About the Film Commission
The Jamaica Film Commission was established in 1984, and operates alongside the Creative Industries Unit within the Jamaica Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO/Jamaica Trade & Invest). The Jamaica Film Commission is mandated to promote the Jamaican film industry through facilitation of activities that increase investment, export, and employment in the sector. The Creative Industries Unit is a key policy advocate and advisor to the Government in matters pertaining to the improvement of Jamaica's business environment and the development of new industries.
JAMPRO is an Agency of the Government of Jamaica’s Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation that promotes business opportunities in export and investment to the local and international private sector.
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;
- Liaise between government agencies, private sector companies and the 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).
About the Film Commissioner
Renee Robinson is the Film Commissioner of Jamaica, and a multi-lingual cultural industry strategist and thought-leader. She has worked in Canada, Europe, South Africa, and the Caribbean - within the verticals of film, television, digital media, arts and culture, entertainment, and communications. With almost two decades of senior management experience in content programming, regulation/policy, strategic planning, and industry intelligence, she has held in leadership roles at the Ministry of Culture in Jamaica, the ReelWorld Film Festival, the Harbourfront Centre, Women in Film & Television, and with the Toronto International Film Festival. Renee is a member of the international Maytree Leadership Network, and serves on the board of the Campion College Alumni Association and StartUp Jamaica. She holds a MA in Communications and Culture with a specialization in the Management of Telecom Innovation from York University, and a BA in Art Studio and Art History from Williams College.