Jordan attracts major international productions

Scorched, Fair Game and Viver A Vida shot in Jordan.
More Hollywood producers have begun to shoot in Jordan owing to the availability of well trained local crew and attractive locations.
More Hollywood producers have begun to shoot in Jordan owing to the availability of well trained local crew and attractive locations.

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Two major international film productions and a popular South-American TV series recently wrapped shoots in Jordan.

Scorched, a Canadian production, directed by Denis Villeneuve concluded a five-week shoot in several locations across Jordan including Amman, Jarash, Irbid and Salt. Scorched is a feature film set in the Middle East and is due to be released next year. Villeneuve is well known for this previous film, Polytechnique, which was screened this year at the Cannes Film Festival.

Villeneuve stated that shooting was a breeze thanks to “all government entities” who showed “a very high degree of collaboration”.

“There are plenty of quality crew in Jordan, although the film industry in the country is still young. The biggest asset of Jordan, however, remains its amazing locations: such a huge variety of locations and so close to each other. I would definitely love to come back and shoot here. I already miss all the Jordanians I have worked with,” Villeneuve commented.

In addition to Scorched, Fair Game, directed by Doug Liman and starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, was also shot in Jordan. The film has been inspired by the true story of Valerie Plame. Doug Liman has previously directed several feature films, including The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

Both productions employed more than 1200 Jordanians as part of the crew, cast, catering services, security and logistics, explains George David, deputy general manager of RFC.

“Cinema is a lucrative and dynamic industry that creates much needed employment in the country while promoting Jordan internationally, hence our efforts to attract more and more international and Arab productions. Jordanians already involved in the filmmaking industry have acquired additional experience that considerably enhances the county’s potential as a filming location,” David explained.

Jordanian, Tamer Naber, who worked as a third Assistant Director on Scorched, said that the experience he has gained on the set is invaluable, in addition to the important financial benefit.

“It is time that we, Jordanians, become more proactive, initiate and produce our own films instead of waiting for foreign productions to shoot in Jordan,” Naber commented.

A third production titled Viver A Vida– a Brazilian TV series by Globo Television Network and directed by Jayme Mojardim – also concluded its shoot in Jordan recently.

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