Filming in Sri Lanka

LOGO NEEDAFIXER Sri Lanka

Famed for it’s awe-inspiring natural beauty, Sri Lanka has been a popular location for outdoor, exotic shoots since the 1950s.

  • Filming in Sri Lanka
  • Fixers in Sri Lanka
  • Popular Filming locations

Among some of the most notable productions are “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”, “The Road From Elephant Pass”, and “Bombay Velvet”. Between the tropical climate, the many hours of sun, the rich jungle landscapes and gushing waterfalls, it’s perhaps easy to see why this Indian Ocean island nation has captured the attention of so many filmmakers. There are a number of truly breathtaking historic Buddhist ruins too, perhaps the most famous of which being the Sigiriya, which dates back to the 5th century. If you are looking for film fixers to help you discover these and other famous sites in Sri Lanka, NEEDaFIXER can help.

Over the years, we’ve helped a number of productions obtain filming permits for filming in provinces throughout Sri Lanka, and we can work alongside your film project as well. December through to April is generally considered to be the best time to film, as the weather is warm and there are many hours of daylight – and you avoid the monsoon season. Whenever you decide to film and no matter the nature or size and scale of your production, our team is here to help.

From the earliest stages of scouting locations to putting the finishing touches on the final wrap, our film fixers in Sri Lanka can help you with a number of different aspects of your project.

Our experience working with a wide range of productions can help you make the most of your budget and time as you set out to discover the beautiful and scenic country of Sri Lanka…

  • Costs and financing. Sri Lanka is a cost effective shooting destination, although some equipment and talent may need to be sourced and imported from overseas. While there are costs associated with this, generally speaking the island is an inexpensive place to shoot when it comes to just about everything else.
  • Film permits. The National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka (NFC) is responsible for issuing all permits, and these are required for any filming that takes place here. The application process takes about three days, the cost of which will depend on what you are filming. A government representative may have to be on site during the shoot, but generally speaking, the process of obtaining a permit is relatively straightforward.
  • Crews and talent sourcing. Mumbai is the nearest production centre, but there is a small pool of crew and talent for casting available on the island. However, if you are working on a larger, international production, you may wish to import your crew along with equipment.
  • Translation. English is spoken throughout Sri Lanka, along with the other two official languages, Sinhala and Tamil. Depending on your needs, you may wish to have a film fixer arrange for a translator to be available on set.
  • Travel. Sri Lanka is serviced by a number of international airlines, and the transport and infrastructure is up to a high standard.
  • If you need help arranging accommodation for your cast and crew when you’re filming in Thailand, NEEDaFIXER is here to provide you with assistance. We can organise hotels or self-catered properties for productions of any size.
  • Certain film personnel can stay on a 30-day visa, which can be applied for online ahead of arrival in Sri Lanka. Other senior crewmembers such as the director and director of photography however will need to apply for a work visa. If you need help getting a visa to film in Sri Lanka, our fixers can provide assistance here.
  • Set construction and studio sourcing. There is one small backlot available on the island, but most shoots tend to be location-based. Studios are available in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia or Mumbai, providing nearby resources for equipment import and post-production services. Should you require a set to be developed, you’ll find inexpensive labour is available to help with your construction needs, and one of our fixers in Sri Lanka can help to arrange this for you.
  • Tax Incentives and credits. There aren’t currently any tax incentives or breaks available to films shot in Sri Lanka.
  • Safety and travel advisories. North Sri Lanka experienced ongoing periods of civil war since the early 1980s as the government faced conflict with the extremist organisation Tamil Tigers. However, the government formally ended hostilities in 2009, and ever since, Sri Lanka has proved to be a safe filming destination.

Our internationally experienced film fixers can help you discover some of the most sought-after filming locations in Sri Lanka, such as:

  • Colombo – The Sri Lankan capital of Colombo is the island’s main production centre, and home to the main ariline hub of Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). This modern city features cosmopolitan buildings, a bustling seaport, and a range of nightlife options.
  • Anuradhapura – Anuradhapura is the ancient capital of the island, and today is a fantastic location for filmmakers looking for a historic site filled with ruins dating back over 2,000 years. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so working with a film fixer can help you obtain the correct filming permission.
  • Kandy – Situated in central Sri Lanka, Kandy is a scenic and stunning area that’s home to an incredible rainforest. Bogambara Lake (also known as Kandy Lake or the Sea of Salt) is a beautiful filming location, surrounded by biodiversity and beautiful traditional buildings.
  • Galle – Head to Galle to discover the 16th century Galle Fort, the structure surrounding the city that was constructed by Portuguese colonists. There is plenty of diverse colonial architecture that can be used in backdrops for a variety of different film productions.

In addition to these cities, our TV and film fixers can help you arrange shoots in tea plantations, white sand beaches, around beautiful waterfalls, quaint fishing villages and more.

Other sites of interest include:

  • Polonnaruwa Reclining Buddha
  • Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
  • Temple of the Tooth
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Yala National Park
  • Dambulla Cave Temples
  • Anuradhapura ruins

Sri Lanka is a gem just waiting to be discovered by filmmakers, and at NEEDaFIXER, our international team of film fixers is able to help you find not only the well-known locations throughout the island, but also the hidden treasures this island has to offer.

To find out more, contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions


How easy is it to get permits?

The National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka (NFC) is responsible for issuing all permits, and these are required for any filming that takes place here. The application process takes about three days, the cost of which will depend on what you are filming. A government representative may have to be on site during the shoot, but generally speaking, the process of obtaining a permit is relatively straightforward.


Do I need a visa or work permit?

Certain film personnel can stay on a 30-day visa, which can be applied for online ahead of arrival in Sri Lanka. Other senior crewmembers such as the director and director of photography however will need to apply for a work visa. If you need help getting a visa to film in Sri Lanka, our fixers can provide assistance here.


Can I hire equipment once there?


What is the climate like?


Some of Our Work

Testimonials

’You guys were amazing! You delivered perfectly at short notice in a foreign country, introduced us to lovely crew in both and really went the extra mile in making sure it was all taken care of and confirmed properly. I can’t thank you enough and look forward to working together again.’

Davo McConville

Free Lance Producer - Black Dog / RSA
’I have met NEEDaFIXER in Greece! It was LOVE from the first sight. Since then, I cannot imagine my production without them! They are like Family! Always helpful. Always happy. Always with loads of energy… & always with PASSION for what they do!’

Katarzyna Chmielarz

Producer / GPD

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