African Fixer

What Makes Celebrities and TV Productions Fall In Love With Maldives?

October 25, 2023

The Republic of Maldives is an independent island country in the Indian Ocean, made up of a collection of 1,000 islands, of which 200 are inhabited. The rest are privately owned and boast some of the most sought-after resorts in the world.

Mesmerising, Dreamy Film Locations

Mesmerising, dreamy waterside villas built on stilts in lagoons are what make celebrities fall in love with maldives.

Sandy white beaches stretching as far as the eye can see, the tropical flavours, magical hues of orange, red and purple sunsets, a rich marine life, lush green forests and coconut plantations – these are what make up the stunning scenery that has attracted many film and television producers to Maldives.

Some well-known television productions that were filmed in Maldives include:

  • The Bachelorette
  • South African Survivor, Season 10
  • Custom Made – a Reality T.V show featuring the work of designer Paul Lafrance, who is famous for creating the interior of India’s Excelsior Hotel- a popular Bollywood filming location

Since 2012 when Maldives became a democratic republic, the country has also served as the location for some high-grossing film productions:

  • Kon Tiki is a historical drama about the 1947 expedition across the Pacific Ocean led by Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl. It was nominated in 2012 for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreing Film.
  • Rogue One, A Star Wars Story, made in 2016, used the Laamu Atoll around Berasdhoo Island as one of the sets for Planet Scarif. As the director, Gareth Edwards pointed out: “ The film is partially set in a paradise world, so we had to go to a real paradise to film it.”

Gan Island, the largest of the Maldives islands, accommodates film crews and has inspired many trailers. The Tsunami Monument, Sinamelé Bridege and Malé Fish Market provide stunning backdrops while the film crew is treated to Maldives’ exotic culture. In between shoots, the crew can enjoy Maldivian Curry made with freshly caught and prepared seafood, lime, curry leaves and chilies, or try the traditional ‘Mas Kashi’ street food that consists of dried fish cooked with mango and coconut.

Favourite Celebrity Haunts

Many celebrities take advantage of the isolated spas to relax and unwind after filming in Southeast Asia. Most of the spas can only be reached by chartered seaplane or helicopter, as there are no roads other than those on the 4 airport islands.

While waiting for African Fixer to arrange a trip to one of the resorts, film producers and crews can choose form a wide array of activities in the capital Malé:

  • Go swimming with the enormous whale sharks at the Baa and Ari Corall Atolls
  • Take a Dolphin Safari Cruise and go diving in the coral reef at Maaya Thila to encounter the dolphins up close
  • Visit Sultan Park to discover Maldivian culture and watch the Boduberu Show held every evening on the beaches of Kuda Huraa and Fulhadhoo Islands. This is a popular folk dance accompanied by a music form invented in the 11th century.
  • On Vaadhoo Island in Raa Atoll, walk through bioluminescent water created by phytoplankton that emit luminescent toxins with the movement of the water.
  • Dominating the skyline of Malé, the Grand Friday Mosque with its glistening golden dome, Arabic calligraphy and wood carvings on the wall of the library is considered the most spectacular architectural heritage site in the world. The Malé Eid Mosque, Isdhoo Old Mosque and Fenfushi Mosque also offer unique examples of coral stone work.
  • Take a scooter ride through the suburbs of Malé and visit the Royal Bath at Villingili
  • On Maafushi Island, instructors are available for every level of water-sports enthusiast, whether you want to go parasailing, kayaking, jet-skiing or snorkelling.

Barefoot Luxury, Privacy and Tranquillity

Anyone who has the opportunity to stay at the Six Senses Eco-Luxury Resort will agree that Maldives is indeed paradise. What makes the resort unique in the world is the ‘Robinson Crusoe’ experience created by Indian-British hotelier Sonu Shivdasani and his Swedish-born wife Eva. When they moved to Maldives in 1990 to open a Six Senses Spa on Como Cocoa Island, they blended their ‘SLOWLIFE Philosophy’ with Maldivian culture.

This philosophy sums up the beliefs and values operating throughout the Evason Hotel Group they built across Southeast Asia, and it echoes the principle of “luxury with environmental responsibility” that characterises all of Maldives’ resorts.

Contact African Fixer to find out about obtaining permits to film on the privately owned islands. As these permits must be arranged directly with resort owners, the National Centre For The Arts only issues entry permits that are valid for 30 days. The entry permits allow talent to be cast and equipment brought in from India, then African Fixer applies for an Extended Permit, after getting permission from resort owners to film a production.

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