There are many reasons why the Canary Islands are the perfect natural set for any type of production. The versatility of their landscapes, a comprehensive industrial ecosystem with highly qualified workers and companies, as well as an attractive tax regime have made the Islands a natural setting for a growing number of national and international productions.
In 2018 over 350 productions were shot in the Canary Islands. They were the desert planet of Coriella, the Wild West, the Pharoah´s Egypt, Casablanca during World War II or home to Moby Dick´s great white whale. Every year the islands also play host to a large number of commercials. International brands, especially from the car industry, choose Canary Islands landscapes and roads to showcase their products to the world. Brands like Porsche, Volkswagen, Armani or H&M have chosen the Canary Islands for their advertising campaigns.
Outstanding Tax Benefits
There is no other European territory that can offer the production industry as many advantages as the Canary Islands. Along with the fantastic weather, the variety of different landscapes and the light, the Islands have generous tax breaks, which have been fully approved by the European Commission. International productions enjoy a 45-50% tax rebate, and there is a tax credit for investment that ranges from 45 to 50% for national productions and co-productions. On top of all this, the Canary Islands have Europe's lowest corporate tax rate, which stands at just 4%, and applies a 0% VAT for audiovisual productions.
All these tax advantages have created a wide and varied ecosystem made up of over 200 businesses, 214 production companies and more than 1,000 highly qualified workers. This means there is a mature and respected industry which has taken part in large and successful international productions.
Each of the seven islands has a “film commission” that offers producers close support. This institutional backing covers all production phases and includes free advice on locations and permits; meeting with local producers and workers, as well as contacts within different public administrations.
A huge catalogue of contrasting locations
The reason why the Canary Islands are so well-known is largely due to their unique natural conditions. Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma have a broad range of locations, and diverse landscapes making the Islands ideal not only for film producers and directors, but also for over 13 million tourists who, every year, choose the Canary Islands as their holiday destination.
These exceptional conditions are a result of the islands´ volcanic past, creating unusual and varied landscapes. From virgin white sandy beaches to lush ancient forests, breathtaking cliffs, rolling dunes by the sea, other-worldly volcanic landscapes or crystal-clear seabeds are just some of the possibilities this land offers. All this and more in the same place and just a stone´s throw away from each other.
To this rich landscape add an average temperature of 22º / 71 F, wonderful lighting and over 4,800 daylight hours per year. There are world-class accommodation and excellent air and sea connections, as result of the Canary Islands tourism industry.
A comprehensive ecosystem of animation and videogames companies that has built up around the production industry as well. Many companies and startups are developing and designing from the Canary Islands, which possess state-of-the-art telecommunications’ technology.
A home for big film productions and world famous directors
The Canary Islands began as a film set back in 1945, when the producer of 'Moby Dick', who stopped over in Gran Canaria in route to Latin America in search of locations, was seduced by the Island´s natural beauty and decided to film the epic final battle between the most famous whale in the world and Captain Ahab here.
Over the last few years the Canary Islands has played host to productions. Notable blockbusters like Robert Zemeckis ‘Allied’ have passed through the islands, along with the likes of ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ by Patty Jenkins, Hills Paradise Hills’ by Alice Waddington, or the second Star Wars spin-off on the life of Han Solo, produced by Disney. In addition, Hollywood has plans to shoot other films like 'Grand Piano', by Eugenio Mira, 'Fast & Furious6', by Justin Lin, 'In the heart of the sea', by Ron Howard or 'Wild Oats', by Andy Tennant, to name just a few. World-famous filmmakers such as Ridley Scott found the locations he needed for projects like ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’.
The Canary Islands were Casablanca during World War II in 'Allied', the Sinai Peninsula in 'Exodus: Kings and Gods', Athens and Beirut in 'Jason Bourne', Mexico in 'Rambo V' or the luxurious destination dreamed by two spirited young ones in 'Wild Oats'. “Clash of Titans” or “Black Mirror” are other audiovisual projects developed in the Canary Islands.
Benefits from shooting in the Canary Islands
Audiovisual industry resources
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