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LOCAL FILM industry players are projecting that in ten years, Barbados will be boasting of a vibrant industry.
And the upcoming Barbados Visual Media Festival And Awards should be a fillip to the film industry, says Lynette Eastmond, president of the Barbados Film and Video Association.
She was speaking at a Press briefing yesterday to launch the festival which opens at Church Village Green in The City next Tuesday and climaxes with the awards ceremony on October 16 at the Frank Collymore Hall.
Eastmond said a foundation for the film industry was laid when the accent was on work produced by the Audio Visual Aids Department and the Government Information Service from as early as 1941.
“The truth of the matter is that making of movies came subsequently, so in terms of sustaining this industry in Barbados – until more of the film-makers came on board in 1998 – there were individuals working in [visual arts] who created a platform which [the present film-makers] are now building on. I don’t think we can lose sight of that.”
She said that the film industry now catered to a wide field that comprised scriptwriters, directors, editors, cameramen and lawyers.
Eastmond, a former senator and Minister of Commerce in a Barbados Labour Party government, said some of the planks that would ensure a viable film industry were the Errol Barrow Centre For Creative Imagination, the Barbados Film and Video Association, the Cultural Industries Bill, a film commissioner and a film desk.
There was also an excellent relationship with the Minister of Culture, she added.
Eastmond recalled that Barbados was the venue for movie shootings like Island In The Sun and Tamarind Seed.
“On a monthly basis there are companies that come to Barbados to shoot. Most people don’t know about this but that is part of the industry . . . .
“We are working to put these building blocks in place and are working very hard at it. So we expect to see that in the next ten years or so, more films being produced and being distributed.”
She said the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation facilitated a number of film-makers to go to a film festival in Durban, South Africa which allowed them to network with people from all over the world, including the diaspora.
She said it was critical that individuals saw the industry as one that provided them with a living as an incentive to stay in it.