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Ten weird country laws filmmakers should be aware of

From arranging carnets to securing permits, shooting abroad can be a legal minefield. Throw in the unexpected eccentricities of each countries' local legislation and it's easy to find yourself on the wrong side of an angry policeman and a language barrier. Here's our rundown of some of the world's more unusual legal quirks.



As Brief Encounter demonstrates, there's nothing so romantic as a rail travel. Unfortunately Austrian transit authorities disagree - in a rather inconvenient move for potential rom-com productions they've introduced a ban on all kissing on board trains within Vienna.




Walking around your own house naked in Singapore is punishable by a fine of $2,000 Singaporean dollars or up to three months in prison if your neighbours see you. HBO location scouts can cross this country off their list then.




Florida's law against face coverings has respectable roots as a measure to curb Ku Klux Klan activities. In recent years, however it's seen the arrest of a man in a clown costume and another in the V for Vendetta mask. Something to bear in mind if shooting a superhero movie in the state.


Lindsey Nicholson


Filmmakers have extra reason to be careful in the icy extremes of the Arctic town, Longyearbyen, where the death of an actor is not only an unpleasant interruption to the shooting schedule, it's also illegal. The effects of the cold on stalling decomposition have left the local graveyard over-subscribed.


Panupong Roopyai


Any defamation about Thailand's king or royal family is taken very seriously indeed. Not only can verbal or written insult lead to a jail term of several years, just standing on the currency, which bears the king's face, is construed as an act of lèse-majesté.


Rome Colosseum"Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0"


As of 2012 enjoying a sandwich, or any form of packed lunch, on Rome's famous Spanish Steps has been punishable by a fine of up to €500 (£400.) The same goes for the Colosseum and the Pantheon.


Trinidad and Tobagocheesy42

St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago

If planning to shoot a military scene on the Caribbean islands of St Lucia or Trinidad and Tobago, be aware that it's illegal for civilians to wear camouflage clothing, in order to prevent confusion with members of the armed forces. 



In a move that seriously hinders investigative documentary makers, several US states including, Idaho, Kansas, Montana and North Dakota have passed laws that forbid undercover filming in farms with the intent of exposing animal cruelty


chewing gum singaporeCory Doctorow


Nothing says 80's juvenile delinquent like a stick of chewing gum. With Singapore's comprehensive regulation of 'antisocial behaviour' including a prohibition on the substance, it's probably not the best place to shoot an homage to teen rebellion.




While in Singapore it's illegal not to flush toilets, in Switzerland you can actually get in trouble for doing so. Noise reduction regulations are strict and many apartment blocks have rules against flushing after 10pm.


Eraclea beachAlberto Vigani


In the ultimate killjoy move the mayor of the Italian seaside town of Eraclea has banned the building of sandcastles, collecting of seashells, and all ball games at the beach - leading to the question of exactly what you are allowed to do there…


JL Fisher

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Panorama Films Srl

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AMATA Film Production

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No Average Joe

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Hermes Production

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The Box Films srl

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Bourke USA

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Cattleya S.r.l

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Texcam Inc

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Deluxe Production

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Lupin Film

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Greenlight Films

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10 Years Later

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Mediawok Co Ltd

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Sound Art 23 Srl

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KI Film

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The Post Bangkok

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