Bharath: Govt wants to build a 'film city' in T&T
GOVERNMENT plans to establish a "film city" in Trinidad and Tobago comprising a production house with film sets, equipment and facilities, Trade Minister Vasant Bharath has said.
"And we intend to establish Trinidad and Tobago as a film city of the Caribbean," he added while contributing to the Senate debate on the national budget at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain last week.
He said one of the impediments was the lack of access to equipment coming in to Trinidad which was duty free and tax free. He said a film producer had to place a large bond, which was onerous, but Government intended to bring to Parliament legislation which would allow temporary importation of various goods and services for the film industry.
Bharath recalled that ten years ago he was able to work on setting up an equity fund for the Bollywood film industry and saw firsthand the thousands of people employed in that sector which produces 800 films per year. He noted that the Nigeria film market started 12 years ago but was currently valued at $250 million and employed several thousand people.
He said that country had 20 film production companies locally and 57 offering production services support and 11 television stations with a total of 2,000 people employed directly. He said the initiatives to develop the film sector had increased, including an additional 15 per cent for film production crews utilising local labour in addition to the 35 per cent rebate for local films.
He noted that Government was also looking at developing the area of fashion, citing the high praise for fashion designers Meiling, Anya Ayoung-Chee and jewelry designer Rachel Ross at last month's London Fashion Week.