Welcome to ‘Caymallywood!’

| 02/02/2009

(CNS): Cayman’s glitterati were out in full force on Friday evening for the launch of the Cayman Islands Film Commission (CIFC), an initiative by the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau to try and encourage Hollywood’s film makers to come to Cayman and put us in the movies. With The Firm, Haven, Cayman Went and others already under its belt there is hope that, with a one-stop shop film commission movie makers could be persuaded that Cayman has what they need.

Speaking to an audience of local dignitaries and even Hollywood celebs, at Camana Bay, Charles Clifford, Minister for Tourism said that it would create new economic opportunities for Cayman. He said everyone such as drivers, hoteliers, retailers as well as local film makers and actors would benefit from the project.

“The film industry is one of the most resilient industries in the world so we feel we doing the right thing creating a film commission,” he said adding that it would be promoted by the DoT around the world. “As we launch the commission tonight I encourage you to spread the word.”

Dax Basdeo the Director of the CIB said it was the first step towards an exciting opportunity for Cayman. He said aside from the location, the reputation of customer service, there was a pool of talented individuals and a creative element in Cayman that would help the commission to succeed. He said the commission was important development as it would provide a one stop shop to help film makers with all of their needs. “The foundation is in place, the talent is poised and the stage is set for us to develop the local film industry,” he added.

Celebrity John O’Hurley was alsoencouraging and his amusing key note speech he said Cayman had put itself up to compete in the world and it needed three basic things which included organised production facilities, with hospitality second to none and incentive programmes.

“Films will not come to any place anymore unless somebody has done that,” he said.  The good news he said was that Cayman had an extraordinary story to tell and had the tax incentives as well as the talent and extraordinary hospitality which was crucial. He said if Cayman got it right it could make money. “When the circus comes to town they pay big bucks but it you don’t have it organised the circus doesn’t come,” O’Hurley added.

The two drivers behind the creation of the commission are Justin Berfield, a US actor who played Reese in Malcolm in the Middle and Jason Felts who have been volunteering their skill and services to help shape the commission. The first major step in the promotion has been the production of a DVD show reel which highlights Cayman’s potential as a location. The short film shows that Cayman is not just beaches and underwater scenes but has all the same things one would find in the US, from churches to supermarkets, as well as historic and natural sites that could be utilised for numerous film, commercial, TV or documentary productions.

The need for a film commission is according to the bureau to create a one stop shop that can help film producers through the necessary legal steps and source talent to help them when they choose Cayman as their film location.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Frank E Flowers was invited to the launch and has been involved in the launch of the CIFC. Reading previous press papers would convey this. 

  2. Leanne Eden says:

    I just have one question, how could the Commission not involve or incorporate talented Caymanians such as Frankie Flowers, Tigerlily "Tamara" Hill and Selita Ebanks! These three individuals have obviously worked in Hollywood either behind the cameras or been in front of it, in Frankie’s case he brought his circus home. The proof is in the pudding – see below (all you have to do is google or IMDb these people to get the facts). They should at least be the face of what we as Caymanians have to offer! why were they not involved?

    Frank E. Flowers (credit:Frankie Flowers)-Director, Writer

    Tigerlily Hill (credit:Tamara Hill) – Wardrobe/Costume/Fashion Designer, Televsion Personality

    Selita Ebanks – Model, Actress


  3. Burns Conolly says:

    Film Controls? I Hope So.


    I hope that the past films noted in this article, The Firm and Haven, are not to be examples of the future films to come from Cayman’s new Film Commission.

    As we know, The Firm has been seen as the single most damaging item in the history of the Caymanian Financial industry.  Most people overseas only know of the Cayman Islands through the eyes of Tom Criuse and The Firm, and illicit activity — that image has lasted for 20 years now.

    I hope that Government, in setting up this commission, has put in place the ability to assist those films that do not damage our image any further and reject those films that would do harm.