Matt Damon recently spent five weeks filming the newest instalment of the Bourne series on the stunning island of Tenerife. The fifth film in this gritty spy franchise chose Santa Cruz de Tenerife as a filming location, using it as a double for the city of Athens. Signs and restaurant names were changed to Greek lettering and locals were used as extras in the shoot.
Carlos Alonso, the President of the Tenerife Island Government, praised the increase of filming on the island stating “the latest figures are a clear boost for Tenerife’s economy – which especially benefits the island’s tourism and audiovisual sectors – and the result of the work we have carried out over the last 16 years to position Tenerife as an outstanding international filming destination”.
But Matt Damon’s Bourne series is not the only film set to have graced Tenerife’s shores. This island has seen plenty of action including the Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans as well as an episode of the BBC sci-fi show, Doctor Who.
In fact, even Fast & Furious 6 was shot locally here, with its crazy car stunts taking place on the new ring road in Costa Adeje. Once upon a time, Tenerife was home to predominantly German production companies but recently the UK has realised what they were missing and held multiple shoots on this beautiful island.
European filming locations have become increasingly popular in recent years, with sites like Berlin, Italy and Morocco leading the way. But Tenerife’s diverse landscapes brings film directors, like the Bourne series’ Paul Greengrass, to select this magnificent island as a backdrop for their films.
Tenerife is home to a range of shooting locations including deserts, subtropical forests, historic cities, black sand beaches and towering cliffs to name a few. Teide National Park even has the world’s third largest volcano. With so much going for it, it’s no wonder why directors want to use Tenerife as a filming location – and it doesn’t hurt that the island gets up to 3,000 hours of sunshine a year.
But when it comes to production companies, the numbers are just as important. Tenerife is one of the cheapest places to shoot in Europe because of its special tax regime – the filming tax allowance goes up to 35%, which until very recently was one of the best offers around.
Mainland Spain launched their own production incentive last year and it’s predicted that other European countries are soon to follow suit, knowing that the film industry brings both money and tourism to the area.