French Polynesia, more commonly known as the islands of Tahiti, has long been a tropical magnet for artists and filmmakers from around the world.Recent productions include “Giada in Paradise: Bora Bora” (Cooking Channel), “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” (E!), “The Bachelorette” (ABC), “Real Housewives of Orange County” (Bravo), “Couples Retreat” (Universal) and “Ultimate Wave Tahiti: Imax 3D.” Upcoming productions include several primetime reality skeins. The 118-island archipelago is known for earlier films such as “The Bounty” (1984), “Love Affair” (1994) and “Hurricane” (1979) — all drawn to the photogenic isles and atolls that comprise this South Pacific French territory, with its signature over-water-bungalows. France’s tax incentives may be applied to film and television productions in Tahiti, which is a French overseas territory. Since 2009, France has offered a competitive 20% tax rebate for foreign features and TV productions, known as the Tax Rebate for Intl. Production (TRIP), which supports foreign companies whose projects are completely or partly made in France or its overseas territories. “Over the past decade, we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming over a hundred production projects in the Islands of Tahiti,” says Jonathan Reap, managing director of Tahiti Tourisme North America. “The comments from producers, directors, videographers and photographers are generally in reference to Tahiti’s pristine beauty.” Reap notes that James Michener, who wrote “Tales of the South Pacific,” called Bora Bora — only a short flight from the island of Tahiti — the most beautiful island in the world. But the beauty is more than skin-deep. “A high level of organization and professionalism is available for production projects” throughout the archipelago, he concludes.
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