Jamaica’s Film Industry Booming

Jamaica’s Film Commissioner, Kim Marie Spence, says the island’s film industry is “booming”. Speaking recently to filmmakers attending a networking session organised by JAMPRO in Toronto, Canada, Ms. Spence said two Jamaican feature films are to be released in October. They are “Better Mus’ Come”, which is about political turmoil in the1970s, and “Rise Up”, which follows three artistes trying to make it in the music industry.

Giving more details on the film industry, Ms. Spence said a third Jamaican film, called “Ghett’a Life”, is slated for release in 2011, while “Small Island”, a two-part series on the emigration of Caribbean peoples to the United Kingdom was also shot in Jamaica. Partially shot in Jamaica was the recently released Hollywood movie, ‘Knight and Day’, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

“The industry is booming and we are looking for partnerships and investments. If we, as a small island, can produce this much, what more can we do if we are working with you here,” she said, adding that Jamaica is open for business in the creative industries. The audience viewed a synopsis of the new “Locations Catalogue”, highlighting a wide range of locations in Jamaica. Recently completed by the Commission, the catalogue can be accessed on the agency’s website and features more than 1,000 photographs.

“A lot of people think of Jamaica as just sun, beach and sand, but there is so much more. We have acting talent and technical talent. There is a lot of variety, not only with the scenery, but also with the people,” noted the head of the oldest film commission in the English-speaking Caribbean. Over 3,000 film projects have been serviced by the Jamaica Film Commission since it was established in 1984.

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