Written by on Mar 2, 2015. Posted in On Location

Mission Impossible 5 helps drive six-fold location filming increase in Morocco

Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible 5 has helped drive a six-fold rise in foreign production spending in Morocco. Nearly 40 international shoots filmed in the North African country in 2014, spending USD 120 million – more than the last five years combined.

The figures were announced at the National Film Festival in Tangiers, Associated Press reports. Film commissioner Sarim Fassi-Fihri attributed the success to the fact that Morocco is one of the only parts of the world that offers a peaceful and stable stand-in for the Middle East.

Mission: Impossible 5 closed part of the Casablanca-Agadir highway last year, reportedly for extensive car chase filming. The film has been based at Warner Bros at Leavesden Studios in London, and also shot action sequences on location in Vienna.

Morocco is one of the most popular international filming spots for productions set in desert locations. The country’s successful year is connected to the deteriorated security situation in the Middle East, which has particularly impacted Jordan’s international appeal.

The United Arab Emirates is building its Hollywood appeal. Abu Dhabi offers a 30% filming incentive but is under pressure from US producers to expand its studio facilities. The city will get profile boosts this year with Furious 7 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, the region still mainly appeals to Bollywood productions.

For American shoots, New Mexico is the only real alternative option for desert locations, as none of the other south-western states offer viable filming incentives. The production landscape in the US could change when California boosts its production tax credit programme this summer.

(Image: Paramount Pictures)


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  • Anton Rollino


    Production in Morocco indeed on the up with a number of South African crew working on long gigs there. Nasty situation a couple of weeks ago when a female 1st AD and another female crew member were attacked whilst walking back to their hotel from a restaurant. Both suffered a broken arm each and various stab wounds, some serious. Hopefully, this situation is addressed by the local officials and security can be beefed up.