Morocco's location at the spit of Africa and at the threshold of Europe, bathed by the Mediterranean sea in the North and the Atlantic ocean in the west, and opened to the Sahara desert in the South, represent all together many assets for the development of rich movie industry.
Ouarzazate is the film capital of Morocco, with everything from Lawrence of Arabia to The Mountains of the Moon and Star Wars being filmed there. The studio outside town is an impressive sight, and open to the public for tours. Of course the town has its share of luxury hotels, restaurants and shops. The Kasbah is very nice, recently restored and has been used as a movie set many times.
"Black Hawk" movie was shot in Morocco -- Somalia still being too anarchic a nation to host an international movie crew. The actors, including lead player Josh Hartnett, spent several weeks in military boot camps before shooting began. and ...
Stratosphere, a film production company based in New York City, released a new film called HIDEOUS KINKY, starring two-time Academy Award nominee Kate Winslet in her first role after the extraordinary success of TITANIC, and Said Taghmaoui, star of the acclaimed French film LA HAINE. The film, which follows the adventures of a single mother and her two daughters as they escape the grays of London for the brilliant colors of Marrakech, was shot entirely across the sweeping landscapes of Morocco. We are talking here not only about the location, but also about the topic of the film, all in and about Morocco.
Well, we want to say here that Morocco is a country of sun and light. Its privileged geographical position and its moderate climate makes it the beloved son of nature. Since it is located at the spit of Africa and at the threshold of Europe, bathed by the Mediterranean sea in the North and the Atlantic ocean in the west, opened to the Sahara desert in the South, Morocco has been a hub in history.
The specificity of Morocco lies in its astonishing diversity of sites, not very far from one and other. From Marrakech, within a radius of kilometers, you will see beautiful landscapes, rich with colors and brightness : plains and mountains, beaches and gorges, sand and snow, rivers and falls. Mild and sunny climate, brightness, variety of sites, ethnic diversity represent all together many assets for the development of rich movie industry, which boasted many foreign productions as famous as "Othello" from Orson Welles, "Lawrence of Arabia" from David Lean, "The man who knew too much" from Alfred Hitchcock, "Cent mille dollars" from Henri Verneuil, "The man who wanted to be king" from John Houston, "A tea in the Sahara" from Bernardo Bertolucci or "The last temptation of the Christ" or "Kundun" from Martin Scorcese.
"So many advantages and assets make Morocco a country of cinema by excellence.", said Souheil Benbarka, a prominent Moroccan movie director", explaining that being at the crossroads of ancient civilizations, Morocco offers, in terms of walk on actors, the widest variety of human looks ever. It also offers an experienced labor force at the lowest prices. The infrastructure and the technical equipment are also complete. There are hotels available all over the country, which ensure the accommodation of the movie teams. Moreover directors can make all the operations on the spot : Movie sites and studios are available in town (Casablanca) or on site (Ouarzazate), Developing laboratory, auditorium, complete and high-performance technical equipment, etc. The Moroccan Cinema Centre (CCM), a public organization in charge of cinema business, makes it easier to buy or to hire equipment, issues easily and shooting permissions and provides the necessary assistance for customs formality. CCM can also help directors aiming at making their movie in Morocco, and make the necessary contacts in Morocco on their behalf, mainly to the local authorities. It is its duty provide accurate information on the shooting and all legal formality."
Centre cinématographique Marocain Morocco has always been, from the beginning of the cinema, considered, by the film makers, as a very appraised destination, and so for its magnificence and diversity of its light, as well as for the facilities and services offered to the producers. As early as 1987, Louis LUMIERE came to Morocco to shoot his film entitled «Le Chevalier Marocain». Since that date, more than 500 motion pictures have been shot in Morocco, besides a million of documentaries, different kinds of reportages, advertisings and video-clips. Thus, the most worldwide famous film makers have been interested by shooting films in Morocco.
The movie «Kundun», having respectively, as a setting, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, India and Tibet, have been shot in Morocco, thanks to its valuable natural settings and to the existence of different human types. More other advantages are added to these, such as: Proximity to Europe and USA, Airports set up in several points of the country, Very performing ways of communication and road transport, Simplification of the administrative procedures for any kind of permits (shooting permits...), Custom's facilities, Placing at the producer's disposal, by the Royal Armed Forces, military means : Persons and Equipments, Possibility of temporary importation of factitious weapons, Important discount concerning air flight, allowed by Royal Air Morocco (until 40%) and concerning hostelry (until 50%).