Morocco continues to lure Hollywood filmmakers despite regional turmoil
At a time when many Western firms are weary of doing business in the Middle East, Hollywood director Oliver Stone expressed confidence in the Moroccan movie industry. The big time moviemaker is on location in Marrakesh where he is filming his latest motion picture ‘Alexander’.
With a budget of nearly $200 million, Alexander is one of the largest projects to ever be filmed in the Arab state. Playing Alexander is Colin Farrell and Val Kilmer, Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie are co-stars. The release date is scheduled for November 2004.
"Knock on wood, it's going very well," Stone said at the Marrakech International Film Festival earlier this month, reported Hollywood Reporter. "We're on schedule and on budget. The weather's been a little tricky, with sandstorms and rain that surprised us. But we're pushing on."
Despite the May suicide bombings that killed 45 people in Casablanca, Stone asserts that Morocco is the ideal location for filming Alexander, a Warner Bros. picture. “Stone never even considered leaving,” said the movie’s producer, Thomas Schuhly in AP.
This past April, Warner Bros. canceled plans to film battle scenes for upcoming blockbuster ‘Troy’ in Morocco. According to the firm, filming was halted because international insurance companies refused to provide coverage during a US-led military campaign on Iraq.
Aware of the industry’s importance to the economy, Moroccan authorities have recently made efforts to lift administrative hurdles for international companies required to obtain production permits. They also instituted a system of incentives, including a reduction of up to 50 percent from travel fares and hotels. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)