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Morocco approves filming incentive for 2016

Morocco has approved a new 20% cash rebate as a formal filming incentive for launch in March 2016.

To qualify, producers will need to spend the equivalent of $1m in Morocco and film in the country for at least 18 days, according to a Variety report. 

In a move that acknowledges Morocco’s popularity as a filming location for historical dramas, the 18-day requirement will include pre-production time spent building sets. Recent biblical productions filmed locally have included US dramas The Bible and Killing Jesus, as well as the BBC’s drama The Ark (pictured).

Morocco has become one of the most popular parts of the world for desert filming locations even without a formal filming incentive, so the new rebate will help further boost the North African country’s international profile.

Nearly 40 foreign productions spent $120m in Morocco in 2014. High-profile projects included Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation which spent weeks filming a high-speed motorcycle chase on the Casablanca-Agadir Highway. Foreign production figures have not been as high in 2015, but the forthcoming filming incentive may change that next year.

Morocco’s principal competition for desert filming locations comes from places like South Africa, Malta, New Mexico in the US, and now also Abu Dhabi, which is getting a profile boost as a key location in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

For more on filming in Morocco, see our production guide.

Image: BBC