Magazine article Variety

Incentive Pulled 'Serenity' to Faraway Location

Magazine article Variety

Incentive Pulled 'Serenity' to Faraway Location

Article excerpt

Incentive Pulled 'Serenity' to Faraway Location

Film starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway found Mauritius a utopia

WITH PRODUCTION WRAPPING this month on "Serenity," the Matthew McConaughey starrer about a fishing-boat captain whose past catches up to him in the tropics, bizzers on the island nation of Mauritius are hoping to make the most of their time in the spotlight.

The $25 million mystery-thriller, produced by IM Global, Guy Heeley and Greg Shapiro and serviced locally by Andreas Habermeyer's Identical Pictures, is the first major Hollywood feature to shoot in the small Indian Ocean country. Directed by Steven Knight, it also stars Anne Hathaway. Executive producer Carsten Lorenz says he'd never traveled to Mauritius until this year, when he found himself unfurling a map on his kitchen table as he looked at possible shooting locations for "Serenity." "Our movie takes place in paradise," he explains, pointing to the challenges of capturing that aesthetic in the Caribbean as hurricane season loomed.

A former colleague who'd worked in Mauritius suggested the island nation, a four-hour flight from Johannesburg. "I jumped on a plane with a ticket for a five-day exploratory trip," Lorenz says, "and I'm still here five months later."

Since introducing a film incentive in 2013, Mauritius has hosted more than 50 international projects, including feature films, documentaries, commercials and TV shows. The country offers a 30% rebate on qualifying local expenditures and up to 40% for feature films, with a minimum $1 million qualifying spending. …

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