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Samson and Delilah to film in Morocco and Israel

Morocco desertA big-screen adaptation of Samson & Delilah is in the pipeline with filming due to begin next summer in Morocco and Israel.

As first reported on Deadline, the film will be directed by Sergei Bodrov from a screenplay he wrote with Carolyn Cavallero, based on the novel by Ze’ev Jabotinsky. 

Ashok Amritraj of Hyde Park Entertainment in LA produces alongside  Skady Lis of Berlin’s Getaway Pictures and Avraham Pirchi of United Channel Movies in Israel – the three companies are financing the film in full. 

Morocco is a popular choice for filmmakers seeking desert locations, from iconic movies like Lawrence of Arabia to more recent productions including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. 

The country doubles easily for more unstable Middle Eastern regions, and has attracted directors such as Ridley Scott and Oliver Stone. 

Morocco has been actively promoting itself as a filming hub in recent years: apart from the state-run Centre Cinematographique Marocain, there are also regional film commissions in Ouarzazate and Rabat. 

A 20% national filming incentive was launched earlier this year, and there is a possible 20% VAT reduction on goods and services bought in Morocco. The country also has a co-production treaty with the UK.

Israel has not traditionally been known as a production hub, with international TV dramas such as Dig and Tyrant having had to relocate due to instability in the area.  

Israel has co-production deals with several other countries including a recently signed treaty with New Zealand