Morocco hits the spot for international films including James Bond!
A scene in a Moroccan market from the new James Bond film "Spectre." (Image: Morocco World News)
Morocco is a beautiful, geographically-diverse country, with mountains, hills, fields and beaches to accommodate tourists from all over the world.
But it's also a great place for shooting movies. That's why it's no wonder that this North African haven has seen a six-fold increase in the amount of money foreign film companies have spent there to make movies, the head of the film commission said on the final day of the National Film Festival in Tangiers on Saturday.
A total of 38 foreign productions had spent a record $120 million in 2014, according to Sarim Fassi-Fihri.
The figure is more than the last five years put together. This is a huge deal because foreign film companies only spent $22 million in 2013, according to AFP.
One of the biggest factors playing a role in this increase are the presence of experienced film crews and stable politics, said Fassi-Fihri.
"For the Middle East region, we are practically the only one that can guarantee peace and stability," he said, explaining that film companies are avoiding the rest of the region.
That's almost true, as the majority of Gulf countries and Jordan also enjoy political stability, and have had many Hollywood blockbusters shot there, such as The Fast and the Furious 7 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Morocco's largest filming operation in 2014 was "Mission: Impossible 5," which at one point closed a major highway between Marrakech and Agadir for weeks during the shoot. The next biggest was NBC's 12-episode biblical series "A.D. The Bible Continues."
Most recently, scenes for "American Sniper" and "Spectre," the next James Bond film, were also filmed in Morocco.