THE Majorcan Chamber of Commerce and the Balearic Audiovisual Production Association (APAIB) were at a loss yesterday to know why the regional Environment ministry is against the shooting of a new Al Pacino film on the island of Cabrera.
The film, Betsy and the Emperor, is a historical drama featuring Al Pacino in the role of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The Chamber claimed that the shooting of open-air sections of the film on Cabrera will in no way damage the island and the knock-on promotional effects of the shoot - giving a widescreen advertisement for the Balearics on a global scale - can only bring economic benefits to the Islands. Besides, said a Chamber spokesman yesterday, making a film doesn't eat into territory as does construction or other industries, and it is an all-year-round - as opposed to seasonal - business, just what the Balearic government has said on so many occasions that it wants to encourage.
In countries such as New Zealand, Canada, the United States, Australia and Great Britain, he added, shooting films in natural landscape and nature reserves with prior permission is commonplace. Such backdrops are perfect settings for the technical requirements of widescreen productions. The film industry, the spokesman furthered, is accustomed to setting up cameras and production staff in impossible locations and is well aware of the need to respect the integrity of nature reserves.