Minister with responsibility for Culture, Senator Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight, speaking at a National Consultation on Film hosted by the Division of Culture and the NCF at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, today. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

The collaboration of the Division of Culture, National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Barbados Film and Video Association and film stakeholders in Barbados, ease of doing business, incentives, and forging important partnerships are necessary for the further development of Barbados’ film industry.

These are among some of the recommendations which emerged from a National Consultation on Film, hosted by the Division of Culture in the Prime Minister’s Office and the NCF, under the theme “Strengthening Barbados’ Film Sector for Post-COVID Economic Growth and Development”, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, this morning.

Minister with responsibility for Culture, Senator Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight, speaking at the consultation, explained Government’s role in the process.

“Our role as policymakers is to create the facilitating and enabling regulatory and legislative environment….  Our role is to look at the work that you have already been doing and to come alongside with you in partnership to agree on how we can grow, how we can further propel, [and] how we can further capitalise. And that is exactly what we are attempting to do in the context of this national consultation on the development of the film industry,” she stated.

Senator Munro-Knight disclosed that the Division of Culture was working on several strategic priorities which included the film industry, and based on the discussions and recommendations emerging from the consultation, a policy paper would be created.

“The development of the film sector is one of the policy priorities that we have identified internally, and to this extent, within three weeks of this consultation, the Division is expected to take a policy paper before Cabinet for the development of a holistic policy framework that will include an incentive regime not only as well for the attraction of international investment, but also as well to boost the development of the local sector,” Minister Munro-Knight said.

She emphasised that the consultation was pivotal to Barbados’ film industry becoming a sustainable revenue earner and providing viable employment for persons in the sector. 

“I want to reiterate and emphasise … that it’s about collaboration and partnership, so that today is not just about what the Government should do or should not be doing and all of the things perhaps that we haven’t been doing well, but rather how we, you, I, Government, National Cultural Foundation, all of you involved in the film and video sector; all of us can work together collaboratively to be able to design a way forward because the benefits redound nationally, individually and of course to the sector as a whole,” Dr. Munro-Knight pointed out.

She gave the assurance that the Government, and by extension the Division of Culture, intended to keep communicating and engaging with stakeholders of the film industry, “so that we are not going to get stuck in this is the way it has to be done, but we will listen and then of course correct; pivot if we need to, in order to ensure that we get the development that we want going forward”.

The consultation consisted of panel discussions on “Developing A Road Map for the Barbados Film Sector”; “Building out the Business Model for the Film Sector” and “The Role of the Film Commission in Fostering the Development of the Sector”. There were also breakout sessions, SWOT analyses and Question and Answer segments.

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