UK Film Minister, Shaun Woodward had high praises today for the Jamaican government in its efforts to advance the film co-production treaty with the UK that gives British nationals co-producing films with Jamaican filmmakers access to UK national funding and tax breaks.
Minister Woodward, in addressing members of the British media at a press launch hosted by Jamaica Trade and Invest on Wednesday (June 20) in London, indicated that “Britain and Jamaica will now have an opportunity to strengthen cultural exchanges, as the film professionals from both countries collaborate and work together on projects.
The co-production treaty was signed in Kingston in April by Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller and Richard Caborn, the UK Minister of Sports.
Del Crooks, Jamaica’s Film Commissioner, explains that “local expenditure on film projects attracts incentives under the Motion Picture Encouragement Act, including a nine-year tax break on profits, duty waiver on imported equipment and bond waivers.”
She also noted that “an important factor in a co-production agreement is the maintenance of balance in the filmmaking contributions of each co-producer, and in the cultural benefits to each country. The co-production treaty seeks to encourage the creation of a strategic and sustainable series of economic and cultural partnerships with the UK.”
Also speaking at the press launch was Jamaica’s Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, Sharon Saunders who noted the “creative industries are tipped for great development and economic earnings and Jamaica is doing its best to capitalise on the industry.
Clare Wise and Del Crooks of the UK and Jamaican Film Commissions respectively gave overviews of what the treaty will offer “once ratified”; and a question and answer session followed.
Mrs. Crooks is head of the delegation to the premier business conference and exhibition for professionals working in all areas of video content creation, management and delivery. Making the trip also was select and creative executives from Television Jamaica, CPTC, Ark Productions, Gee Jam and Maxine Walters Production. “The exhibition focused on promoting Jamaica as a destination for location filming, targeting decision makers aimed at increasing customer base and to help to increase the awareness about Jamaica and its other capabilities as a location”, says Mrs. Crooks.