by Clive Bacchus
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Is the Federation on the cusp of a new industry? Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris is optimistic about the country’s chances given its natural beauty, history, infrastructure, and its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sunday (March 21), Dr. Harris at a press briefing at the Christophe Harbour Marina, expressed appreciation to MSR Production for choosing St. Kitts and Nevis ahead of other countries, to produce the movie “One Year Off”.
” We are witnessing the birth of a new industry…one that will provide real jobs, high income, and real opportunities especially for our young people involved in hospitality and the creative industries, ” Dr. Harris declared in brief remarks
” At a mere 38, St. Kitts and Nevis is still a very young country with 65 percent of its population under 35. We are young numerically, we are young at heart and in spirit. It’s opportunities like this from MSR Productions that will help our young people reach their full potential.”
The prime minister revealed that film production in the Federation would inject about US$1million every four months into the economy.
MSR Producer of the movie “One Year Off”, Mr. Phillipe Martinez thanked the Cabinet for what he described as the “incredibly warm welcome” received here and emphasised that the key factor for the decision to film here was the incredible work done by the government in controlling the COVID-19 situation.
” We brought with us 50 crew members, I think we hired on top of that 45 local people. My greatest joy so far, aside from being in this beautiful country, is when I see that in the past few weeks we have trained another generation of crew member, ” Martinez said.
” The other day Mark (Premier Mark Brantley) came to visit us on the set and Tishaun, a local guy is now an assistant director and he was running the set. Locations are entirely people from here, make-up department, people from here. The challenge is to train people to make movies… the real infrastructure is the young people of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
“Our plan is to make six movies… this movie finish on Friday, and then on April 15 we are starting to produce a new movie …called “Assailant” which is a thriller.”
“One Year Off” is really a very beautiful, feel-good, poetic film … the long term plan is over the next six films train and set up an industry. And, frankly from what I see from the young guys and women working on the film, I think that in a year from now we will be in more than in a good shape, ” said Martinez.
Sunday’s press briefing was attended by members of the Cabinet and top public and private sector officials.
In February this year, MSR Media, the production company filming ‘One Year Off’ on the island of Nevis, issued a casting call to select Nevisians for various roles in the movie.
The comedy film was then described as the first of a two-movie production deal between MSR Media and the Nevis Island Administration.