Movie industry: The entire Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis benefits, says PM Harris

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, October 28, 2021 (MMS-SKN) — One of Team Unity’s campaign promises during the 2020 election has come to fruition, putting the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis firmly on the world stage and benefiting both islands in equal measure.

During our last election campaign, the Team Unity administration proclaimed that we will build out an entertainment industry, and to ensure maximum benefits are delivered to our people, a new Ministry would be established to implement Government’s vision for the new sector,” said Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris on Thursday October 28 at his monthly press conference held at NEMA’s conference room in Lime Kiln, West Basseterre.

Prime Minister Harris, who is also the Minister of Finance and Human Resource Management, recalled that no sooner than Team Unity was elected they created the Ministry of Entertainment, Talent Development and Entrepreneurship.

He observed that Team Unity’s Manifesto commitments then, are being fulfilled, and it is a sign of their focused attention on the people’s progress and development even at a very challenging time. Also present at the press conference was Minister with responsibility for the new ministry, the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett.

“Managing a country during this pandemic is by no means an easy task,” said the Honourable Prime Minister. “By the end of 2020 according to the IMF our beloved St. Kitts and Nevis had the best record of management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your government has remained committed to preserving life and livelihoods during this pandemic. It is our superb management that led Mr Phillipe Martinez of MSR Media to come to St. Kitts and Nevis to produce his films.”

Before MSR Media came to the Federation, the country was fortunate to have its first movie for 2021, ‘Below Deck’ being filmed at the Park Hyatt Hotel on St. Kitts. Dr Harris informed that the first episode of ‘Below Deck’ was aired on Monday night, October 25, and it gave not just host island St. Kitts but the entire Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis amazing positive exposure. It introduced not just the island of St. Kitts, but the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to an audience of millions.

“The reality is that when St. Kitts rises, the whole Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis benefits and the inverse is also true because when Nevis rises, the entire Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis benefits,” said the Prime Minister. “This is true because we are one – one Federation, one destination, but most importantly, we are one people. So I advise that we will continue to work together as one.”

He further observed that it is anticipated that the airing of films produced by MSR Media on the island of Nevis will positively impact not just the island of Nevis but the entire Federation. He added: “Again I remind us all – we are one people, one Federation and we must cooperate even more for mutual advancement and development.” 

In a very difficult year, 2020, God smiled on the Federation and brought a blessing out of the misfortune of the Covid-19 pandemic. The first international movie ‘Below Deck’ was produced in St. Kitts, the second, third, and fourth movies were produced on sister island of Nevis and the fifth movie, Christmas in the Caribbean, is to be filmed on the island of St. Kitts.

According to Dr Harris, the country is moving in the right direction, and benefits will accrue to all the people with more jobs, more incomes, new careers, and a chance to further develop their talents.

“Last Saturday’s media announcement by the principal of MSR Media of its intention to do five movies on St. Kitts starting in November must be very good news for all patriots of our Federation,” said Prime Minister Harris. “Mr Martinez could have taken these five films to any other country – Barbados, Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda next door, Aruba or any other, but he chose our Federation, thereby increasing jobs here, bringing visitors to our Federation, and keeping the spotlight on the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis as a whole.”

More movie producers will come to St. Kitts and Nevis, predicted Dr Harris. He noted that the country can realise a sustainable movie industry with year-round production that will create sustainable jobs, higher incomes for the people, new opportunities for the country’s artistes – its videographers, photographers, movie crew, event planners like Mr Vaughn Anslyn of Nevis, and caterers among others.

“Right here in our Federation our creative young people will get real life experiences working with acclaimed professionals associated with MSR and other producers to come,” has said. “This situation is expected to yield significant benefits for all our people.”

Picture right: Minister of Entertainment, Entrepreneurship and Talent Development the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett at the Press Conference. Left top: Members of Cabinet. Left bottom: A cross section of persons at the Press Conference.

Updating the press conference, that also included ministers the Hon Eugene Hamilton, Hon Lindsay Grant, Hon Jonel Powell, Hon Wendy Phipps and Hon Vincent Byron J, on new developments in the movie industry, the Prime Minister congratulated Kittitian Mr Nigel Lewis aka “Tru Capo” on his licensing deal. He advised that Tru Capo’s film ‘A Rose Between Thorns’ now has international recognition and he is making his mark as a producer.

Featured Image – Prime Minister Harris with from right: MSR Producer Mr Phillipe Martinez, MSR actor Mr Edouardo Costa, and MSR lead actress Ms Elizabeth Hurley at Kittitian Hill during a Media Event on Saturday October 23.

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