Categorized | Business

Gov’t Seeks To Resurrect Movie Industry

The Christie administration is looking to resurrect the film industry in Grand Bahama as a way to add new facets to the country’s number one industry and provide a much needed boost to that island’s ailing economy.

In fact, while speaking with Journal Business recently, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said work has already begun to breathe life into the movie industry.

“We have some good plans for Grand Bahama. In fact, I feel very confident today because I know we are working on a movie right now,” he said.

“I spoke with the person responsible for films in the Ministry of Tourism and there is something in the works right now. We are happy for that and we are going to be talking about that real soon.”

There have been talks that there was a Bahamian-led group that was interested in purchasing Gold Rock Creek Studios – a movie studio with a large tank that was featured in two Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Previously, there were two failed attempts by the Bahamas Film-Invest International group to acquire the Bahamas Film Studios from former principal Ross Fuller.

That deal was held up by a wrangle between Fuller and the government over the land allotted to the studio.

The wait period stemmed from an earlier decision by the government – the owner of the land – to take back most of the 3,000 acres attached to the studio site.

Mr. Fuller reportedly severed all ties with the studio in 2010.

In 2005, Gold Rock Creek Enterprises inked a contract with the then Christie administration to develop the Bahamas Film Studios.

At the time, the $75-million state-of-the-art recording and movie production studio was intended to include an 8,000-ft runway, a dock along the Port Authority area boundary and installations of tracking and communications devices along the coast for about five miles.

The studio was also to include a theme park and a 141-room hotel.

But Minister Wilchcombe said the government has not given up on its dream of developing the industry.

“We are going to take that entire film division and try to create a film industry emanating out of Grand Bahama. And the good thing about it is that we have some components there now like the tank. It needs some work and we have to put some other things there. But I have given the directive for them to get going. So that’s already started,” he said.

Minister Wilchcombe said that’s not the only thing in store for Grand Bahama.

“In addition to that, we are going to be working on getting more airlifts into Grand Bahama so we are going to be talking to other airlines and we have been already and we are talking to some charter services as well. So a lot of things are happening but we have a definitive plan that we are going to take advantage of in a couple of weeks,” he said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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