Trinidad & Tobago

Find international production companies, services and crew

Overview

Just seven miles off the coast of Venezuela, the natural charms of Trinidad and Tobago — including beaches, mountains, jungles and swamps — should soon prove an increasingly attractive draw for international film and high-end TV producers.

While the country has not hosted an international feature for a while, TV series from around the world arrive regularly to shoot on location. The territory offers a production expenditure rebate programme that can offer up to 35% cash back on qualifying services and 20% cash back for the hiring of local labour.

“Trinidad and Tobago is largely unseen and unexpected on screen,” says Leslie Ann Wills-Caton, film commissioner at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, the national film body known as FilmTT.

The ambition to change that is tangible, despite the pandemic border closures — in effect from March 2020 — having added layers of technicality to the pre-production process. As of June 2021, crews need to be granted an exemption to enter via a private charter and quarantine for 14 days in a state-supervised facility. However FilmTT has negotiated with the government’s customs and excise division to facilitate the temporary importation of filming equipment free of duties and taxes. This is a service that is mandatory for international and local productions seeking to bring in equipment to complete their productions.

The country is mostly English-speaking but has a growing Spanish-speaking population due to recent migration from Venezuela. It also has a trained and talented crew base that can potentially service up to two small to medium-sized features (in the budget range of $1m-$10m) at any given time. Furthermore FilmTT has a checklist of experienced producers who can co-ordinate logistics.

Local service producers, including Imagine Media International and Riddums Productions, can facilitate productions on the ground.

“Productions that film in Trinidad and Tobago ideally take advantage of our landscape and culture, and as such use our effective transportation options for on-location shoots island-wide,” says Wills-Caton. “While we do not have major studios, there are production houses that can provide the basics and accommodate a small-scale production.”

 

Infrastructure and crews

A small, trained crew base can service up to two small-to-medium features or TV series at a time in the $1m-$10m budget range. A number of small studios can handle digital and green-screen work. Producers are advised to bring in heads of department.

Size matters

Trinidad and Tobago is a tropical dual island republic situated seven miles off the coast of Venezuela, with beaches stretching to roughly 200 miles. The more populated Trinidad is served by the airport near the capital, about 40 minutes from island capital Port of Spain, with regular flights to the US, Latin America and London, and slightly more convoluted journeys to other parts of the world. Car rental services, taxis, RideShare (similar to Uber), or hiring a transport provider through FilmTT’s production directory are options.

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