This week the Council of Mallorca and the Mallorca Film Commission have been promoting Mallorca as a film location at the FITUR tourism fair in Madrid while Hollywood legends Morgan Freeman and Nicole Kidman are shooting on location on Mallorca.
A special event “Mallorca Soul” has been presented in the capital to drive the message home. It featured a collection of short films organised by the Fundació Mallorca Turisme-Mallorca Film Commission “to promote and co-produce fiction short films that help to promote the island as a location”.
“Mallorca is travelling to Madrid to showcase all the attributes it has as an audio-visual stage,” the Council of Mallorca stated ahead of the event and it could not have come at a better time. For almost a decade, the Mallorca Film Commission has been promoting the island as a filming destination for large-scale productions and platforms and the super-production Lioness is currently being shot at various locations on Mallorca with an all-star cast for Paramount+.
The Mallorca Film Commission (MFC) is a department of the Fundació Mallorca Turisme, an entity created with the aim of optimising the tourism promotion of Mallorca.
The MFC offers its services free of charge. It covers the entire territory of Mallorca and has as its main objectives: to facilitate the filming of audio-visual projects to professionals and companies; to stimulate and consolidate the Mallorcan audio-visual industry; to facilitate co-production and internationalisation through attendance at markets, festivals and fairs.
To meet these objectives and increase the impact of its actions, the MFC is part of the Spain Film Commission (SFC), the European Film Commission Network (EuFCN) and the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI).
And its hard work is paying off despite tough competition from the Canary Islands, which are bidding to attract some of the biggest movies on Earth for far longer shoots and have powered up their maximum tax relief available on a single film shot there to €36 million per movie. That is one of the highest movie shoot caps in Europe.
Mallorca does offer tax incentives but not as great as the Canary Islands. Nevertheless, the Film Commission is breaking down the barriers.
And TV and film productions do generate great publicity for their locations. The British travel association ABTA every year produces a report on how film locations have influenced people’s travel habits and booking intentions.
In October, I was flying to Paris and sitting behind me was an American woman who had come to a Mallorca on a very expensive and top-end hiking holiday. She was busy telling the passenger sitting next to her all about it and I could not help listening to her adventures which included lunch at one of the restaurants in the small cove in Deya. “You know, the one which was featured in The Night Manager,” she said.
And last year, Netflix crews came to the island twice to film scenes for The Crown while Adam Sandler shot a large part of his latest film Hustle in and around Palma. He has just earned his first-ever nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading for his part in the film.
And this month and next, Morgan Freeman has joined Nicole Kidman on set in Mallorca in Taylor Sheridan’s next Paramount+ series Lioness, a CIA drama from the Yellowstone creator.
The series stars Zoe Saldaña, who is also an executive producer along with Kidman, and Laysla De Oliveira, who has also been spotted strolling around Palma in between filming. The series is based on a real-life CIA programme and follows Cruz Manuelos (De Oliveira), a “rough-around-the-edges but passionate young Marine recruited to join the CIA’s Lioness Engagement Team to help bring down a terrorist organization from within”.
Freeman has been on the island for nearly two weeks now and has been seen out and about dining in various Palma restaurants.
Nicole Kidman, who spent Christmas and New Year in Australia with her family, flew to the island by private jet last Sunday morning and no sooner had she touched down, she went for a run and then explored the delights of Palma with a security guard before starting filming at the Parc Bit technology park on Monday.
Best known for her film work - she won an Oscar in 2003 for The Hours, along with four other nominations - Kidman has been expanding her presence on the small screen lately, playing wealthy wife Celeste on HBO’s Big Little Lies, a role that earned her an Emmy in 2017.
Her other TV roles include The Undoing, Nine Perfect Strangers and Roar. Further proof that Mallorca has so much to offer film and TV producers is that the island is back on global TV screens this week with the HBO Max’s The Climb which went to air on January 12. The series is a rock-climbing competition that features famed actor Jason Mamoa and Chris Sharma, the legendary rock climber, and was filmed on the island, mainly around Puerto Soller.
The Climb revolves around amateur rock climbers who face tough mental and physical challenges as they work to emerge victorious and win a grand cash prize. The series was created by Jason Mamoa via his very own production company, On The Roam.
And while all this is going on, The Mallorca Files is all set to film the third series as soon as they get the green light.