Jamaica | Mar 8, 2023

The local film industry has the potential to increase foreign earnings: Clarke

Vanassa McKenzie

Vanassa McKenzie / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Greater focus is now being placed on the Jamaican film and television industry as a potential driver of foreign exchange earnings for the country.

Speaking at Yesterday’s (Tuesday) Budget Debate in Parliament, Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service said that “expanding the gains requires a diversification of the Jamaican economy as well as a broader base of industries with the capacity to generate foreign exchange. One area that could achieve both ends is film, television and animation production.”

He noted that the creative industry has the potential to contribute to Jamaica’s economy and to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Hundreds of persons can be employed in a single production for months at a time. In addition, the production of film and television generates indirect and spin-off economic impact through the provision of goods and services required and spending in the local economy, ” the finance minister noted.

Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service, making his opening contribution to the 2023-2024 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives (Photo contributed).

Clarke announced that the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service will partner with the Ministry of Industry and Investment and Commerce to establish the Jamaica Screen Fund at an initial amount of $1 billion for two years.

This fund will see the finance ministry allocating $ 500 million in the 2023/2024 fiscal year. Under the Jamaica Screen Fund, grants will be provided for the development of television and film shows in Jamaica.

The fund will provide support in the production of films locally with funding for a defined percentage of production costs up to a maximum contribution for local productions with other percentages and thresholds for foreign films being shot in Jamaica once certain criteria are met.

British actor Daniel Craig stars a James Bond in this scene from ‘No Time To Die’ shot in San San Beach, Portland, Jamaica. (Photo: MGM Studios).

According to the minister, the fund will not be a physical fund but the resources will remain with the Ministry of Finance to be drawn down in tranches once the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce approves eligible projects that have completed and fulfilled the application requirements.

He said that “the government of Jamaica is serious about diversifying the Jamaican economy and supporting the growth of emerging sectors which bolster brand Jamaica and the creativity of our people.
This is another way in which we are committed to sharing the gains of our economic recovery
with those creative professionals in the film industry.”

In 2021, the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce revealed that the local film industry earned approximately US$236 million from 47 productions undertaken during the 2020/21 year while generating 867 jobs.


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