Film Commissioner at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Renée Robinson, says the local film industry performed remarkably for the 2017/18 financial year, contributing a record $1.2 billion in film production expenditure to the local economy.
Film production expenditure, which relates to the value of the production budget that comes into the island to offset the services rendered, shows that for the 2017/18 fiscal period, some $1.2 billion was allocated, up from $745 million in the previous year, representing a 65 per cent increase.
Miss Robinson pointed out that this was the first time the figure had exceeded $1 billion, noting that the expenditure is the value of the budget that international productions spend in Jamaica.
“So, this would be to hire cast, crew, drivers, rental of equipment, anything that is part of the production process that is being spent in Jamaica,” she added.
Some 124 international film productions took place over the period and generated 2,781 jobs.
Miss Robinson explained that the Commission is able to differentiate and segment the types of productions that are shot on the island by tracking through the film registration process.
“Documentary productions led the genres, with 35 documentaries filmed in Jamaica over the period, up from 17 in the previous year, and TV productions followed with 24, up from 15 in 2016/17,” the Film Commissioner said.
Three feature films were shot on the island: ‘Yardie’, directed by Idris Elba; ‘Like Father’ and ‘The Intent 2’.
For the first time, a webisode production was filmed in Jamaica.
“We also had some high-profile productions filmed in Jamaica over the period, including ‘Caribbean’s Next Top Model’, and we were fortunate enough to shoot the entire season. We also shot an episode of ‘The Amazing Race Israel’ and an episode of ‘Marvel’s Luke Cage’,” the Film Commissioner informed.
Other prominent productions included the ‘Pretty Bird’ music video for Beyoncé and Jay-Z; ‘Perfect Places’ music video by Lorde, and ‘Candice Patton’ by America’s Next Top Model celebrity guest judge, Kelly Cutrone.
“So, there has been quite a bit of activity in the local film industry as we tracked the various international productions that come into the island and the local personnel and services that they utilise for their projects. We are committed to improving our tracking and monitoring strategies,” Ms. Robinson said.
The Commission is mandated to promote the Jamaican film industry through facilitation of activities that increase investment, export and employment in the sector.