnet country.