KINGSTON, Jamaica, last Tuesday Prime Minister Andrew Holness said his Government is open to finding ways to stimulate the production of blockbuster films in Jamaica.
With scenes from the 25th James Bond film being shot in Jamaica, Holness said the island’s enviable location as well as its contribution to pop culture should be leveraged and converted “to our economic benefit”.
“Film is one way this can be done. I believe that having parts of the James Bond movie shot here is a start in Jamaica getting a foothold in developing a presence in the movie industry,” he said.
This is not the first time that Jamaica has been featured in a James Bond flick, as the country was showcased in the 1962 film, ‘Dr. No’, and in ‘Live and Let Die’.
Holness described the James Bond movie franchise as “distinctly Jamaican in its origin” and noted that it is a “compliment to the country and a great honour that the producers and owners of the James Bond brand would seek to do Daniel Craig’s final outing as the hero in Jamaica”.
“Jamaica has always been an exotic location and we have name recognition, so people are always very curious to see what the island has to offer. Our scenery, the flora and fauna are distinct, once they appear on screen,” he said.
For her part, Film Commissioner Reneé Robinson has estimated that the economic impact of the film will be significant for the island, “with production expenditure multiplying throughout the economy – from hotel rooms to catering, in both goods and services”.
“It has been several months behind the scenes of scouting, meetings, negotiations, and planning, with our local production personnel working beside the international crews to confirm the location and ensure that production starts smoothly,” Robinson added.
One of the producers behind the film, Barbara Broccoli, on a recent visit to the island, lauded Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister Olivia Grange for their role in facilitating the filming project.
Broccoli also noted that a total of 500 people have been employed on the film project.
Expected to be released in 2020, the yet-to-be-titled film finds James Bond leaving active service and enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) friend Felix Leiter turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected.
So when you travel to Jamaica be sure to look out for some of the locations where movies have been filmed in the past.