In an effort to support the growth of Jamaica’s film, television, and animation industry, the government has announced the establishment of a $1 billion Jamaica Screen Fund.
Finance and Public Service Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke made the revelation during the 2023/24 Budget Debate, stating that the Fund would provide financing for the development and production of film and television shows in the country. The Fund will be established in partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, and the initial amount will be provided over two years, with $500 million being allocated for 2023/24.
Dr. Clarke noted that the Fund would enable creatives to devote time and sweat equity to developing their projects to the point where they can receive financing. He added that the Jamaica Screen Fund would also support the production of films locally by providing a defined percentage of the production costs up to a maximum contribution for local productions, with other percentages and thresholds for foreign films being shot in Jamaica once certain criteria are met.
Governance arrangements for the Jamaica Screen Fund will be multi-stakeholder, and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce will be responsible for them. Portfolio Minister Senator Aubyn Hill will publish the rules of the Jamaica Screen Fund, along with guidance on how to access grants and financing, including what is expected of writers, creatives, and production companies that receive support.
Dr. Clarke highlighted the film industry’s potential, stating that creative content production can significantly contribute to Jamaica’s economy and gross domestic product (GDP) growth.