Professional Production Assistance in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei

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General Information for Filming in Borneo

What to film in Borneo?

Documentary -
Borneo is famous for natural history and cultural documentary productions. The flora and fauna of the rainforest and coral reefs, fascinating mountain streams, lowland rivers, mangroves and the many ethnic groups and tribes, each with their unique culture and traditions provides you with appealing stories.

Reality TV - There are plenty of exciting locations for your reality TV survival or adventure show in Borneo. We will ensure catering, safety and comfort for cast and crew even in the most remote areas.

Info- and Edutainment
- Borneo is a very popular destination for travel shows. Scenic landscapes, thrilling outdoor activities, compelling people, traditional skills and arts, unique wildlife and an interesting fusion food culture provide plenty of content.

Journalism - Reporters can freely travel and investigate once they have received their filming permits. However all "Borneo countries" are very cautious to avoid a negative image abroad and certain topics have to be approached with the right amount of sensitivity.

Commercials - Up to today very few commercials are filmed in Borneo. Be one of the first to try something new.

Feature Films - The feature film industry increasingly discovers Borneo's scenery and wilderness as locations for their movies. A great advantage is the proximity of the rainforest to the modern cities, airports, hospitals, hotels, etc.

Expeditions - With many rainforest birds, plants and insects or marine flora and fauna, Borneo is a great location for expeditions. We have the expertise to organise and manage your scientific or photographic expedition to Borneo down to the smallest component.


Borneo has an equatorial climate with two distinctive monsoon seasons and short inter-monsoon periods. The north-east monsoon from November to February is considered to be the "wet season" and unless you are after something specific only happening during this time, it's better to avoid it for film productions, as there is a good chance for rain in the afternoon. The dryer south-west monsoon blows from April to September and in general we recommend this period, including the inter-monsoon months March and October, for your project.

All year round daytime temperatures average from 26 - 33 degree Celsius, rarely dropping below 20 degrees Celsius at night. However it can get much colder in the mountains. Daylight is more or less from 6 am to 6 pm.


Sabah and Sarawak use the Malaysian Ringgit, Brunei the Brunei Dollar and Kalimantan the Indonesian Rupiah. All major towns and cities have banks and ATM's to withdraw cash, but only the major hubs (airports) let you exchange foreign currency and traveler cheques in US Dollar, Euro and a few other major currencies. If you bring US Dollar make sure that you have new bills without any markings on them, money changers reject marked or old bills and as well certain serial numbers. We recommend that you get production cash through bank transfers and ATM's.

Health & Safety

Borneo is located at the equator and tropical diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and others are found here. There is a good range of private and public hospitals in larger cities, but proper precaution should be taken when visiting areas with poor infrastructure. Please check with your health professional about the latest updates for vaccinations and prophylaxis required. A general idea about the health travel status for each country can be found here. Borneo Fixer will provide medics and doctors for production in remote areas.

In general traveling in Borneo is very safe. Crime rates in the cities are relatively low. In remote areas you should have a professional guide. In the past there have been piracy and kidnapping incidents along the coast bordering to the Philippines. Your crew's safety is paramount to us. If needed, Borneo Fixer will arrange for navy or police escorts, security guards and professional guides. For official travel warnings check with your country's embassy.


Borneo's native people speak many different languages and dialects. The official language in Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei is Malay (Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Melayu) and in Kalimantan it is Bahasa Indonesia. Additionally there are languages established by hundreds of years of immigration, including many Chinese dialects such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, Foochow and Teochew. English is widely spoken in urban centres but you will require a translator for most other areas. Borneo Fixer will provide you with the guides and translators you require for a safe stay and to easily liaise with the local communities.

Filming Equipment

There is hardly any film gear for rent on Borneo itself. If we need to rent equipment we get it from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta. If you bring your filming equipment from abroad, you will need to declare the temporary import, which is usually already a part of the filming permit application process. An ATA Carnet is a must (except for Brunei) and you can check here if your country is part of the ATA Carnet network. Borneo Fixer will take care of the required paperwork and assist to bring your equipment safely through customs.
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Budget & Prices

It's important that we know the budget you have available for the various different production arrangements. While local labor and locally produced goods are cheap in Borneo, imported goods or expertise services are expensive. Cargo forwarding to Borneo is also relatively expensive due to limited shipping infrastructure and government policies.
Accommodation and transport costs are not cheap, even though gasoline and diesel are subsidised in these oil-producing countries. Domestic flights within each country are very cheap if you use budget airlines. Services in Brunei are, in general, more expensive (almost double) due to a much higher average income of the population. Contact Borneo Fixer for specific questions on prices for services and goods.


Implementing the logistics for a film production is challenging as soon you leave the main population centres of Borneo. Electricity often has to be produced by diesel generators which have to be brought to the filming location. In remote locations the transport of crew and equipment has to be arranged by using off-road vehicles, boats, charter planes & helicopters or porters. Main provisions have to be brought along from the cities. Accommodation in rural Borneo can range from staying with villagers, to tents and makeshift camps. Borneo Fixer will make sure that logistics fit the needs of the cast and crew.
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Filming Permits

All countries in Borneo require you to apply for filming permits and work visas for your crew and talent prior to arrival. There are also additional provincial and local permits to apply for, especially if you plan to shoot in protected areas or areas under jurisdiction of Forestry or Wildlife Departments. Borneo Fixer offers packages that include all the required paperwork.
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Filming Incentive

Malaysia has introduced a 30% cash rebate on audited in-country spending for local and foreign film productions, including documentaries, tv productions and commercials. Eligibility however starts at productions who are spending at least RM 5 million (~USD 1,25 million).