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Film Stakeholders on board with industry development plans

Published: 
Friday, July 14, 2017
Leon Forde, Associate Director, Olsberg SPI; Jason Radix, Consulting Partner for Olsberg SPI; Nneka Luke, General Manager, FilmTT; and Jonathan Olsberg, Chairman, Olsberg SPI. PHOTO: BAIN PHOTOGRAPHY

The 120-plus stakeholders who attended FilmTT’s Stakeholder Meeting on July 10 left feeling optimistic at the future of Trinidad and Tobago’s film, animation and audio-visual sector. This was the first meeting in two years hosted by the T&T Film Company Limited (FilmTT), the state agency charged with business development and film commission services of the sector, and it was an important and necessary step in ensuring that FilmTT and its stakeholders are on the same page.

FilmTT’s General Manager, Nneka Luke, shared key information on the company’s operations as well as the current state of the industry. “FilmTT has two main roles - a developmental role and a film commission role - both of which go hand in hand. The 2016/2017 fiscal year has been one of transition for FilmTT as we have used this time to lay the foundation for tangible growth initiatives, including the development of a five to ten-year strategic plan for the industry.”

Luke introduced stakeholders to Olsberg SPI, the company hired to research and develop the strategic plan for the local film industry. Formed in 1992, Olsberg SPI is a creative industries strategy consultancy that provides high-level advice to public and private sector clients, specialising in the areas of film, television and digital media. Jonathan Olsberg, Chairman of Olsberg SPI and Leon Forde, Associate Director, were both present and provided stakeholders with their proposed methodology and project deliverables. They also urged stakeholders to actively participate in the research process, which may be in the forms of surveys and interviews. Luke added, “This strategic plan will benefit all; the more input we get from our stakeholders the better the outcome of the plan. We will work together, learn from the past, and keep building up the T&T film industry and each other.”

Stakeholders also shared concerns about impediments in the industry over the past couple of years and highlighted that some gaps such as lack of box office tracking, unclear distribution channels and obstacles with the importation of purchased equipment for T&T production companies still exist. Luke acknowledged these gaps and shared that FilmTT will be looking at addressing these and other issues in the industry value chain through the strategic plan.

At the end of the discussions, stakeholders were generally on board and eager to work alongside FilmTT and Olsberg SPI to ensure that the sector has a bright future. FilmTT will continue to keep the channels of communication open between throughout the strategic plan developmental process to ensure transparency and stakeholder involvement.

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