WHAT OUR FILM FIXERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT FILM PRODUCTION IN MAURITIUS
Mauritius is located just off the southeast coast of Africa, 900km east of Madagascar. Surrounded by the warm Indian Ocean, the island is 2040km2 in size and forms part of the Mascarene Islands, with La Réunion to the southwest and Rodrigues to the northeast.
Mauritius enjoys a mild tropical maritime climate throughout the year. The country has two seasons: a warm humid summer extending from November to April and a relatively cool dry winter from June to September. The month of October and May are commonly known as the transition months.
June to September is the cooler, dry season and best time to film for weather. Best surf conditions occur from June to September. The best months for underwater photography with an abundance of big marine life are November to March, which is also the cyclone season. Public holidays must be taken into consideration. The local Mauritian film fixer will advise on these.
Local travel is easy and main roads are well maintained. The major highway runs north to south. The traffic in Mauritius can become congested. Several international airlines service flights to Mauritius.
Film friendly hotels in Mauritius include:
Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa
Les Pavillons Hotel
The Oberoi Mauritius
Le Tousserok Hotel
Mauritius offers a rebate of up to 40% on eligible production spend for TV commercials, films, TV shows and documentaries.
The Rupee is the official currency of Mauritius. After the Indian immigration, the Indian Rupee was also used in Mauritius. The Rupee is subdivided into 100 cents, but cent coins are not in circulation.
French is commonly used all over the island, in shops, in homes, on TV and in the workplace. However, an estimated 90% of the population speak Mauritian Creole, also known as Morisyen, which is considered to be the native language of the country and used most often in informal settings.
Generally, Mauritius is very safe to film in. It is probably one of the safest countries in Africa to travel to.The most common type of crime is petty theft.
WHAT OUR FILM FIXERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT FILM LOCATIONS IN MAURITIUS
The Republic of Mauritius is made up a numbers of other islands which include Mauritius Island, Rodrigues, Agaléga and Saint Brandon. The islands are spread over a vast area of the Indian Ocean.
Mauritius is a volcanic island most well-known for palm beaches and lagoons with coral reefs surrounding much of the coast.
Sugarcane and tea plantations are the main agricultural film locations. Textile factories are the main industrial locations.
The first Hollywood feature film produced in Mauritius in 2019 was “ Serenity”. Mauritius is used extensively as a film location for Bollywood.
Film locations are divided into the following regions – Black River, Flacq, Grand Port, Moka, Pamplemousses, Plaines-Wilhems, Port-Louis, Rivière du Rempart, Savanne, the autonomous region of Rodrigues, and the dependencies of Agaléga and Saint Brandon.
These offer run-down French colonial architecture that makes for interesting backdrops , the Port Luis Central Market, Citadelle, Government House, Blue Penny Museum, Le Pouce mountain, Pieter Both mountain, and Champ de Mars horse-racing track. Pamplemousses Botanic Garden is famous for its long pond of giant water lilies and then there are many beautiful forests, national parks, tree-lined avenues, mountains, waterfalls and rivers. Locations of particular interest include the Black River Gorges National Park, Casela Nature Park, and Chamarel Seven Colored Earth. Chameral Falls, Rochester Falls, and Tamarind Falls are beautiful film locations. L’Aventure du Sucre is a former sugar factory.
The coast has some beautiful beaches as well as private islands such as Iles des Deux Cocos and Île aux Cerfs. Mauritius offers some great underwater photography options, particularly on the more protected west coast. Tamarin Bay has good surf breaks. Flic-en-Flac beach has excellent sunset photography options.
The local film location scouts can elaborate on many other choice film locations. Mauritius is truly an island paradise!
WHAT OUR FILM FIXERS IN MAURITIUS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT FILM & IMPORT PERMITS AND VISA APPLCATIONS
Film producers intending to shoot a film or part of a film in Mauritius must apply to the Mauritius Film Development Corporation for authorization. Local film fixer assists with this process. For a commercial the process takes 1 week, for a documentary it takes 2 weeks and for feature films 3 weeks is needed. The application must be accompanied by a synopsis of the film, detailed, proposed dates and locations of shooting, the names of the crew members, and the equipment and props to be used.
Visiting crews travelling on Western passports are allowed visa-free entry to Mauritius. Most other passport holders can get visas on arrival. Film crews do not require work permits but must have a letter of authorisation from the relevant authorities.
A general film permit per project is required from the Ministry of Culture and is applied for by a local film fixer/producer. A synopsis of the project and a yellow fever yellow card is required for applications for work permits and visa letters.
For productions looking to bring in film equipment, Mauritius is an ATA carnet country.
MORE FROM LOCAL FILM FIXERS ABOUT FILM PRODUCTION IN MAURITIUS
Basic film Cameras, lights and grips are available locally. All other film gear to be brought in from Johannesburg,South Africa
Mauritius is an ATA carnet country
A small pool of local film crew is available but for bigger productions it is recommended to bring in HOD’s from South Africa or abroad
The Mauritian film fixers will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of film production support to match every budget.
Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Mauritians are mostly of Indian and Creole descent. Some Caucasian and Chinese looks also exist. All other talent looks need to be brought in from So