Guide to Poland
Please note that the information provided in this section is only a general outline and guideline. When considering a specific location, it is always best to contact a local film fixer or film commission for the region in question in order to ascertain what regulations are applicable.
1. Do I need permission to film in Poland?
NO, not if you will be filming in public places such as streets or squares, and you will not be occupying a traffic lane or pavement or using tripods and you will be working with a small crew of two to three people. Nonetheless, even in those circumstances, we recommend that you contact the Polish Film Institute or a relevant regional film commission to check the status of your chosen location.
YES, if the land, building, or structure has an owner. The owner might be:
• the State Treasury; permits are issued by the Ministry of State Treasury;
• a local authority; permits are issued by the relevant department of the authority in question;
• a denominational group or religious order; permits are issued as follows:
– for the Roman Catholic Church: the bishop or archbishop;
– monasteries and convents: the abbot, prioress or mother superior;
– synagogues: the local Jewish Commune;
– mosques: the local Muslim Commune;
• private owners: a signed agreement setting out the rights and obligations of the parties during filming is required.
2. Do I need a permit to film on a road?
YES, two procedures are obligatory; a permit must be obtained for occupying a traffic lane (zajęcie pasa drogowego) and for specific use of a road (wykorzystanie drogi w sposób szczególny). To
obtain permission to film, it is necessary to apply to the offices responsible for the type of road in question:
• NATIONAL ROADS:
General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways
Generalna Dyrekcja Dróg Krajowych i Autostrad
tel. +48 22 375 88 88, email@example.com,
• VOIVODSHIP ROADS:
Chief Executive’s Office (urząd marszałkowski);
• POVIAT ROADS AND URBAN, RURAL AND URBAN-RURAL COMMUNE ROADS;
the poviat, city, town, or commune offices.
3. Do I need a permit to carry out aerial filming?
YES, a permit is required to carry out drone aerial filming in Poland. The drone pilot is required to hold a special certificate of qualifications. The issue of the flight area over a professional company providing aerial filming services a permit to film is required is complex, and it is advised to contact a company that professionally provides drone aerial filming services. More information on the permits is available at the Civil Aviation Authority.
Civil Aviation Authority Customer Service Point and Post Room
Urząd Lotnictwa Cywilnego Punkt Obsługi Klienta i Kancelaria
tel. +48 22 520 72 00
4. Do I need a permit to film in green spaces?
YES, if you want to film in:
• municipal parks, forests, urban green spaces, then you will need to obtain a permit from the local authority’s department of the environment and green spaces (wydział środowiska, wydział ochrony środowiska, zarząd zieleni miejskiej);
• state forests, then the local State Forests inspectorate (nadleśnictwo) is responsible for issuing the permit;
General Directorate of State Forests
Dyrekcja Generalna Lasów Państwowych
tel. +48 22 589 81 00
Agricultural Property Agency Resource Management Unit
Krajowy Ośrodek Wsparcia Rolnictwa Departament Gospodarowania Zasobem
tel. +48 22 376 76 23
• National Parks, then the director of the park or reserve in question issues the permit (see the map).
5. Do I need a permit to film on water?
YES, permission can be obtained from the owner or managing authority of the river, lake, dam, hydroelectric complex or other body of water, waterway or water-related facility. In the case of state-owned land, either the appropriate document is issued by the regional water authority (regionalny zarząd gospodarki wodnej) or authorisation is granted by the relevant department of the voivodeship, poviat or commune offices (wydział gospodarki wodnej, wydział ochrony środowiska, zarząd melioracji)
National Water Management Authority
Krajowy Zarząd Gospodarki Wodnej
tel. +48 22 37 20 210
6. Do I need a permit to film at historical sites?
YES, permission from the owner or managing authority is required. This is generally the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport, although cultural institutions may be involved at a more local level. In some cases, the consent of the local historical conservation office will also be needed. The possibility of photographing and filming museum collections and exhibits may be covered by separate regulations. Shooting in historical buildings or at historical sites, particularly in the case of ruins, often requires that additional insurance requirements be met.
Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
Monuments Preservation Department
Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
Departament Ochrony Zabytków
tel. +48 22 21 21 102
7. What documents are required to obtain a permit?
In every case, it is worth preparing documents containing the following information:
• title of the film and names of director and producer;
• film budget;
• production insurance;
• type of production: feature film, documentary, television, commercial, etc.;
• shooting date and number of filming days;
• description of the scene or scenes to be shot;
• composition of the crew: names and their ID numbers, as well as number of vehicles involved;
• description of equipment: lights, generators, cranes, dollies, etc.
8. How long does it take for a permit to be issued?
It depends on the type of location and the owner. The earlier the application is submitted, the greater the chance that it will be reviewed positively and processed in a timely manner. In the majority of cases, particularly for locations within town and city boundaries, the administrative procedures require the application for a permit to be submitted at least two weeks before shooting begins. In some instances, contacting the local film commission can speed up the procedure.
9. What are the employment laws and working conditions for child actors?
Children cannot work longer than 6 hours a day and their work is only allowed between 6 am and 8 pm. They are not allowed to work at night. Work longer than 4.5 hours requires at least a 30-minute break. At least 14 hours of lay-over time is required between the end of shooting and the start of work the next day. Children are required to have 48 hours of rest in each working week (one of those two days should be Sunday). Children cannot be alone on set; they must be supervised by a parent or legal guardian. Parents or legal guardians should be informed about the safety rules on set. The following documents need to be collected and submitted to a District Labour Inspectorate to obtain permission to hire a child actor:
• permission signed by a parent / legal guardian;
• opinions on engaging a child to work on set
– from the school principal,
– from a doctor,
– from a psychological / pedagogical centre.