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Jamaica's film industry gets a boost

GROWTH: Renée Robinson

FILM COMMISSIONER for Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Renée Robinson, says the country has been reaping benefits from development of the local film industry with an increase in jobs and earnings.

For the 2016/17 financial year, over 2,571 jobs were created by the film industry, compared to 1,406 in the previous year.

According to Caribbean 360, Robinson says the Commission – which is mandated to promote the Jamaican film industry through facilitation of activities that increase investment, export and employment in the sector – tracks the various international productions that come into the island and the local personnel and services they utilize for their projects.

“A film production can hire anywhere from 30 people all the way up to 800, so it really makes a significant difference when we have large productions that are coming into the island and hiring Jamaicans,” she said.

“It is not just the hiring of the production manager or the camera folks, but they hire caterers, drivers, security personnel… (and) if there is a scene at a pool, they hire a lifeguard….Ambulances are needed on set to ensure that medical attention is available, so there is a lot of spin-offs in jobs for the productions that are happening on the island.”

The past financial year saw $300 million worth of capital expenditure from investments by the creative industries. In terms of linkages, which relate to the value of the production budget that comes into the island to offset the services rendered, figures show that for the 2016/17 fiscal period, some $674 million was allocated.

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