Friday, September 11, 2015
Filmed in Jordan: “The Martian” and Six Other Films Debut at the Toronto
Seven feature-length narrative movies shot in Jordan, including Ridley Scott’s “The Martian,” starring Matt Damon, will take part in the 40th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. Kicking off today, the festival runs from September 10th to the 20th. The Toronto International Film Festival will showcase 256 features from 71 countries. Selected from more than 5,600 submissions from around the world, these seven films showcase what Jordan has to offer to cinematographers and travellers alike.
This is the first time that this number of films shot in Jordan have found their way to an international festival in the same year. Amongst them is Director Ridley Scott’s latest science fiction movie, “The Martian,” starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Kristin Wiig. Scott spent eight days filming in the stunning lunar landscape of Wadi Rum in Jordan and the movie has already been released with success in theaters. Three films being featured are Arab dramas, all partially or entirely shot in Jordan. These include the biographical film “The Idol” by award-winning Palestinian Director Hany Abu Assad, the Palestinian drama “3000 Nights” by Mai Masri and the first feature by Gazan brothers Tarzan and Arab Nasser, “Dégradé”.
Finally, the three featured action movies “Kilo Two Bravo (Kajaki)” by British Director Paul Katis, the Canadian “Hyena Road” by Paul Gross and the Austrian “Thank you for Bombing” by Barbara Eder are set in Afghanistan and were filmed in various parts of the Kingdom of Jordan.
“Foreign productions are attracted to Jordan not only for the variety of its locations but also for its well-developed infrastructure, the absence of ‘red tape’ and the availability of skilled cast and crew,” said George David, General Manager of the Royal Film Commission (RFC). He noted that “tourism is hugely and positively affected by a movie shot in Jordan, as millions of viewers are encouraged to visit a country they see on screen; hence the importance of close cooperation between the RFC and the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB).”“Film Tourism is an important market for Jordan; following in the footsteps of films like ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Indiana Jones’ and now ‘The Martian’ help make the scenes come alive,” said Malia Asfour, Director of the Jordan Tourism Board North America (JTBNA). “It is an important segment for us and we are excited to work with the travel trade on new itineraries and ideas for their travellers.” Toronto International Film Festival is certainly an excellent opportunity to promote Jordan as a cinematic and tourist destination for all it offers.