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With a variety of landscapes ranging from golden deserts to lush forests and unique rock formations, Gran Canaria in Spain makes for an idyllic shooting location. A recent tax rebate turns this locale into an even more tempting choice for Bollywood filmmakers.

The Spanish island of Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Islands, is certainly one of the last remaining European paradise isles. Often described as a ‘Continent In Miniature’ due to its variety of locations, it offers audiovisual producers an endless number of locations unique to the world: desert landscapes, subtropical forests, volcanic cones and craters, gorges, elevated rock formations and cliffs, long sand-dune beaches, white sands and cosy, small stone coves.

Located in the Atlantic Ocean about 150 km off the north-west coast of Africa and about 1,350 km from Europe, Gran Canaria is just a few hours flight from the rest of the European continent. Its diverse landscapes, geographic position and exceptional 365 days of fine weather favours that this little mesmerising island be a natural choice for outdoor filming.

Being the third-largest island in the Canaries archipelago, Gran Canaria has a dramatic variation of terrain, ranging from the green and leafy north to the mountainous interior and desert south. To glean a sense of this impenetrable quality, head to the centre, where the sheer drama of the mountains resembles more of the Tibetan highlands than a relatively small island. Contrasting with these unspoilt peaks and valleys is a rugged coastline interspersed with white sandy beaches and, more famously, a garish tiara of purpose-built holiday resorts. Beyond the sands, though, Gran Canaria can keep the adrenalin pumping, with scope for outdoor sports, while the culture-hungry can be similarly satiated, particularly in the historic cosmopolitan capital of Las Palmas.

The island is well connected to principal capitals and cities worldwide. The Gran Canaria airport, one of the most important in the Spanish network, manages millions of passengers every year, and the port of Las Palmas is a perfect maritime connection between three continents.

The island’s advanced road infrastructure makes it possible for one to enjoy these landscapes and surroundings. To all this, one must add the tax advantages, the cosmopolitan atmosphere of its main towns and the modern cultural infrastructure, in order to offer the best natural stage to the most important audiovisual projects.

Climate

Gran Canaria is noted for its rich variety of micro climates. The average daytime high ranges from 20° C in winter, to 26° C in summer. Inland, the climate is mild and mountainous areas see occasional frost or snow. Cloud cover and sunshine is often quite variable during the cooler months, and there can be several cloudy days in winter. Summers are generally quite sunny.

Tax Rebate For International Films

Gran Canaria has one of Europe’s most powerful tax incentives for film and audiovisual production. With a special tax system of their own, validated by Spanish national and European regulations, the island offers impressive advantages for filming.

Since January 1, 2015, a new advantage for international productions is regulated where international films with production services made in Gran Canaria will get 35 per cent tax rebate of eligible costs spent in the Island.

The basis for calculation of the allowance will include the following production costs:

  • Creative staff costs (actors, screenwriter, technical head of sound, cinematographer, and so on), with tax residence in Spain or in other State of the European Union, capped to a limit of €50,000 per person.
  • Other expenses incurred for hiring technical companies and other providers of services.
  • Requirement: investing a minimum of €1,000,000 of the film total budget in the Island
  • Maximum deduction: €4,500,000 for film
  • The foreign producer must contract a Spanish production service company

Obtaining Permission

The Gran Canaria Film Commission helps you obtain the necessary permissions for film shootings, publicity filming and photographic reportage of the island. A generic application form is required to provide the competent institutions or entities with all the information about your production company and the places in which you desire to work.

With the application form, the maximum information must be sent with respect to the audiovisual or photographic project, including dates, places (with specific mention of streets, if known), time, number of people, equipment and models and number plates of vehicles used, when required.

Likewise, in case of installing sets, interrupting traffic or closing streets, the necessary project must be presented, as well as the necessary security measures to be taken, and copies of civil responsibility insurance policies.

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