Hollywood Love Affair with Fiji

2nd November 2015

Waterfall Bouma

Fiji has become a mecca for movie makers, however Hollywood's love affair with Fiji dates back further than you'd think. In fact major motion picture movies have been being made in Fiji for more than 70 years. With many Fiji holiday packages offering tours to showcase some of the more memorable filming locations, you too can re-enact some of the most famous scenes from your favourite movies.

Beginning in 1932 with the Robinson Crusoe film starring Douglas Fairbanks Snr, Fiji has long been a favoured filming location for blockbuster movies and reality TV series. Just a few years after the filming of Robinson Crusoe wrapped up, the Yasawa Islands played host to silver screen starlet Jean Simmons with the first filming of Blue Lagoon.

Renowned as a filming location with an accommodating labour force, government policies that promoted investment, reliable weather and of course it's picture perfect settings, Fiji then welcomed 50s Hollywood icon Burt Lancaster during the filming of His Majesty O'Keefe in 1953.

During the 70s, the Gregory Peck produced film Suva The Dove starred Joseph Bottoms and was filmed on Fiji's mainland in 1974. Shortly after, the iconic 1979 remake of Blue Lagoon was again filmed in the Yasawa Islands and kick started the career of a young Brooke Shields.

Just outside of Suva, Tommy Lee Jones visited Fiji to star in the 1983 movie Savage Island produced by Paramount Pictures. In 1992 we went back to that blue lagoon with Brian Krause and Milla Jovavich with Return to the Blue Lagoon, a less successful remake. However this time is was filmed in beautiful Taveuni, known as the 'Garden Isle' of Fiji for its spectacular natural scenery.

In 1995 Richard Thomas starred in the remake of the Swiss Family Robinson TV series shot on the Blue Lagoon private island and just a year later, Jodie Foster starred in the movie Contact, which was filmed in the Yasawa Island group. Towards the end of the 90s, even famous comic Jim Carrey had visited Fiji for filming of The Truman Show where his character's dreams of visiting Fiji became a reality for Carrey.

However it was in 2000 that perhaps the most famous movie was filmed in Fiji. The blockbuster movie Cast Away starring Tom Hanks and his friend Wilson was filmed in the Mamanucas. A few years later in 2004 the Johnny Mesner movie Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid was filmed in Pacific Harbour and was designed to give audiences a scare.

In 2007 the 14th series of the reality TV show Survivor was filmed on Vanua Levu, the second largest island in Fiji.