BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 29th January 2021) – Money earning opportunities for some 30 workers and 200 extras on set individuals is expected to boost the local economy on the island of Nevis for the international production of two feature films.
Premier Mark Brantley-Minister of Finance, Foreign Investments and Tourism-made the disclosure at his first press conference for 2021 held on Thursday 28th January whilst sharing details about an arrangement between the Nevis Island Administration and MSR Media to shoot a comedy feature called ‘One Year Off’.
MSR Media is a boutique film & television production company based in York, England, according to its website https://msrmedia.co.uk .
Brantley’s remarks on the topic centered on his government’s efforts to stimulate the local economy. He expressed hope that the film partnership will be “a springboard to great things happening here.”
As understood, some $1 million is expected to directly stimulate the local economy stemming from the two-picture production deal.
The Finance Minister spoke about employment and other money-making opportunities for locals.
“I’m advised that they would need about 30 employees locally during the production phase of course technical and other people will no doubt be taken on board and what I’m hopeful is that through the academy that they would wish to set up is that it would have some important skills transfer. That is going to be critical so that if we are going to develop this industry, as we hope to, that overtime few and fewer people will have to be brought into the island but on this occasion for the first time, we have some fifty or so persons who have been brought in and if you could imagine fifty persons on the island staying roughly for three and a half months that too is significant for us.”
Brantley further explained: “I am told that they would need 30 workers but they would also need about 200 extras, and extras I’m told are people who stand at the bar, they are in the restaurant, they are walking on the street etc, and extras are paid as well so if you get a job as an extra, you’re also paid. So 30 people will be the ones to actually do things like the transportation, the catering etc. and then the extras are the one who actually appear in the movie alongside the main cast and so I’m very excited and so I hope we find 200 people here who are willing to go out and earn a little money as extras in this first movie.”
“I think this is a very significant development for the island of Nevis. It is significant because it is the first time that we will have a feature film being produced on the island. It is the first time that we have not one but two that we have partnered and negotiated to happen here,” he noted.
Brantley said the cast and crew of about 50 persons have already started to arrive in Nevis under strict COVID-19 protocols.
“…there has been no relaxation of our COVID-19 protocols, and so everyone coming in (that is) cast and crew for these movies will have to do the 14-day quarantine, have to do the testing that everyone else has to go through so we have not asked for any special favours and explained to [producer] Mr.[Phillipe] Martinez and his team that they would be required to adhere to the same standard as anyone else. They agreed and very pleased that he is here and others have already started to arrive.”
He said over 20 persons had already arrived including the stars adding “you will hear who the stars are in the fullness of time no doubt.”
He commended the COVID-19 Task Force and the front line workers “because being part of the negotiations I can tell you that the ultimate decision maker, the ultimate issue that pushed them towards Nevis is that we had such an exemplary record in relation to COVID-19. They knew that we were serious. They have seen it even in terms of my own discussions with them about the protocols and because they have in our protocols and because they confidence in what we have been able to achieve in terms of COVID-19 that is how we won over bigger and more established and better financed islands and countries in the region so I think it is a good day for Nevis…”
According to Nevis’ Premier: “The media and the exposure for Nevis from this, I think, could be a game changer and the fact the people internationally will now see Nevis as a film destination is for us a very important goal.”