Filming in Bahrain, dodging the hostility of permissions

Bahrain Fort Arches

Filming in Bahrain is not always fun. Almost every time we go to film in cultural or a historic venue we get shooed off by a security guard or some other functionary with a perfunctory warning to go get permission first. We get faced with this especially when shooting cultural spots like the Bahrain Fort and the like. No one offered us an explanation why such permission was required and in most cases they wouldn’t know where or whom to apply to gain it.

The question is, why is permission needed in the first place. What is the cultural authorities afraid of? What will clips of a fort or other such structure threaten?

I know this is very tiresome and believe that the process is completely unnecessary. My view is that the government should welcome filmmakers – amateur or professional – to shoot to their heart’s content. What their footage will do is promote Bahrain’s culture and history and be a good pull for possibly the right kind of tourists. What they’re doing to us now with this requirement is at the very least delay our projects until such permission is procured.

For Bahrain’s sake we need less red tape, not more. So please, remove the restrictions on filming in the country, or at the very least in all cultural and historic locations. All we want to do is show the country, its history, culture and people in the best possible light through making films worth watching.