About the Film Commission
The Jamaica Film Commission was established in 1984, and forms part of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO/Jamaica Trade & Invest), the investment and export arm of the Government, and is mandated to promote Jamaica's Film industry. This mandate requires the facilitation of activities to increase investment, export, employment and foreign exchange earnings.
It is globally recognised that Jamaica is one of the most naturally attractive locations for filming. While overseas filmmakers have been coming to the island since the early 1900s filming Daughter of the Gods here in 1908. Nevertheless it was only during the 1980s when the island instituted a targeted plan to attract "Hollywood" to Jamaica, that there was a drastic increase in the number and types of film projects shot here.
The critical importance of the local industry cannot be overlooked, as any nation with an interest in preserving a legacy and a culture has to recognise the intrinsic importance of the local filmmaker. Jamaica's prolific theatre community keeps a cadre of local actors and actresses employed year-round. While not a generous source of revenue, the genre satisfies the creative appetite, and keeps the craft honed for participation in larger more rewarding projects such as "Dancehall Queen" or "Third World Cop."
The Commission's role in relation to the Film industry is to:
- Promote and market investment opportunities in areas like studio facilities, themed entertainment and venues;
- Lobby for incentives to support sector development, increased investments, the creation of venture capital funds, and other low interest financing options.
- Administer existing incentives for production companies both local and overseas to increase investment, job creation and foreign exchange;
- Marketing and Promotion of Jamaica as the PREMIER location for filming;
- Provision of a comprehensive service for all filmmakers in production or location scouting on the island;
- Liaison between government agencies, private sector companies and the production;
- Recommend and oversee changes and updates to the Motion Picture Industry Encouragement Act, which provides incentives to production;
- Provide linkages between overseas providers of market opportunities (i.e. script requests, film festival opportunities etc.) and local industry personnel;
- Organization and facilitation of a national presence at film industry trade shows in order to promote the island as a premier location, and to create business linkages for Jamaica's local industry;
- Lobby for the creation of venture capital investment funds for the further development of the industry;
- Develop and facilitate the process of bi-lateral trade agreements within the global film industry, in order to provide increased opportunities for funding to the local industry (i.e. production treaties).