By RON FANFAIR
Jamaica is an attractive and idyllic location for filming, Robert Kerr, the country’s Trade & Invest manager responsible for investment support services reminded a gathering at a networking event in the city last week to coincide with the Toronto International Film Festival that concluded last Sunday. Kerr added that Jamaica is a low-cost destination that inspires creativity. “Telling stories from Jamaica is the main mandate of our unit, but I will also remind international filmmakers that we have historic churches, underground caves and scenic waterfalls that could serve as perfect backdrops and settings to produce your movies,” he said. “We want to continue the process of building on what we already have and also capitalize on the Jamaican brand which has never been as strong as it is right now in the wake of Usain Bolt’s tremendous record-breaking performances and the sterling accomplishments of our athletes.” Actress Tonya Lee Williams joined Kerr in inviting Jamaican and other Caribbean storytellers living in Toronto to tell the fascinating stories that exist in the islands. “There is a lot of history and stories to be told,” she said. “Jamaica also possesses natural beauty and scenery.” The audience observed a minute’s silence for Jamaican playwright Trevor Rhone who suffered a fatal heart attack earlier in the day. Among the popular movies filmed in Jamaica are Live and Let Die, Cool Runnings, GoldenEye, The Mighty Quinn, Marked for Death and Popcorn. The Jamaica Trade & Invest Creative Industries Unit and the Jamaica Consulate in Toronto, which collaborated to host the special film industry networking event in downtown Toronto, have been actively pursuing a Canadian-Jamaican co-production treaty with Canada that would provide Jamaican and Canadian investors with increased access to available funding for film projects. Since 1984, the Jamaican Film Commission has serviced nearly 3,000 film projects, ranging from feature films and documentaries to music videos.