Partnerships Needed to Boost Caribbean Film Industry

Dr. Terrence Farrell at the Launch of CaribbeanTales 2011 @ Island Inn

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The film industry of the Caribbean has major export potential and with strong ties and partnerships, the stories of the Caribbean can be exported to the world while making a viable living for regional film makers. This is the view of acclaimed economist and businessman Dr Terrence Farrell, a Director of CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution Inc, in his remarks at the launch of the CaribbeanTales Film Festival 2011 @ Island Inn, Barbados on January 17.

And for the second year running, Dr Farrell, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, will lead a Symposium during the festival, on the economic potential and development of the Caribbean audio-visual industry.

Speaking to a packed audience comprised of media and film industry stakeholders, he disclosed that this year’s “Symposium” will focus significantly on the important question of how to finance the film industry.

“Caribbean film is in evolution and governments needs to embrace the industry,” he said. He made reference to other models such as post-apartheid South Africa where government invested heavily into their indigenous programming and as a result the industry found large audiences and now is able to turn a large profit based on advertising.

Further focusing on the pivotal role of regional Governments, Dr. Farrell stated, “We are trying to find ways into the minds and hearts of governments to embrace this industry for what it does in terms of projecting the Caribbean and Caribbean content, but most importantly for creating what we see to be a viable industry that has potential to employ a lot of people and generate foreign exchange in the region.”

Chairman of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) Dr. Don Marshall in his feature address also spoke to the much needed cooperation of government. He noted that in the process of manufacturing development, the state needs to be more innovative and supportive of innovation. He referred to film as an “expression of the New Age manufacturing” that is required.

“There is a potential in the area of film and production that provides a foray into the understanding of who we are as a people,” stated Dr. Marshall who is also a Senior Research Fellow of the Arthur Lewis Institute of the UWI.

Marshall pledged the BIDC’s commitment to the development of the film industry and revealed that a strategic plan is to be presented at the end of January diffusing ideas of innovation by looking specifically at film. He also mentioned the BIDC’s future sponsorship of a Writer’s Workshop and the implementation of a Special Technical Assistance Fund.

CEO of CTWD, Frances-Anne Solomon in her address at the launch explained that CaribbeanTales is creating a vehicle that everyone can buy into and be a part of. However, she noted that it needs support. “Not just filmmakers, but business people, stake holders, government and audiences….we need to come together and build it together.”

The CaribbeanTales Film Festival 2011 @ Island Inn, Barbados runs from March 14- 20, 2011. The festival will include an Incubator Programme for Caribbean audio-visual content development starting on March 14, a marketplace and workshops as well as screenings of films from the Caribbean and diaspora. On March 16th the festival’s Opening Night film ‘A Hand Full of Dirt” directed by Barbadian, Russell Watson will have its Barbados premiere at the Frank Collymore Hall.

Established in May 2010, CTWD is a full service marketing and distribution company that acquires exclusive, long term rights to Caribbean-themed content for television, educational, home entertainment and Internet distribution. The company also provides co-production services to producers, and holds marketing events through CaribbeanTales Festivals and Events.

CTWD is founded by award-winning filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon, and principals include creative industries specialist Dr Keith Nurse, economist and businessman Dr Terrence Farrell, media personality and producer Lisa Wickham, and Jamaican filmmaker Mary Wells. CTWD is a member of the Barbados Entrepreneurs Venture Capital Fund that provides Seed and Venture Capital Services.

CaribbeanTales 2011 @ Island Inn, Barbados is sponsored by Island Inn, The Starcom Network, MACO Magasines, Ultimax TV, Lisa Wickham’s Ezone, the Commonwealth Foundation, SFa Communications, Hall-e-wood Productions , Truly Caribbean, Morenamedia , HAMA Productions, Barbados Government Information Service, Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Caribbean Media Corporation, United States Embassy for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Animae Caribe, Merville Lynch Prods, Creative Junction, Steinhill Studios , Blue Light Media, and Autonomous Entertainment.

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Terrence W. Farrell, a former CEO of One Caribbean Media (2008-2010) has over 30 years experience in economic research, forecasting, policy analysis and strategy formation. A former Research Director (1984 -1990), Senior Manager (1990 -1992) and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (1992-1995) he built a strong reputation for the Bank’s Research Department and was central to key policy initiatives including the debt restructurings and IMF programmes in 1987-1991 period, exchange control liberalization and the flotation of the T&T dollar in 1993 and the central bank’s intervention of troubled financial institutions in the period 1986-1993. He has published several scholarly articles in Economics, including a book on Central Banking in Trinidad and Tobago, and co-edited another on Caribbean Monetary Integration (with Delisle Worrell). He has served on several government-appointed committees addressing a variety of public policy issues. More recently, he has served on the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s Vision 2020 Core Group and was chairman of its Macro-economics sub-committee which inter alia developed a projections model for the Trinidad & Tobago economy, and was a member of the Task Force on the Future of BWIA.

Within the private sector, Regional Manager for a regional IT Services company from 1995 – 1997 and in that capacity undertook several consulting engagements across the region. As Group Executive Director at the life insurance and property and casualty insurance group Guardian Holdings Limited from 1998-2006, he was responsible for Strategy, Business Development and Information Systems Management from 1998-2005 and was instrumental in planning and effecting several of the company’s acquisitions. Latterly, 2005-2006, he was President of its General Insurance division with operations in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and Gibraltar. He is now Chairman of Business Insight, a company dedicated to strategy consulting and economic research and forecasting, as well as chairman of Advance Oil, a land-based oil exploration company.

He studied Economics at UWI and the University of Toronto where he obtained his PhD in 1979, and has attended several executivee education courses in Strategy (Harvard Business School), Portfolio Management (Euro money), Corporate Finance (IIR), and Information Systems Management (Harvard). He is an Honorary Member of the Information Technology Professionals Society of Trinidad and Tobago, founding member of the Trinidad and Tobago Economics Association and a Fellow of the Institute of Banking and Finance of Trinidad and Tobago. © 2007 Business Insight Ltd.

2 Responses

  1. I dont have a website.I am interested in the filming industry of Trinidad and Tobago in particular and the Caribbean region as a whole. I am obtaining this info for one of the children who is very interested in the industry. Can you please give me some info, contact nbr or anything that may help. Thank You in anticipation…Respectfully, Robert fone nbr 6821338 or the above email.I do hope to hear from you soon. Thank You again.

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