Arts & Culture

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Film and Photography in Port Phillip

The Port Phillip area enjoys a rich array of streetscapes, landscapes, seascapes and parklands. The city's natural heritage is its greatest physical asset. Parklands and open space along the foreshore together with tourist attractions are in high demand as film locations. The city's architectural heritage reflects the history of Melbourne as well as the industrial and maritime heritage of the port.

Film Location Policy

The City of Port Phillip strives to be a film-friendly location for film production but must balance this with local amenity of residents, traders and visitors.

A film permit application form should be submitted to the Arts Administrator at the City of Port Phillip for filming / photography including:

  • Television
  • Feature films
  • Advertising
  • Student film projects
  • Documentaries
  • Music videos
  • Commercial stills photography

Filming Permits

Film/Photography Permit Application Form

Council's local laws provide guidelines for the use of roads, footpaths and other public spaces for filming activity. This activity is subject to the council's approval based on the film location application and evidence of adequate public liability insurance. Permits must be carried on location and produced upon request of a council local laws officer or the Arts Administrator.

Filming without a permit is subject to penalty and immediate evacuation from the location.

The timeframe for the issue of permits correlates to the location and the activity's potential impact on the amenity of residents, traders and traffic. To apply/reserve a permit, please complete the application form located on the below link and return it via the contact details listed below.

Temporary Parking Permit
Contact the City of Port Phillip Parking Enforcement Department on 9209 6404 for further information.

Filming Permit Fees

A standard fee is applied for filming in the municipality limited to those areas under the council's jurisdiction. A lower fee applies to commercial stills photography. There is an initial establishing charge for the first and second days of filming for commercial or high impact projects. A daily rate applies for any subsequent days. The phrase 'any one project' relates to one feature film, one television commercial, one season of a television series or serial.

Filming - from 1 July 2016
$841.00 Full commercial rate for first or only day
$510.00 Full commercial rate for second day
$175.00 Full commercial rate for third and subsequent days
$510.00 Full commercial rate for half day
$175.00 for unit base use only
$175.00 for local community/cultural benefit

$48.00 Service fee for low budget film*

$20.00 Service fee for no budget film*

*Service fee is included in other fees and is payable in lieu of fee waiver

Commercial Stills Photography
$393.00 Full commercial rate for first and only day
$175.00 Full commercial rate for second and subsequent days
$175.00 for 'pack shots' only

In the majority of applications, the location fee charged covers the full service provided by the City of Port Phillip. Additional fees may be charged where film crews park in restricted or metered parking areas. In some instances, a fee is payable internally. A user-pays system applies where additional external services are required.

Filming Fee Reduction or Waiver (Sponsorship request) 

Filming fee reduction or waivers may apply to:

  • Projects of demonstrable local community benefit
  • Documentaries which are specific to the cultural heritage of the City of Port Phillip
  • Emerging producers and/or directors who have made no more than two films (including short films)
  • As part of course work for enrolled students

This support is treated as a sponsorship by the City of Port Phillip. The film maker is required to acknowledge the City in the end credits.

Sponsorship must be requested in writing at least five days prior to filming, see the contact details listed below. The location acknowledgement will read Filmed in the City of Port Phillip or Thanks to the City of Port Phillip.

Fee reductions or waivers will not be applied retrospectively.

Notification Timetable

In order to maintain a balanced level of residential and trader amenity, film makers are required to notify in writing persons and businesses which may be affected by their presence. Further community consultation may be requested by the Film Liaison, if determined necessary.

The timeframe for this notification is:

  • For low impact in residential areas: A minimum of twenty four (24) hours in advance but preferably at least forty eight (48) hours in advance
  • For strip shopping centres: A minimum of seven (7) days for high impact activity
  • For other commercial areas, high density residential areas and those under the jurisdiction of other authorities which impact on council-controlled areas: A minimum of seven (7) days is preferred.
  • For productions with one instance of filming longer than a week in duration: minimum twenty eight (28) days

The Film Liaison Unit works in close conjunction with the Melbourne Film Office and the Film and Television Office of the Victoria Police in administering this service.


All applications for a filming approval permit are required to provide evidence of appropriate public liability insurance cover through presentation of their Certificate of Currency prior to a permit being issued.

Film applications using the services of stunt performers are required to provide evidence of appropriate specialised risk insurance or workcover.

Film applications requiring the use of roads or road closure must provide a traffic management report. All filming activity must comply with common law.

Coordination of Council Departments

Filming activity impacts on many council departments and the Arts Administrator will co-ordinate the approval of the application across the relevant council departments. Internal liaison between all of these departments to support filming activity is essential in the provision of an efficient, effective service which develops and maintains excellent relationships between the film industry, the city and its residents, traders and visitors. There may be additional permits or fees required depending on the location, complexity and impact of the shoot.

Damage to Council Property

All costs associated with clearing litter and other waste generated by their activities, and for any damage to parks, irrigation, roads and other council property will be borne by the production company.

Contact the Arts Administrator on:
Telephone (03) 9209 6217
Fax (03) 9536 2717
Postal Film Liaison Officer, City of Port Phillip, Private Bag 3, St Kilda VIC 3182.

For information on Filming in Victoria including Film Victoria's Film Friendly Guidelines, please visit:

St Kilda Film Festival

This popular, annual film festival is celebrated in May or June each year at the Astor Theatre. Celebrating the spectacular triumphs of our local film industry. Australia’s Top 100 shorts screen in competition alongside the musical extravaganza that is SoundKILDA – Australian Music Video Competition. Plus youth programs, an international component, special screenings, filmmaker development and networking events, a series of forums and the St Kilda Film Festival Industry Open Day. Entries close at the end of January. For further festival information, please go to the St Kilda Film Festival website at

Contact us or use eServices to ask us a question, request information or give us feedback online.Ask for the Arts Administrator.