Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) President, Diane Edwards, says her agency is working to establish a national film fund that will cover the cost of filming in Jamaica.
She said that the agency “is half-way down the road” with the establishment of the fund, noting that it will take approximately six to nine months to iron out certain details.
“We have agreement with some of the partners. We know how we are going to manage it and we know how we will find some of the funds, but we’re going to have to put together a whole financing structure,” she said.
Ms. Edwards was speaking to JIS News at the Jamaica Film, Animation and Music (FAM) Investor Forum at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on March 29.
The national film fund is an alternative to the rebate incentive programme for filming that exists in countries such as Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Ms. Edwards explained that producers of blockbusters or destination films such as Pirates of the Caribbean go to those countries to film and, in turn, the governments underwrite 34 per cent of the filming costs.
While Jamaica has no legislation in place that enables this kind of provision, Ms. Edwards said that JAMPRO has been offering “in-kind contributions” to attract film-makers.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of Aspire Funds Management Company Limited, Kerwyn Valley, said that Trinidad’s film incentive “is one of the most attractive”.
He said his company has been investing in the development of Caribbean film-makers, and is looking to Jamaica with a view to having films released online, as there are greater prospects for promotion and marketing through that space.
The Jamaica Film, Animation and Music (FAM) Investor Forum provided an opportunity for owners of creative works and the local investor community to network and make business deals.
During the event, a film pitch competition was held, with $500,000 awarded by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport towards the production of a feature film.