Jamaica launches Screen Fund to boost local film and TV production

The launch coincides with current film commissioner Renee Robinson preparing to step down

By Gabriella Geisinger 29 Mar 2023

Jamaica launches Screen Fund to boost local film and TV production
Renée Robinson, Cr: Gladstone Taylor

The Jamaican government has announced its plans to establish the Jamaica Screen Fund, which will provide financing for the development and production of local films and television shows over the next two years. They have put forth an initial budget of $6.5m (JMD $1bn).

Half of the fund will be allocated for the 2023-24 cycle and the balance will go into 2024-25. 

The fund will stimulate local content within the micro, small, and medium enterprises category (MSMEs) and enable creatives to dedicate time to developing their projects for access to financing and production, as well as support local creatives and bring more projects to Jamaica while promoting the country's brand internationally.

According to the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the country recorded an unprecedented $21m in film production expenditure between January 2022 and January 2023.

Jamaica's film, TV, and animation sector has also seen consistent growth over the past decade, generating millions in investments and creating over 2,000 skilled jobs annually. It is the country's third largest contributor to the island’s gross domestic product (GDP).

"Jampro has been working with our local partners to ensure that the Jamaica Screen Fund is supportive of the needs of our local film industry, and in line with best practices from other global film funds," agency president Shullette Cox.

Renée Robinson, Jamaica’s outgoing film commissioner, said: "The Jamaican film and TV industry is ready for this. Talent discovery programmes such as JAFTA Propella and the Feature Film Lab with JAFTA and the British Council, among many more, have equipped our local talent with script development, production management, and festival distribution strategy skills."

Paramount Pictures is currently on the ground working with the film commission on the Bob Marley biopic.

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