The Tunisian Jewish community in the island of Djerba in Tunisia is a very conservative community. The Jewish community in Tunisia are around 1500 persons, must of them, around 1200 are living in Djerba. 

To film in Tunisia you need a film permit. It allowed you to film in all the cities specified in this permit. 

Film crew Jewish Tunisia
Foreign film crew filming in the Ghriba synagogue in Djerba about the Jewish community Tunisia.

Security and police

Otherwise a permanent police checkpoint is based in the 2 mains entrance of the Jewish area in Djerba and you will be controlled every time you enter the area. So you need to put this in your schedule.

The must important Jewish area in Djerba is the Hara Kebira “Greater Neighborhood”, with the Jewish school, kosher restaurants, kosher public oven. The jewelry shops in Houmt Souk, the capitol of Djerba Island. The Ghriba synagogue, the first synagogue built out of Jerusalem. 

The religious events

The must important Jewish event in Tunisia and specially in Djerba is the Ghriba annuel pilgrimage it happens around May. 

It’s a very important message of peace, where Tunisian Muslims and Jewish coming from all around the world for this event celebrate the Ghriba visit. 

Filming Shabbat in Harra Kbira in Djerba is very unique. It’s a kind of « curfew », you will see some person walking around the city. The preparation of Shabbat is also a great moment where you see all the families preparing the food and bread and bringing it to the bakeries. 

Tunisia is an easy country where you can come and film without troubles and citizens are very open to be filmed and they used to do that since years. With a lot of taxes facilities and accessible airport and ports. You need simply to get a film permit.

Tunisia is a small country with a variety of landscapes (sea, beach, forest, mountain, waterfall, desert, sand dunes, rocky desert, natural region, lake, river, plain, grassland, salt lake).

Airport and customs

You need around 9 hours driving to go from the northeast point (Bizerte governorate) to the  southeast point of the country (Tatouine governorate).

Airport and customs

With more then 8 international airports, serving the must important european, Mena region and Canada airports with direct flights.

So you can fly directly to your shooting location without any need to drive for long hours. Tunisia is 01 hour flying from Rome and around 02 or 03 hours from almost all the european capitols.

In general using an ATA carnet helps save time when going through customs.

Taxes and cash

For the local purchasing you need to pay the VAT (19%) since 2018. The foreign company are excluded from the general invoice taxes.

Must number of the hotels, rental car companies and restaurant accept the electronic cards Visa and Master Cards. Otherwise, the American Express is not very well widespread in Tunisia.  Anyway you need to bring cash with you to pay the small purchases.  You can discuss with your fixer about that point

Archeological sites and museum

In Tunisia you find Roman, Phoenician, Punic and Islamic archeological sites must of them are World Heritage of UNESCO since many years. Several museum are around the country the must famous is Bardo Museum based in the capitol Tunis.

Climate and weather

Tunisia is an open-air film set. With a soft climate, a sunny and blue sky almost all the year and the quality of the light is exceptional. Endowed with a soft climate, Tunisia is filming friendly in summer and winter alike.

Religion

99% of the are Sunnite Maliki Muslims, The 1% left are split between Jewish and Christians, must of them are foreign. You can find Mosques all around the country, the must famous are Uqba mosque and Zitouna Mosque. Cathedrals also exist all around the country the must famous are the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Pau a  Roman Catholic church, Russian Orthodox Church in Tunis and Greek Orthodox Church in Tunis. SAINT FÉLIX Church in Sousse a catholic church and many others. Synagogues exist in Tunisia like the Great Synagogue at Tunis El Gheriba Synagogue in Djerba and the Synagogue Keren Yéchoua in La Marsa, Tunis.

Crew and technician

Tunisia has a very experimented technicians (English, French and Italian speaking) in all shooting departments.

Technicians have many years of experience with local and international shooting. Crews work 6 days a week and the working day is 09 hours with 01 hour for lunch.

Casting 

Tunisia has a very talented actors in different age and profile, speaking different languages (English, French, Arabic, Italien). 

Also with experienced casting director with an updated casting database, you can find also several Facebook groups and page to help you in your casting for amateurs and beginner.

Extras

Due to the geographical position of Tunisia, the Tunisian population are a panoply of various civilizations, you can find almost all the human races : Arabs, Amazigh “Berber”, Asian, black and Europeans.

Visas and Work permits

Crews coming in Tunisia with Western passports don’t need a visa and can stay up to 90 days.  No need for work permits to film in Tunisia. For more details about your passport and you legibility for the visa please visit this link.

It takes around 2 weeks to get a film permit for Tunisia. For that you need to send the list below to the Tunisian embassy or council in your country or city by email:

  • Copy of the crew members passports.
  • Copy of the press card (if existing)
  • A film permit request written in an official paper with your organisation stamp and the responsible signature.
  • Equipment list: you need to put together a list of all the “big equipment” that you are planning to bring with you like cameras, wireless equipment…
  • Drone, SNG and other transmission equipment need a special procedures

http://41.231.36.121/en/press/terms-and-conditions-for-filming-in-tunisia/filming-permit-in-tunisia/

In your request to get the film permit, you need to specify the locations and the dates you want to film in Tunisia.

On the other hand you need to write the topics (don’t put a lot of details) and the people you want to meet.

If your topic is quite “non-conform” with what the Tunisian government want to show in particular drugs, illegal migrants, terrorism, tourism problems…, don’t put them, it can cause a delay on getting the permit.

This film permit doesn’t allow you to film with a drone. For that, you need a drone film permit.

To film inside governmental buildings, you need to ask directly the minister responsible for that building.

If you need to urgently get the permit, your fixer/service provider can fix that for you. But it will depend on the timing ; for example, during some “rush period” for exemple : elections, international meeting, terrorist attack… . Hundreds of crews ask for a film permit, which means that the Tunisian authorities have a lot of stuff to do and delivering the permit you need can take more than 2 weeks.

However in case you need to film in Tunisia and you don’t have time to wait two weeks. You can send a small crew, and your fixer/service provider in Tunisia can provide you with a qualified crew and all the equipment you need.

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