Jamaica Film Commissioner: Time to invest in creative industries is now!

Renee Robinson, Jamaica's Film Commissioner.

Jamaica’s Film Commissioner, Renee Robinson, has said that local investors should be tapping into the creative industries if they wish to capitalise on rising sectors. The Film Commissioner made the comments in anticipation of the Jamaica Film, Animation, and Music (FAM) Investor Forum, on Friday, March 29, 2019 in Kingston. The forum aims to support creative industry practitioners and their need for project financing.

Ms. Robinson said that there is increased interest in screen-based projects that feature diverse and cultural stories, and this interest has been translating to success internationally. She explained, “There is momentum right now for greater business success of afrocentric content and content-based projects. We see this with significant wins recently in the global monetization for afrocentric film content and talent, for example with films like Black Panther and Get Out. We also see movements such as #OscarsSoWhite, which has led to more studios and distributors looking for content that has diverse stories and talent. The FAM investor forum provided the opportunity for local creatives to benefit from these key trends in the industry.”

The forum features networking opportunities and discussions on marketing creative projects for investment, including special presentations on Distributing Caribbean Films and Finding Funding: How Creatives Get Projects Made in Jamaica. A film pitch competition will also take place at the event as part of the Film Lab programme, where the winning filmmaker will be awarded a grant of J$500,000 towards the production of their feature film by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

The event seeks to support Jamaica’s burgeoning film industry, as JAMPRO focuses on boosting the development of content for export. During the 2017-18 financial year, 124 film productions were undertaken during the period; 88 of the 124 film productions registered local expenditure of over J1$ million each within the local economy.

The Agency aims to build on this success, and will use the Investors’ forum as a platform to attract more investors to projects that will boost Jamaica’s performance in the film and animation industries.

Film Commissioner Renee Robinson explained that the FAM Investment Forum is an opportunity to present a national slate of investment-ready and commercially-viable creative economy projects. She said, “This Forum facilitates business-to-business meetings between local investors and select project owners, and we anticipate significant lead generation will occur as a result. At the Film Commission, we have seeded several interventions in the past few years to bring our local investors into this space, through hosting various roundtables, investor go-see’s, pitch sessions, and most recently film financing investment mission to Los Angeles to meet with peer networks in banking and wealth management. Our local financiers are now beginning to demonstrate an interest and an appetite for the creative economy.”

The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO)’s mission is to drive economic development through growth in investment and export. JAMPRO is an Agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
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