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Production Guide

All about filming in Rio and FAQ

Why filming in Rio de Janeiro is a great choice?

1. The Rio Film Commission (RFC) team offers all necessary support for on-location filming of audiovisual productions in the City of Rio de Janeiro.

Logistics

Logistics: The RFC provides all relevant information, including assistance in obtaining permits, location scouting and police support. The RFC also maintains a database of production companies, technicians, audiovisual equipment and service providers, as well as statewide locations. It also may be of assistance in providing suggestions for financial support for productions that are shot in Rio – fully or in part.

Filming permits

Requests for film permits should be made through RFC’s Support Form, by the local production company. Journalistic content crews can contact RFC through email (info.rfc.riofilme@gmail.com).

RFC and other municipal departments hold a digital platform which audiovisual producers can access to request and obtain filming permits in order to film or shoot on public areas of the city. But be aware: requests must be sent with at least 7 days prior to the production.

Expedited permits for selected locations

Did you know some productions aren’t required to obtain filming permits? The Rio Film Commission is pleased to offer expedited filming permits for selected locations, subject to specific conditions. Thanks to standing agreements with iconic neighborhoods in various municipal districts of Rio de Janeiro, reduced film crews may receive film permits automaticly. For further information, contact info.rfc.riofilme@gmail.com.

Getting guidelines!

Our website lists all audiovisual projects produced with RFC support, as well as highlights of the commission’s work, and offers recommendations of a wide variety of locations in different areas of Rio de Janeiro.

2. Partnering with local producers

In order to film in Brazil, foreign producers are required by law to be associated with a local producer which is registered with Ancine (National Film Agency). The local producer will answer to Ancine on behalf of the foreign producer. In addition to acting as a channel of communication with Ancine, the Brazilian company is responsible for ensuring compliance with local legislation and assisting with customs clearances, hiring local crew, obtaining filming permits, handling equipment rentals, as well as providing other assistance. 

If you are an foreign producer interested in shooting in Brazil, please first check the conditions at Ancine´s website

3. Brazil’s leading audiovisual production companies are based in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Due to Rio de Janeiro’s concentration of audiovisual production companies and activity, as well as its economic and cultural importance, its natural beauty and attractions, many productions seek specific locations here. The country’s largest BroadcastTV network is located in Rio. All necessary services and infrastructure for all types of productions, including soundstages, equipment rental companies, post-production houses, animation studios and highly qualified professionals are accessible in the city of Rio. On the RFC website you will find information about production companies and professionals that are able and ready to assist your production.

4. Rio, brazilian culture heart

Rio de Janeiro reverberates throughout the entire country. This is the birthplace of world-renowned musical genres such as samba, bossa nova and carioca funk . This is where some of the leading chapters in the history of Brazil’s film and television have been written, from the early days of film until today. Rio de Janeiro gave the country the famous “chanchada” comedies and is home of the pioneering studios Cinédia and Atlântida. The greatest names in Cinema Novo (the 1960’s film movement), such as Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Cacá Diegues and Glauber Rocha worked and live in the state. What about City of God and Elite Squad? The top domestic film productions were shot here too! Like the city’s trademark monument, the Christ the Redeemer statue, the RFC awaits you with open arms, to welcome your audiovisual production

5. A world of locations

Rio de Janeiro, both city and state is known the wold over for its breathtaking natural landscapes and postcard views. It’s nickname of “Marvelous City” was an inevitable result of the enchantment provoked by its vast series of natural and architectural monuments such as the Christ Redeemer statue, the Sugarloaf mountain, Copacabana, Ipanema and other famous tourist spots. However, the interior of the state of Rio de Janeiro has many surprising locations to offer. Just a short distance from the capital there are picturesque mountains, historic towns and villages from the colonial and imperial periods, farms and century-old buildings, as well as a gorgeous coastline on the state’s easternmost border, running north to south. 

Rio de Janeiro offers the ideal locations for your next project, regardless of the format: beaches, mountains, rivers, jungle, forests, farms and plantations, urban centers and other extraordinary locations. Given Rio de Janeiro’s diverse geography, the state has been divided in 12 regions:

 – Águas do Noroeste (Northwestern Waters): 
This region’s 14 municipalities offer waterfalls, rivers, mountains, open ranges, rural tourism and sports activities, such as rappelling and rafting. 
Main cities: Itaperuna and Natividade. 

– Baixada Fluminense (Fluminense Lowlands) 
This is a highly urban and industrial region and is part of Rio de Janeiro’s outskirts area, known as Greater Rio. Many of its residents work in the capital city. Densely populated, it also has green areas (including forest reserves) and older buildings (mansions, churches and railroads). 
Main cities: Duque de Caxias, Japeri, Nova Iguaçu and Seropédica. 

– Agulhas Negras (Black Needles)
This is a mountain region that borders the state of São Paulo. The Agulhas/Needles range offers a variety of ecotourism activities, including hiking and climbing. This is where the Itatiaia National Park, Brazil’s first ecological reserve, is located. 
Main cities: Itatiaia, Penedo, Resende and Visconde de Mauá.

– Caminhos Coloniais (Colonial Roads)
History and nature mingle in the four municipalities of this rural region. Colonial constructions and farms remain intact, and there are rivers for rafting and locations suitable for rappelling and hang gliding. The region was of great importance during the Coffee Cycle period.
Main cities: Paraíba do Sul, Três Rios, Areal e São José do Vale do Rio Preto.

– Caminhos da Mata (Forest Roads)
Baroque constructions, historical farms and archeological sites coexist all together in this region. The Forest Roads municipalities offer plenty of waterfalls and, of course, forests. 
Main cities: Itaboraí, Rio Bonito and São Gonçalo.

– Costa do Sol (Sun Coast)
This extensive coastal territory is also known as Região dos Lagos (Lakes Region). Its city beaches are famous for their clear water. This is a region that is much appreciated by surfers and tourists from the world over. The municipality of Cabo Frio has its own international airport. 
Main cities: Armação dos Búzios, Arraial do Cabo and Cabo Frio.

– Caminhos da Serra (Mountain Roads)
This a region with lots of green areas (rivers and forests) that borders the state of Minas Gerais. Its cities are popular among hang gliders, mountain bikers and fans of canoeing as well as those who enjoy hiking and horseback riding. 
Main cities: Bom Jardim, Carmo and Sumidouro.

– Costa Doce (Sweet Coast)
This region is bordered by mountains on one side and the sea on the other, and is situated north of Rio de Janeiro, on the border ofwith Espírito Santo State. Its cities have beaches, waterfalls and parks as well as colonial-period edifices. The city of Campos dos Goyztacazes is one of Brazil’s leading oil producers.
Main cities: Campos dos Goytacazes and São João da Barra.

– Costa Verde (Green Coast)
This coastal region in the southern part of the state is known for its large Atlantic Forest preserve, its paradisiacal beaches and islands and its mountain ranges next to the coastline. One of its landmarks is the historical city of Paraty , with many houses from the 18th and 19th centuries, which has served as locations for films such as Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables.” 
Main cities: Angra dos Reis, Mangaratiba and Paraty.

– Serra Verde Imperial (Imperial Green Mountains)
Five cities perched on the mountains form this region, also known as the Mountain Region. Rivers, waterfalls, inns, a mild climate and history (especially in the imperial city of Petrópolis) are some of the Imperial Green Mountain region’s strengths.
Main cities: Nova Friburgo, Petrópolis and Teresópolis.

– Metropolitana (Metropolitan)
This area includes the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Nitérói, and boasts architectural diversity, beaches, some of the world’s leading tourist spots, the infrastructure that only a mega metropolis can offer – plus breath-taking nature. All of this can be found in the two neighboring cities. 
Main cities: Niterói e Rio de Janeiro.

– Vale do Café (Coffee Valley)
This region is considered an open-air cultural and historical heritage site. It has farms that date from the Coffee Cycle period (1800/1930), with its perfectly preserved mansions, plantations and servants’ quarters. Many films, soap operas and documentaries have been made in the Coffee Valley. 
Main cities: Barra do Piraí, Barra Mansa, Valença, Vassouras and Volta Redonda.

Rio Film Commission Support Form

The form must be filled by the local producer.

Click here to access.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is required of foreign producers in order to film in the city of Rio de Janeiro?

Firstly, in order to be able to shoot in any city of Brazil, one needs to be associated with a local producer and registered with Ancine (National Film Agency) (with the exception of journalistic productions).
The local producer will respond to Ancine on behalf of the foreign producer. In addition to acting as a communication channel with Ancine, the Brazilian company is responsible for compliance with local legislation and assistance in customs clearance, hiring of local crew, rental of handling equipment, and obtaining permits. Please first check the conditions on the Ancine website: www.ancine.gov.br/manuais/filmar-brasil/filming-brazil

Are all audiovisual productions required to notify Ancine in advance of their filming in Brazil?

With the exception of journalistic productions, all audiovisual productions must comply with Ancine’s requirement.

Are foreign producers required to make this notification in advance?

No. Foreign producers must establish a partnership with a Brazilian production company, who, in turn, must be registered with Ancine, and who will report to the national agency on the foreign producer’s behalf.

What actions may the local Brazilian producer take on behalf of the foreign producer?

In addition to acting as a channel of communication with Ancine, the Brazilian company is responsible for ensuring compliance with local legislation and assisting with customs clearances, hiring local crew, handling equipment rentals, as well as providing other forms of assistance.

What documents should the Brazilian producer submit to Ancine so as to attest its connection with the foreign production?

Please check the list of documents on Ancine´s website for more information on that: http://www.ancine.gov.br

What programs and incentives are offered to film and video shoots in the city of Rio?

Brazil and Rio do not offer any specific incentives to foreign producers. However, there are a number of federal, state and municipal tax incentives and grants available to Brazilian producers, which may be applied to co-productions with foreign producers.

Does Brazilian legislation specify geographic restrictions for the eligibility for incentives?

Federal programs do not impose any geographic or jurisdictional restrictions. Eligibility requirements for state and municipal programs vary, but normally establish that films must employ a minimum of local crew. A combination of different state incentives is possible, as long as they respect the percentage crew requirements for each.

What are requirements in terms of the number of Brazilian actors, crew and technicians that must be used for co-productions?

In the case of international co-productions with countries with which Brazil already has international co-production agreements, specific requirements are contained in the respective agreements or treaties. In the case of co-productions with countries with which Brazil does not have such agreements, a minimum 2/3 of actors and crew/technicians that have resided in Brazil for more than 3 (three) years is required.

What passports or work visas do I need to film in Rio de Janeiro, city and state?

Every cast and crew member who isn’t a Brazilian resident or doesn’t hold a Brazilian passport will need a work visa or a temporary visa to be able to film in Rio de Janeiro, city or state.
Visas are issued by Brazilian diplomatic representations abroad. Once eligibility requirements are met, ANCINE will issue a notification to the diplomatic representation concerned, which will then grant entry visas for foreign professionals. A copy of the notification is sent to the Brazilian producer.

The period of validity of the visa is determined by the relevant Brazilian diplomatic authority in accordance with the shooting/recording schedule presented on application.

Do I have to get film permit for using Rio’s public locations?

Yes. For filming in public locations, one must obtain authorization documents from municipal departments. However, reduced film crews and instantaneous outdoors shoots (except on environmental protection areas), such as journalistic content, aren’t required to get permits. If it pleased, this particular production can obtain a document to confirm it is a transitory shoot. Please check the conditions with RFC crew 😉

How much is a filming/photography permit?

A: Our permits are free, except when the shoot takes place on environmental protection area. Please mind that some costs can be associated with your production – including but not limited to: hiring security enforcement, road closure agents and parking fees.

There may be location fees on private property and that will be decided by the owner.