SUNBIZ

LEADERS TALK: What Should Be Done To Attract More International Production Houses?

In recent times there has been an increase in film production in Fiji. Over the past few years, we have had a number of local and international films being shot
01 Aug 2015 10:59
LEADERS TALK: What Should Be Done To Attract More International Production Houses?
Ram Bajekal, Shaenaz Voss and Hamish McQuire

In recent times there has been an increase in film production in Fiji.

Over the past few years, we have had a number of local and international films being shot at various locations in Fiji, including for Bollywood and Hollywood.

These activities have a big impact on our tourism industry and provide a much-needed boost in the particular area.

The film industry has contributed $60 million of the total Gross Domestic Product.

Film knowledge in Fiji has grown drastically and this has been applied through education at school levels.

The HFC Kula Film Festival is an annual event hosted by Film Fiji, where various schools produce a film on topical issues. This platform depicts the focus the Government has on developing this sector.

The Government also has put in place other incentives that attract international production houses.

The biggest lure is the tax rebate. Government offers a 47 per cent rebate for movies shot in Fiji.

However, there is always room for improvement and there is much we can do to attract more international production houses.

Sun Business interviewed a few key members of the industry that have shared some light on ways we can further tap into the film sector.

 

Ram Bajekal, FMF Group Managing Director

In addition to Fiji’s 47% tax rebate that needs to continue, three things that will make filming in Fiji more attractive:

Film Fiji / local companies owning and leasing basic heavy equipment (e.g., lights, dollies/tracks, heavy duty jibs, cranes, grip trucks) that filmmakers today are forced to bring from overseas.

Well trained Fiji-based technical people to assist in filmmaking

Direct air services from India and other target countries.

 

Shaenaz Voss, Film Fiji Chairperson and Fiji Airways General Manager for Industry, International and Government affairs

We have had some big banners that have come and shot here already but as we move on and movies are getting more technically-advanced one of the things we need to get together is our infrastructure. In particular with equipment and things made available because a lot of the production houses travelling from a distance don’t really want to carry a lot of the stuff.

They would like to have equipment available here and we are working very closely with Tourism Fiji and Fiji Airways in participating in many forums as we can in regards to location forums. So we have our presence there and our tax rebate is the most attractive around and that has attributed to some of the productions that have come our way. However, generally it is the easy getting resources, facilities and equipment. So Film Fiji needs to basically look at how we can be beef up that area.

Secondly of course is having local talent that is readily available for these big productions to use because they don’t always want to bring extras or minor actors. If they can find the actors here, then obviously they will use them. One of the things we are doing and a good example is the Kula Film Festival with incorporated dance and film and arts. That is sort of allowing us to now tap into that talent and have that available.

Of course if we had a set up studio then that makes a huge impact but I think we aren’t at that stage yet. I think we are at the stage of getting our resources and facilities sorted out.

 

Hamish McGuire, Life Cinema General Manager

I have been only in the country for nine months so I am still getting to know the industry to a point. I think there needs to be improvement. It is a bit of piracy that is happening around Fiji that does affect people’s view of the country and bringing their productions here. There needs to be a bit more infrastructure to do with editing and the quality of the editors and the quality of the people who are in the industry – educating on the production side and the ability to assist in the production side of things.

 Feedback: rachael.nath@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

 

 

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: