CYPRUS: Hollywood producers eye famous Paphos locations

Hollywood movie makers have taken a keen interest in Paphos as producers and their representatives met with the town’s Mayor in an effort to explore possibilities of filming at some of the resort’s famous landmarks.

Producers visiting Paphos Mayor Phedon Phedonos, this week were; Kayvan Mashayek the International chairman of the Producers Guild of America, Oscar-winning producer Mark Foligno, Nasos Vakalis EMMY award winner in animation/special effects and Demetris Anagnostou, CEO of Los Angeles based Declare Productions.

During the meeting at Paphos Municipality, producers expressed their great interest in filming in Cyprus and Paphos in particular. They conveyed their amazement at some of the region’s natural beauty spots.

Talking to the Financial Mirror Paphos Mayor Phedon Phedonos confirmed they were interested in sites around Paphos, saying that the region offers a variety of stunning natural locations.

Producers were particularly interested in Archaelogical sites such as the Tomb of the Kings, the Akamas and the Blue Lagoon, said Phedonos.

He said that Paphos, just like the rest of the island, has a lot to offer filmmakers.

International filmmakers, especially Hollywood producers have been eyeing Cyprus for filming as a result of the Cyprus Filming Scheme, an incentive scheme for filmmakers. However, the producers themselves said Cyprus has a lot more to offer, said Phedonos.

He argued that other countries such as Hungary have a better incentive scheme, but a number of producers are opting for Cyprus due to the island’s warm weather and unique filming locations.

The Mayor promised the producers that Paphos will do its best to accommodate filming in the town.

Unfortunately, Paphos is not in a position to be able to offer extra incentives, however we are willing to facilitate filming in the town, offering to help them throughout their filming.

Phedonos said that Paphos will open its doors to archaeological sites, municipal theatres and other building for filmmakers, while providing any necessary permits by cutting through red tape.

He also revealed that the producers were interested in the possibility of a film studio being built in Paphos.

The government-backed Cyprus Filming Scheme is viewed as an important investment driver to attract the big names, and the cash, of the cinema world.

On offer are tax and credit rebates, with the most attractive incentive being a maximum 35% reimbursement for nearly all expenses made in Cyprus. It covers hiring local film crews, to renting portable toilets and recruiting animal actors.

The state scheme has an annual budget of EUR 25 mln per year, with officials aiming to use the entire sum.

Reimbursement is made upon completion of the filming and confirmation that taxes have been paid and an auditor’s review that the money spent is eligible expenses.

Cyprus has already played host to two Hollywood productions which star high-profile actors of the calibre of Nicolas Cage and William Baldwin.

Cage’s Jiu Jitsu and Baldwin’s S.O.S.: Survive or Sacrifice are currently wrapping up, with producers expressing their content with filming conditions in Cyprus and the country’s incentive scheme.

Source: The Financial Mirror