Great beach locations aren’t hard to find, but if you also want efficient infrastructure for your ideal film location, that narrows down your selection immediately. Mauritius has scored highly as a top destination for international commercial shoots in recent years. Not only does it offer an idyllic selection of pristine beaches to choose from, but it also has a well-established film production infrastructure built up over the many years it has been catering to the Indian movie industry. Strong links with South African film production companies also make it easy to access any special requirements not available locally.
Major South African equipment suppliers now have permanent branches in Mauritius which saves the cost of freighting in the heavy equipment and lighting needed for stills and film shoots. Cameras still tend to be shipped in from South Africa where they are serviced and maintained, according to the requirements of each shoot.
While key crew personnel are generally brought in from South Africa for each shoot, there is a growing pool of local crew available in Mauritius too, so costs can be balanced out and the benefits of local knowledge and contacts added into the equation.
Actors and Extras
Professional actors and models are flown in for each shoot, but there is a wide range of local talent available as extras and characters, from a cosmopolitan range of backgrounds, including European, Indian, Africa and Chinese. The official language of Mauritius is English and most locals speak both English and French as well as the local Creole language.
Mauritius has long been a luxury holiday destination, so there is a good selection of top quality hotels, very often with their own beaches, and renowned for their smiling and friendly hospitality.
Mauritius is only two hours ahead of mainland Europe and South Africa, GMT+4, and has direct flights from Europe, Dubai, Bangkok, Perth and South Africa.
International companies that return to Mauritius for their commercials and catalogs again and again are Nivea and Ambre Solaire, as well as many beachwear and cosmetics companies. Kellogg’s filmed a Special K spot there in 2011, choosing Mauritius over many other possibilities such as the Maldives and the Bahamas, for its perfect locations, reasonable costs and established infrastructure.
All in all Mauritius should be put at the top of any short list of beach film locations that demand a paradise island feel with palm fringed beaches, shimmering white sands and balmy weather.