With more than 250 sunny days a year and very affordable prices, filming in Portugal can be done with relative ease. The country has an amazing architectural diversity in cities and villages and superb coastlines. Mountainous areas and vineyards make the inland also be attractive to filmmakers and photographers.
The capital, Lisbon, includes a Historical Centre with centuries of tradition and history. Meanwhile other big cities such as Porto are an amazing mix of old and new.
Filming in Portugal is backed by a 30% tax rebate for specific expenses on feature films with a minimum budget of €1m.
Access for Foreign Journalists and Filmmakers
Filming in Portugal as part of a news piece or getting access as a journalist is relatively easy. Institutions tend to be open to foreign media while other contributors need to be tackled on a case by case basis.
Usually interview requests get an answer in a week or less. But our fixers generally recommend giving institutions at least 10 calendar days’ notice.
The World Press Freedom Index ranks Portugal 14th in the world, which means transparency is high and journalists can do their jobs with relative ease.
Filming Permits in Portugal
Filming in Portugal sometimes requires a permit, especially when the size of the crews interferes with the day-to-day activities of locals.
Our fixers usually sort filming permits in a weeks’ time. Some city halls are quicker than others, but authorities are generally supportive with filmmakers, photographers and TV commercial producers.
Permits for filming in Portugal can generally be obtained for free or at very low cost. Most of the times, authorities accept payments 30 days after the shoot took place, which helps the cash flows of production companies.
The Portuguese Tax Rebate for Film Productions
While there is a cashback for production, this does not apply to everyone filming in Portugal. The 30% rebate is applicable to relevant expenses on feature films with a minimum spend of €1m (max €4m).