Fiji’s spectacular natural landscape and rich and vibrant culture makes the island nation a hot destination for tourists and filmmakers alike
Fiji, an island nation in the South Pacific, is located between Hawaii and Australia and is one of the biggest islands in the region. An exotic tourist destination, it is an archipelago of fertile islands and clear waters that are a sun lover’s dream come true.
Bollywood filmmakers are in search of locales that suit their varied scripts. Fiji offers a combination of culture, history, adventure and seductive native charm, with a rugged landscape of sun, sea, surf and, on land, caves and canyons. This diverse and beautiful geography provides ample filming opportunities.
Wonders of Fiji
This is the largest island in the archipelago comprising the South Pacific nation of Fiji. Home to immigrants from diverse cultural backgrounds, it is a practice to preserve and celebrate one’s heritage. The sunny Korotogo beach is hard to resist, with the area dotted with homes sporting traditional architecture at Navala. Last but not least is the Pacific harbour, the self-proclaimed ‘adventure capital of Fiji’, which is great for sports lovers.
Bouma National Heritage Park, Taveuni island
This is for all nature and adventure lovers who are still searching for the perfect adventure trip. It is one of the largest islands and also recognised as the Garden Island. It’s a five-star location for hikers, nature lovers and birders.
Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple, Nadi
If your script demands a Hindu temple surrounded by great adventure trips and locations with clean beaches, then you are in the right place. The Sri Siva Subramaniya temple is the largest Hindu temple in the southern hemisphere, one of the oldest temples with Dravidian architecture in Fiji.
Fiji is blessed with a warm, tropical climate, just perfect for beachside holidays. The maximum temperature rarely moves out of the 31°C to 26°C range all year round. A cool wind blows from the east and southeast for most of the year. You might experience a light drizzle in the evenings. The wet season extends from November to April. During this time, the island nation is drenched on the coastline as well as in the mountain ranges. It is also interesting to note that the smallest island receives scanty rainfall vis-a-vis the main island.
Fiji offers top-class communication facilities that will get your footage to a post-production house within seconds.
Film Tax Rebate
The Fiji film tax refund is only issued to production houses which are fully-funded. A production entity is eligible for a 47-per cent tax refund (calculated on Qualifying Fiji Production Expenditure) when it submits its application at the end of the production.
Requirements for Qualifying Fiji Production Expenditure (QFPE)
Return air fares for all foreign cast and crew will be QFPE for travel only on Fiji Airways. If foreign cast and crew are travelling on any aircraft not operated by Fiji Airways, only 15 per cent of the expenditure incurred on those return air fares will be QFPE.
Insurance premium paid for the purpose of the production in Fiji will be QFPE if insurance is purchased from a local insurance company in Fiji.
Locations scouting visit
Expenses incurred in Fiji on goods and services while on the final locations survey is QFPE.
Costumes, make-up and set design
(i) 75 per cent of expenditure incurred to purchase costumes, make-up, set design properties and other props not available in Fiji that will be used in relation to the film production in Fiji, provided that any such costumes, make-up, set design property or other prop shall be left in Fiji at the end of the production and is reusable (ii) If a film production company requires the use of any such costumes, make-up, set design property or other prop left in Fiji for the purpose of re-shooting the film outside Fiji, that production company shall make a written request to the minister and all expenditure incurred in obtaining any such costumes, make-up, set design property or other prop shall be borne by the production company and shall not qualify for Film Tax Rebate.
Post-production allowances will be QFPE and it varies according to the film’s budget (all Fiji dollars):
$75,000 if the budget is up to $3m $100,000 if the budget is up to $5m $150,000 if the budget is up to $7m $200,000 if the budget is up to $10m $250,000 if the budget is more than $10m
Expenses incurred for services by the producer will be QFPE but it will not exceed 10 per cent of the total production expenditure on goods and services purchased in Fiji.
Expenses incurred for services by the writer will be QFPE provided that the rights are registered in Fiji.
Hiring of cameras and filming equipment
Cost of hiring cameras and filming equipment from outside Fiji will be QFPE provided that such cameras and filming equipment is not available in Fiji.
Cost of raw stock will be QFPE if supplied by a local company.
Salaries for services rendered in Fiji by foreign cast will be QFPE but it will not exceed 20 per cent of total QFPE claimed.
To be noted
International production houses must apply to Film Fiji for provisional approval and along with this there should be a copy of a detailed budget and script. It is very important that the script not portray anything derogatory to the Fiji culture and people. Rebate will be issued after it is approved by the minister for finance.
Film Tax Rebate
To access the Film Tax Rebate, the applicant has to write a letter of application to Film Fiji, giving information required by Rule 8 and Schedule 1 of the Film Tax Rebate Rules 2004.
Once the film is completed, the film company applies to Film Fiji for a Final Certificate, which includes a set of audited accounts.
An application form for a Final Certificate must be filled out and will include an application fee, detailed expenditure report, independent audit report, documents showing compliance with the provisional certificate, shooting script, DVDs of the completed production with the final end credits, broadcast masters, copy of press kit, full cast and crew list and addresses etc.
An applicant who wants to film in Fiji but does not wish to access any of the filming incentives must also apply to Film Fiji for a film permit. The application must include the Application for Filming Permit form, passport details of cast and crew, flight itinerary and list of filming equipment.
The Fiji government welcomes Indian visitors with a passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended period of stay and a return or onward travel ticket to another country, which he/she has authorised to enter. Visas on arrival are granted for a stay of less than 4 months for Indian nationals.
Fiji Gateway Hotel
Queens Rd, Nadi, Fiji
Phone: +679 672 2444
Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
Sydney Drive, Off The Queens Highway, Sigatoka, Fiji
Phone: +679 650 0044