Film commission focuses in on festival

| 26/07/2011

(CNS): Grand Cayman may have its very own film festival in the not too distant future following the first steps by the Cayman Islands Film Commission to seek out proposals for producing the event. In a release about the terms of reference for interested parties by the commission on Monday officials said the goal was to promote the local film commission and the potential industryand raise awareness of the Cayman Islands’ potential as host to film and television projects. The concept of a film festival is a new area for the Cayman Islands and the commission said it hopes to follow in the steps of successful festivals around the world from Cannes to New Zealand.

“Through hosting this type of event the Cayman Islands will have a presence in an unexpected realm of engagement,” the film commission which is part of the department of commerce stated in the terms of reference which are now available.  “There is great value in this event, as it will ultimately drive visitation, which is the Department of Tourism’s top strategic objective.

The commission said it has collaborated with key stakeholders including the tourism department and Camana Bay in an effort to establish a joint approach.

“The potential in this event concept will allow the Cayman Islands to engage an affluent market of director, producers, actors and the like,” the commission stated. “In anticipation of the Film Festival growth, as with Camana Bay, DOT would focus on the event to generate and increase brand awareness which is the second priority for the Tourism Department.”

The Cayman Islands Film Commission (CIFC) was established in January 2009 to promote and develop a local film industry. As a government agency, it promotes the Cayman Islands as a prime location for film, television, music video, and advertising productions, and facilitates these productions with every aspect of production from development and pre-production through post-production. 
The CIFC acts as a liaison between film makers and local government agencies. It works to build capacity in the local entertainment community to create opportunities for Caymanians to write, produce, direct, and possibly finance their own projects entirely within the Cayman Islands.  Through an educational programme, locals are trained to aide incoming producers, studios, and productions as a whole.

So far the Cayman Islands has been the location of a around two dozen movies, short films and TV shows including the blockbuster The Firm, as well as home grown director Frankie Flowers’ Haven and of course who could forget the celluloid masterpiece that was The Cayman Triangle.

People interested in submitting proposals can read the full terms of reference below

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I dont have much faith in the film comision. I grew up in Cayman, Have status, my partner is Caymanian as well. We boh have degree's in Film, On numerous occasions I have tried to get in touch with the film commision, I wanted to let them know of my own experience in film and find out how I could get more involved in Film in Cayman. 

    There response was: "Join our mailing list"

    So until they prove otherwise to me, the things they write about Caymans Youth and educating youngsters in film. Is a load of rubbish.

    More like "hmm how can we make as much money as possible from production companies offshore that already have lots to spend…"

  2. Go, ready. set.... says:

    A film festival can be some fun. And It does not have to be a global extravaganza. A seed that could grow into something over the next few years. But… starting somewhere. 

    A weekend event that is focused on locals at this time and if there is merit… A real festival two or three years down the road. 

    An event for this year.

    Pirates week film festival. Have the theaters open at 10:00 am and show some classics. Have the TV station run the Pirates of the Caribbean series that week. Bet we could get Orlando Bloom here if he had a nice plane pick him up, a couple of nights at the Ritz and dinner at Blue. Great red carpet event if the Pirates show up in costume for the opening gala!.

    Maybe later on…

    Christmas film fest. Again… show them on TV, all day at the theaters. The guy from Home improvement would come, or Chevy Chase.

    Zombie movie festival…

    People would actually but plane tickets to come for this one. Lets get it on for Halloween.

    Tropical island…

    Get the big guy from Lost, he has not had his picture out lately., and Tom Hanks sent his regrets.

    James Bond, Sci-Fi, Star Trek, Batman, Superheros, HARRY POTTER!!!!

    Pick a theme, make it a weekend, Make it a few weekends, start somewhere, start small. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    The permit requirement for visiting "workers" stops this fantasy in its tracks.  It is the same reason there is no more annual circus carnival, no more airshow, no more top-name visiting entertainers and no more movies being made.  Unless we are willing to concede our requirements to visiting professionals (many actors/musicians have criminal records), we are just chewing the fat.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like other island nations with the same issues, Cayman Immigration should adopt a streamlined permit fee and process for highly skilled professionals in categories where there is an acute shortage of specialized talent.  Assess and grant these online and visitors could pay for these special "working tourist visas" at the airport on entry…make them valid for a maximum of 2 weeks.    

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a different truth to all this.  I don’t know about the circus carnival, but the air show was about a former disgruntled DOT employee that was relieved of the high paid position, who did not care about the rest of the islands. Call DOT and ask around….  I don’t understand why we should diminish our laws for actors/musicians that have criminal records just because they are a celebrity.  Isn’t that encouraging to the rest of the community?  You aren’t allowed in with your criminal record…oh wait…You are rich and famous?!  Come right in! Influence our young and vulnerable to imitate your lifestyle which we are formally approving by allowing you in and providing an exception.


      The movie issue just needs individuals in place that know how the industry works and for them to set the rules to facilitate the industry.  The lawmakers will make the rules as necessary.  If there is no one pushing for the industry the prohibitive laws will remain.

    • truth says:

      Chewing the fat.  that is a Great way to discribe all the complaining but never fixing anything in Grand Cayman.  Its also a great way to discribe all the many many crazy, unworkable, and in some cases just plain dumb ideas to bring more of other peoples money to Cayman without having to deal with the other people.  Real money can only come from hard work or having something of value to trade for.  If the top minds on Cayman could only factor that in maybe they would stop failing at everything.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hello there, please correct me if im wrong (and im sorry if I have misinterpreted what you are saying). 

        It kind of sounds like you are saying film making/acting etc isn't real hard work?


  4. Truth Police says:

    How about focusing on getting some active film projects going in the Cayman Islands on a routine basis before trying to be "Cannes"?

    Cart before the horse, don't you think?  How can you have a film festival with no films being actively worked on in the islands.  No local ones, no international ones, no Hollywood or Canadian studio projects?  I mean, are there any going on currently…haven't heard anything.  According to this list on their website, the only BIG grossing film ever made in Cayman in some part or fashion was: The Firm.  I see National Lampoon's Last Resort, so there's some name brand recognition to that one, but the rest on that list?  What are they, straight-to-video movies?  Big deal.  And they were done WITHOUT a commission. 

    I rented Haven, and I'm happy that somebody made a decent movie from Cayman.  Was it a blockbuster, no, but it was a good attempt by a talented person. 

    Cayman Went?  What? Huh?  Never heard of it.

    And have there been any films made SINCE the commission started in 2009?

    Answer according to their own website listing: No.

    Their site is just a billboard basically for what 'could be".  And that's great, but I hope someone behind the scenes is pressing the flesh and glad-handing producers and industry pros to get down to Cayman and actually DO something here.  Even the Press Release page shows no press releases posted in 2010 or 2011.  So this one must be the first they've let loose since May of 2009. 

    Need help?  I'm a media, marketing professional with a few ties in the biz here and there.  Get in touch.  I'd be on the phone all day and night trying to get projects here and putting the word out 24/7 about the commission's activities.  I mean, that's what a Commission official should be doing, is it not?

  5. Anonymous says:

    did elio sololom write this press release??…… full of cliched managment speak…… so many word and so little to say

  6. Anonymous says:

    There has already been an announcement of a Cayman Islands Film Festival.  Is this just a ploy by the CIFC to undercut the effort underway?


    • Anonymous says:

      Underwater Film Festival is different and much under promoted by the same authority.

        • Anonymous says:

          650 hits – looks like it's going VIRAL!  

          But seriously, they even state on that website that they are planning to partner with the DOT so what's your beef?  

          • Anonymous says:

            No real beef.  Just wondering:  if the Cayman Film Festival is already partnering with DoT and (one might assume) the Film Commission, why is the Film Commission soliciting for persons interested in putting on a film commission?  Seems like that would undercut their "partner".

            I realize that government is well-known for jumping from partner to partner on various projects and never really accomplishing anything but does all of government have to follow that practice?


          • Anonymous says:

            From the article in today's Compass, it seems like there are several persons who thought they had partnered with DoT.

            Ask the people mentioned in the article if they have a beef.


  7. Anonymous says:

    that movie sucked.

  8. Dare to Dream says:

    I think the Film Festival is a great idea.  There are quitea few people on island who would welcome this idea.  Just a correction to the person who recommended that we celebrate Jonkannu instead . That is another splended idea but we would not be the only people doing that as suggested.  Jonkannu is celebrated in many caribbean  countries including Jamaica, Bahamas, Belize, St. Kits, Nevis, Guyana and Bemuda. 

  9. Ashleigh Miller says:

    I'm happy that Cayman has established a film commission. As a media student it gives light that I may actually one day be able to work in Cayman successfully engaging in the degree I studied.

    As for the way Cayman is protrayed in films in a negative light, they need to get over that. We'll always be seen that way, that's just fact. Being known as a money laundering establishment may in turn bring more finances to Cayman!

    But supurb for Cayman's film committee. There are more and more young people here that are away studying videography, film, music, production etc that fear they won't be able to return to Cayman since there is no market for what we study here. I'll love to see that not be the cae if this kicks off.



  10. Anonymous says:

    Promoting film in Cayman, like when they cancelled  the Jessica Alba film 'Into the Blue' because the script projected Cayman in negative light; just a short time later 'Haven' was filmed and later released- watch those back to back and see that although both show more than a glint to the negative side of what drugs and greed can do, only one shows off the wonderous beauty of what would attract thousands to our shore – the gorgeous underwater photography of 'Into the Blue".

    Take a look at this link to see where producers went when Cayman wasn't interested and where subsequent films were shot as the word got out about the 'run around' given to produce in Cayman:  

     Note an excerpt from the opening paragraph 'incentives offered by the government' – not speedbumpts, hurtles and  barriers.

    Yes, Let us embrace future fim projects here. I am suprised to see DOT promoting 'homegrown' – I would have so liked to see a gorgeous picture , be it underwater or something of our wonderful beaches or botanic park as their 'poster child'

    Lets learn from our mistakes!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, do we actually employ people in a Film Commission?!?  What do they do all day?

    • Anonymous says:

      I know of a popular music video filmed in Cayman last year.  After contacting The Film Commission (at my suggestion) several times to no response, the producer and actors simply went to Cayman with a state-of-the-art camera, recruited local help and got it all done in 3 days. While on location, the Caymanians pointed out that if they'd relied on The Film Commission, it would have taken them 10 times longer and cost so much more.

  12. Anonymous says:

    sounds like a press release so that CIFC can justify its existence………what have they done since 2009?

  13. Anonymous says:

    I wish this group all the best. But why not do something unique to our heritage and different from everyone else, like Jonkonnu? We would be the only ones in the world to celebrate this. It represents a part of our history. We should be proud of how far we have come as a people, without forgetting where we come from. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Johnkonnu, was always a part of the Bodden Town New Years Day Garden Party years ago.  Unfortunately the people who promoted it and kept up the concept, are no longer with us.  Our younger generation are not interested.  In recent years we were able to get a few people interestedand had a small showing.  Years ago, Johnkonnu was the highlight of the Bodden Town Garden Party.  

      In Nassau, Bahamas they run Johnkonnu.


    • Anonymous says:

      Isn't Jonkanu (sp) a Bahamian festival?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a slave celebration.  Jonkonnu literally translates to: "Sounds of the Slaves".  

      Not many of those left here, and current laws will prohibit the replacement and reprocurement of new ones to run the show; although a previous poster did suggest there may be some in Bodden Town.

      • Anonymous says:

        Shallow mind.  Jonkonno was a form of entertainment back in the good old days.  You could could graduate to being one and many more would join you.  I am not one of the slave you referred to but I am old enough to remember the things that took place over 60 years ago.

        Was slavery a disgrace?  I would not want for history to repeat itself, but I am sure some of us could learn from it.