Film making a viable option for Barbados

As Barbados’ Film and Video Media Festival gets underway, a local film maker wants more investment in the sector he says is bursting with untapped potential.

Damien Pinder, president of the Barbados Film and Video Association (BFVA) made the comments recently during the media launch at the Harbour Industrial Park of the Barbados Film and Video Media Festival.

The environment in Barbados is much more conducive to film making, he said, than ten years ago.

He added: “We have the Cultural Industries Development Act, we have a film commissioner and we have been in discussions with the Ministry of Culture in regards to the framework to help guide the decision-makers as how best to help the sector,” the BFVA president said.

The Barbados Visual Media Festival which started today and continues until Sunday, is an initiative of BFVA.

And Pinder said the group was committed to encouraging local filmmakers to push their creative boundaries, producing work that would also attract international viewership.

According to the BFVA president, the Barbados Visual Media Festival was “extremely important as it gives local filmmakers a platform to have their
films shown”.

He added: “It gives them feedback, it
helps them to improve, it facilitates networking with other players in the industry which could potentially birth future projects and it gives them the tools to get their content out to
the world.”

At the same time, Pinder conceded that the fledgling industry needed more financial support.

“We know that money is a major need, but the industry is not only in need of financial investment, it is in desperate need of time from those knowledgeable in business,” he said.

“The other challenge is that persons who would generally be willing to produce films shot in Barbados are not aware of how developed the island is and think only of sun sea and sand – and not business, industry and commerce.”

He added: “[Our] objective is to celebrate the work of local, regional and international independent film makers, while being a catalyst for the development of the Barbadian visual media industry.

“The festival not only features the screening of local, regional and international content but it also includes a 48-hour film challenge,” Pinder said.

This year, the festival will also feature two workshops -Acting 101 with noted Barbadian performer Patrick Foster, and a Stages of Production session delivered by local film maker Rommel Hall.

Among this year’s big hits is the 48-hour film challenge which has attracted more than
3,060 entries from ten countries with a winner-take-all cash prize of $4,800.

BFVA vice-president Rommel Hall said the festival not only featured public screenings but it will showcase young people and highlight the many opportunities available in the film industry.

Elaborating on plans for 2018, Pinder said the BFVA will be working with the Commission for Pan African Affairs to have children make films using the technology they already owned.

The pilot for this project will be launched in three secondary schools with the hope that it will be expanded to all secondary schools.

On completion, films created by the students are expected to be screened next year during a festival in Africa.

Source: (LG)

5 Responses to Film making a viable option for Barbados

  1. Graeme Finlayson
    Graeme Finlayson October 26, 2017 at 10:39 am

    What the industry needs is some tax concessions/incentives to attract the foreign film projects that Barbados currently loses to those other islands in the region that do offer this.

  2. Ezra Hinds
    Ezra Hinds October 26, 2017 at 10:57 am

    What the industry needs is actual attention and business development. ‘Tax concessions’ are there but everything is way too slow which is the PRIMARY thing we as a Creative Industries working group highlighted during the consultation process. Remember those days John Roett? The lack of urgency will continue to retard our creative industry.

    • Graeme Finlayson
      Graeme Finlayson October 26, 2017 at 11:46 am

      “The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (TTFC) offers a 150% tax concession for private-sector partners who sponsor local productions, and a production-expenditure rebate of up to 30% for local and international film-makers on location.”

      “Financial incentive: Cash rebates up to 55% for expenditures on qualifying local labor and 35% on other local expenditures”

      Other examples :-

      The constant theme I hear from foreign productions is they love the location, but the lack of concessions means Barbados is not viable. Lowering taxes on something does not necessarily mean less tax overall, just wish the powers realised this! 🙂

  3. Norman Mcdonald
    Norman Mcdonald October 26, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Can’t stop the mapps

  4. Epaphras D. Williams
    Epaphras D. Williams October 26, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    This is such a well written report that reading from the bottom paragraph to the first is still clear and engaging. Make films like that.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *