Film Permit in Vietnam

It is not easy for a foreigner to apply for Film Permit in Vietnam. Contact us today to get your filming permits in Vietnam

Legal basis of press activities in Vietnam: Decree no 88/2012/ND-CP and Circular no 84/TTLB.

When you apply for film permit in Vietnam, you need to provide information of: list of team members, Synopsis, Schedule, Location, list of equipment, interview questions, publication and broadcasting plan …

Press visa is applied together with film permits in Vietnam.

Drone permit is separate with film permit, and need to be mentioned in application for filming permit.

Notes:
+ Though you can send application by English, it’s actually easier for FPC if content of your application is written in Vietnamese, since when FPC send official letters to local governments, local authorities to ask for permission for you, they will need to rewrite the content in Vietnamese, so it’s better if you ask your fixer/us to write the application in Vietnamese for you. It’s better to have the application in both English and Vietnamese.
+ Your application will be easier to be accepted if the content you want to film isn’t against Vietnam or the tradition of Vietnam, and your content is clear and full. For example: you have full names of interviewees in Vietnamese with their title and information (age, ID number, job, address …)
+ Anything you don’t include in application may not be accepted in actual filming trip, so as much as possible, include the content/location/people you wish to film. At the same time, an application with too much content, may not make sense for FPC, so be selective of your content.
+ When sending information for drone permit, it’s better to send both names of location and long/lat you wish to stand there to fly the drone rather than only long/lat.

Of course, when we work together in applying film permits for you, we can advise on the content of application.

 

2) Film permit in Vietnam fee is daily shooting fee

That means if there is a day you plan to film only 15 minutes, you still need to pay for the whole day. And if there is a day at first you didn’t plan to film (for example, you want to use the last day for resting and shopping), but later you decided to film, depend on the content, the film officer will decide if you can film and you need to pay for filming that day.
Film permit fee doesn’t include drone permit fee.

 

3) Film officer:

Film officer or film commissioner or government minder are term we use to address an officer from FPC accompany the filming crew in the whole time of the filming trip. His/Her presence is mandatory by law. He/She is assigned by FRC and his/her name is listed in film permit. You need to pay for his per diem, food, accommodation and transportation (separately with film permit).

His roles are:
+ working with local authorities to make sure that you can film smoothly. Having film permit doesn’t mean that anywhere you go, you will be accommodated by local authorities and they would make it easy for you to film. Most of the time, it looks like the film officer just standing there observing you, doing nothing and sometime speaking on phone, but his phone calls are to speak with local authorities. And if the local authorities are onsite, normally the film officer speaks with them the most, explaining about the filming crew.
Sometimes, while you film, he need to go to his office or local authorities’ office to send extra official letters for you.
+ observe and manage the filming crew to film within the content they’ve registered. (For political reason, to make sure that they don’t make a bad image or include wrong content about Vietnam).

On filming site, film officer also can tell you where you can film and where you can’t.
Normally, there should be only 1 or 2 or 3 people of local authority are onsite (or better – none), but there was a case at Ha Tinh province, we had 10 or more people from different departments of local authorities were onsite. Their presences are usually harmless unless you do something not right.

What to pay for a film officer? His per diem, plus his food, accommodation and transportation.

You can’t choose film officer to work with (you also don’t know all of them to choose), but an experienced film fixer who have worked with lots of film officers will make things easier. Generally speaking, film officers are supportive if you do the right thing. s

 

* Questions and Answers:


Q: Can I film in Vietnam without a film permit (without applying for one)?

A: Answering this question is like answering the question of “Can I still go through the intersection when the traffic light is red?”. Legally speaking, you can’t. In actual, if you go and there isn’t any traffic police to catch you, you are safe. But if you’re caught, you’ll be in trouble.

If you come to Vietnam to film with broadcasting/commercial purpose or making a professional film and you don’t apply for the permit, and if you are caught, you would be deported, not allowed to come to Vietnam to film again/blacklisted/fined/collected equipments or combination of all of those. Also if you don’t have film permit, you won’t have access to certain places to film.

film permit in vietnam

Photo of film permit in vietnam.

By law, all press activities need to be registered and monitored by Press authority in Vietnam, in which, you need to apply for press visa and press permit at least 10 working days in advance at Foreign Press Center (FPC): http://www.presscenter.org.vn/
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