Morocco reports six-fold spike in foreign filming

TANGIERS, Morocco (AP) — The head of Morocco’s film commission says 2014 was a record year for foreign companies filming in the country with a six-fold increase from last year.

Sarim Fassi-Fihri said Saturday at the close of Morocco’s National Film Festival in Tangiers that there were 38 foreign productions with a combined budget of $120 million in 2014. Foreign film companies spent $22 million in 2013.

Fassi-Fihri attributed the rise to Morocco’s stability compared to the rest of the Middle East and North Africa, and the presence of experienced film crews.

Morocco’s largest filming operation in 2014 was “Mission: Impossible 5,” which at one point closed a major highway for weeks during the shoot. Scenes for “American Sniper” and the next James Bond film were also filmed in Morocco.