Russell Crowe to film Sand and Blood in Morocco
Russell Crowe will film the historical survival drama Sand and Blood on location in Morocco next year.
The production is based on the true story of an American ship that was wrecked on the Saharan coast of West Africa in the early 19th century. Crowe will play the captain who negotiated for the safety of his men when they were captured by tribesmen.
Morocco is one of the world’s leading locations for desert filming, despite offering no formal production incentives. The country is looking to repeat the stellar production success it found in 2014, hosting large-scale Hollywood shoots like Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (pictured) and Tom Hanks’ upcoming drama A Hologram for the King.
“Foreign crews are exempt from paying VAT (20%),” said Abderrazzak Zitouny, head of the Ouarzazate Film Commission, in comments to Variety. “All materials and services used in the filming of foreign films in Morocco are VAT-exempt.”
Zitouny went on to say that producers shooting in Morocco can get assistance importing camera equipment, while filming licences are streamlined and military support can also be made available.
The Moroccan government is currently considering a filming incentive in the form of a 20% rebate for productions that spend at least $1m in the country, the Variety report added.
Morocco is also a popular filming location for international TV productions like the BBC’s fantasy series Atlantis and its biblical drama The Ark, as well as US miniseries Tut, which doubled Morocco for ancient Egypt.
For more on filming in Morocco, see our production guide.