Black Immigrant Daily News
The Jamaican government plans to establish the Jamaica Screen Fund, providing financing for the development and production of local films and television shows over the next two years with an initial budget of $1 billion.
This move aims to stimulate local content MSMEs and enable creatives to dedicate time to developing their projects for access to financing and production feasibility.
The fund is also expected to support local creatives and bring more projects to Jamaica while promoting the country’s brand internationally.
Jamaica’s film and TV industry has seen consistent growth over the past decade, generating millions in investments and creating over 2,000 skilled jobs annually.
According to Jampro, the country recorded an unprecedented US$21 million in film production expenditure between January 2022 and January 2023.
“Jampro has been working with our local partners to ensure that the Jamaica Screen Fund is supportive of the needs of our local film industry, and in line with best practices from other global film funds,” said Shullette Cox, president of the agency.
The resources for the fund will remain with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service 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.
The film and animation sector, which also includes music, is the third-largest contributor to Jamaica’s GDP and has a significant multiplier effect on the economy through its linkages with other industries such as tourism and services.
“Significant work over several years has gone into developing this initiative, with a goal of stimulating the local industry and our creative practitioners – who have proven their economic resilience and high potential for positive economic impact,” added Renee Robinson, Film Commissioner of Jamaica, at JAMPRO. “I envision a vibrant bustling local industry – creating high calibre content that is commercially viable and investment-ready. There is a global demand for stories like ours that are culturally specific with universal appeal. With this new access to financing, we can finally tell our stories in our voices with our aesthetic, to be experienced by the world,” noted Robinson.
In recent years local professional crews have delivered “No Time To Die” from the James Bond franchise, Idris Elba’s directorial debut, “Yardie”, the HBO / Marlon James’ series “Get Millie Black”, the Hulu / Oprah Winfrey-supported “Black Cake” and are currently working with Paramount Pictures filming the Bob Marley biopic.
Talent discovery programmes, such as JAFTA Propella, the Feature Film Lab with JAFTA and the British Council, and the World Bank BOSS programme among many others, have equipped the industry with script development, production management, festival strategy, and distribution skills.