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Film chief next month

Culture Minister Stephen Lasley chats with students of The Lester Vaughan School.

Culture Minister Stephen Lasley chats with students of The Lester Vaughan School.

A film commissioner will be in place at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth by next month; a step which will bring this island closer to establishing its own film commission.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, gave this assurance this morning at the launch of the Career and Life Management Programme at the University of the West Indies Open Campus, The Pine, St. Michael.

“We believe … that there is a fantastic opportunity for the development of film — movies and documentaries right here in Barbados. Not only by attracting filmmakers to view Barbados as a natural place to film their movies, but where Barbadian talent can come to the fore and participate in what is a multibillion dollar industry,” Lashley said.

“The potential job creation and foreign exchange gains for our economy are numerous,” he said. “That is why by next month, a film commissioner will be in place within my ministry to not only be the focal point for attracting this business to Barbados, but to start the important work that will shortly lead to the establishment of a full fledge Film Commission under specific legislation.”

He noted that the current economic recession provided the country with “an opportunity to change our focus” and reasoned this situation offered a means for young people to “pursue innovation and to create employment opportunities in non-traditional areas”.

Lashley added that such areas included the cultural industries sector, digital media, ICTs and entrepreneurship.

“The good news is that many of our youth are beginning to recognise and take advantage of these opportunities,” he added.

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