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Antigua & Barbuda Launches Film Program Worth Millions

gaston browneThe twin island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is setting its sights on “becoming the economic powerhouse of the Caribbean” by pushing for a lucrative film industry.

Film producer Rudy Langlais (his work includes The Hurricane and Sugar Hill) along with his business partners, entrepreneur Valmiki Kempadoo, veteran film executive Neil Sacker and veteran film producer Don Allan have closed an equity financing agreement with the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

 

The agreement will see $125 million invested in the introduction of an on-going commitment to film production on the twin island, beginning with a slate of 5 feature films.

The agreement was announced at the recent Toronto International Film Festival.

The deal is part of the freshly-created Golden Island Film Works, which in itself is an independent feature film finance and production entity run by Langlais and his aforementioned business partners.

The first five feature films have an expected cumulative expenditure of $250 million, with each film budgeted between $20 million and $85 million, and will be produced through Golden Islands Filmworks in collaboration with the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

A portion of all films on the slate will be shot on location in Antigua, which will in turn pump millions of dollars back into its economy, while simultaneously creating more jobs and employment opportunities. Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne released the following statement:

“Welcome to the start of this new day in the history of my nation, the Caribbean and worldwide cinema – the further transformation of Antigua and Barbuda as the economic powerhouse of the Caribbean through the power and art of film. We are welcoming the leading directors, actors and filmmaking technicians of the world to Antigua and they are coming to create exciting films that capture the beauty, mystery, history and complexity of our country, our history, our people.”

Langlais feels that, with the Caribbean producing such great talent in so many areas, it is only natural that the next area would be film. He stated,

“My partners and I had a dream more than ten years ago, that the Caribbean, which has produced brilliant statesmen like Alexander Hamilton, Nobel Prize-winning poets and novelists, Walcott and Naipaul, legendary athletes like Sobers and Richards and Bolt, and perhaps the world’s greatest cultural icon in Bob Marley, should add its “voice” now to filmmaking. We have wanted to join our colleagues around the world to share our stories and join in telling stories together. Now that time is here. Exciting films will come of this collaboration.”

By: Danielle Dixon

Follow her on Twitter: @tooprettydani

 

 

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