The incredible variety of locations make Spain a place to keep in mind for film & TV crews from around the world. Thousands of miles of various types of coastline, buzzling cities, medieval backdrops and different kinds of terrain including sand dunes are just some of the options the country has to offer. Filming in Spain is relatively easy, affordable and backed by some 30+ local film commissions.
Access in Spain for Foreign Journalists
Filming in Spain for current affairs pieces or getting access as a journalist is pretty straightforward.
No approval from authorities is needed and institutions tend to generally be responsive to press inquiries.
The World Press Freedom Index ranks Spain 31st worldwide close to countries like the UK and France.
Our fixers in Spain can get access to communities around the country and find contributors for news coverage and newspaper pieces.
Filming Permits in Spain
The main interface for filming in the country is the Spain Film Commission. The body consists of 30+ local film commissions spread around the country. These organizations are all backed by different kinds of authorities such as townhalls and government institutions.
Getting a permit for filming in Spain is relatively easy.
With regards to public spaces, the approach is different from region to region. While some cities require a general permit, others do not.
Autonomous governments regulate filming in Spain’s protected natural areas. Their openness to production crews depends on the area and context.
Filming in Spain with a drone (max 10 kg) is more flexible than other parts of the world. In brief, the operator needs accreditation and the drone needs to have a license plate. Daytime flights within the visual range of the operator do not require any approval. Things get complicated if the drone flies above government facilities, at night or is heavier than 10 kilos. In any of these cases, the best authority to talk to is the State Agency for Air Safety (AESA), part of the Ministry of Development.
Our fixers generally sort filming permits in a week’s time or less. Some local bodies are quicker than others, but authorities are generally supportive with filmmakers, photographers and producers.
Permits for filming in Spain are generally for free or cheap. Most of the times, authorities accept payments after the shoot, which helps the cash flows of production companies.
The Spanish Tax Rebate for Film Productions
Spanish authorities do know how to attract large productions to their country and have created a tax incentive scheme:
- Applicable to feature films, documentaries, TV series & animations
- The general rebate is 20% off expenses incurred in Spain
- For Navarre, the rebate is 35%
- Canary Islands: 40%
- The rebate can only be claimed by a Spanish production company registered with the Film and Audio-Visual Arts Institute (thus foreign production companies need to hire a local one)
- Minimum expense in Spain: €1m
- Maximum rebate limit: €3m