How to get a filming permit in Russia

When you're planning to film in Russia, it's important to remember that in many locations you can't shoot without a filming permit. There are different kinds of permits and they range in cost and complexity to get. We'll cover them in this post.

Filming permit for city streets in Russia

The question if you must have a permit to shoot a film or TV show on city streets is a bit in the grey area. Technically, you might not be doing anything illegal. However, law enforcement officers across Russia might have their own view regarding the legality of what you're doing. It's not always the case — police are getting more film and TV-friendly, but if they decide to check your papers, an official government permit would really come in handy.

It's true that you might get away with filming without a permit in many places. But is it really worth trying? It might create time-consuming problems for the crew.

Public locations permits in Russia

Most well-known attractions across Russia are covered by a general filming permit, issued by city authorities. But some require extra authorization.

The most frequent question we hear is “can we film on Red Square”? The answer is: not without a permit. It’s one of the most heavily-guarded places in Russia, and it's borderline impossible to film there without permission. It normally takes a month to get, you need to stick to an agreed time period, and it costs some money. But the view is worth it.

The same applies to Manezhnaya Square right next to the Red Square, Victory Square in Moscow, Dvortsovaya Square in St. Petersburg, and a few other places.

Most parks and bridges also require filming permits, which come with a fee.

Permits for aerial filming in Russia

The drone situation in Russia is the same as in many countries: most of the time, flying in low-density areas is possible. But in cities, and in particular near best spots, you can’t fly without a permit. In some Moscow locations, the authorities have set up jammers, and you can’t fly there at all.

Some locations require permits from special services. Aerial photography sometimes requires permits from the Defense Ministry and the Federal Security Service (FSB).

For example, if you’re going to film in remote areas such as Chukotka, we’ll have to get plenty of permits, because it’s a border area of Russia under special protection regime. As a foreigner, you’ll have to get a permit from the FSB Border Service, as well as regional authorities. But again, their unexplored, wild beauty is worth it.

To sum up, there is almost nothing impossible to film in Russia. But if you want to get the best stuff, it’s best to launch the permit procedure at least a month prior to the shoot date. Contact us to find amazing locations to film across Russia