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Big plans for film

Minister Donville Inniss with Scotibank’s Lisa Cole, Alison Saunders-Franklyn and David Neiland.

Minister Donville Inniss with Scotibank’s Lisa Cole, Alison Saunders-Franklyn and David Neiland.

Government to put in place a cultural industries act to push interest of the sectors

Efforts by Barbadians to break into the film and creative industries have not gone unnoticed by Government.

This was emphasised today by Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, as he addressed the launch of Alison Saunders Blue Waters Productions Bank on Me, – a reality TV show for Entrepreneurs, at the Savannah Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church.

“We have been talking about this for quite a while [development of a film and creative industry] from the time one would say ‘Adam was a lad’ and I don’t believe we need to wait ‘until Blackbird cut teeth’ in order for these things to become a reality,” Mr. Inniss said.

Pointing out that government was in the final stages of bringing before the country, a Cultural Industries Bill that would address the cultural dimension of our society and economy, he told those gathered “that at the same time, we will certainly, as Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley pointed out, find creative ways of bringing the cultural industry to the fore, as a major player in the economic and social order.”

Noting that the film industry was a key component in any drive towards cultural development the Minister said that he was satisfied that there was enough talent in Barbados to make it a success. He cited technical personnel such as videographers and those involved in the finer details of electronic matters with the computer, as persons with the kind of talent that can help Barbados succeed in the formidable film industry.

He continued: “Sometimes I am amazed that it is only when we go abroad and see Barbadians in their finest moment at some of these festivals that we really appreciate what we have at home… I always firmly believe that we don’t have to travel far to recognise what we have right here in Barbados and make good use of it.”

The audience, which included partners and sponsors such as Scotiabank, Caribbean Export Development Agency, and Fund Access heard too, of the Minister’s dismay over Barbadians’ tendency to listen more attentively to individuals who came from abroad.

He lamented: “I often at times get a little quirky when I realise that some things in Barbados only seem to be taken seriously when we bring individuals from abroad who don’t look like you or me; who don’t speak like you or me. It’s only when they come and say these things that we stand and take them seriously but I have faith in our people and I am satisfied that after 47 years of Independence, we can really do it here in Barbados.”

Meanwhile, Managing Director of Blue Waters Productions Inc. Alison Saunders, noted that “they wanted to do a show that reflected the current realities of raising funds for business. We wanted to do a show that creates awareness about how small and medium-sized businesses could attract investment in an entertaining format as it ultimately seeks to develop entrepreneurship in Barbados and the Caribbean,” she remarked.

The Managing Director also revealed that the pilot series was based in Barbados but will be shown regionally via Caribvision. The producers are hoping that future series would be regional and shown extra regionally as well.

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