April 22, 2010

This past weekend Belize's Film Commissioner Nigel Miguel and Film Commission Facilitator Suzette Zayden attended the 25th Locations Trade Show in Santa Monica, California. The three day event, organized by the Film Commissioner International, gave participants a chance to showcase film locations from all over the world. This was for the benefit of Studio producers and locations managers in Los Angeles who are looking for the next big new location. Love News spoke with Miguel earlier today.

Nigel Miguel; Film Commissioner

"The purpose of us going to that expo was to allow us to see as an entity what we are up against competition wise and some of the new rules and advantages that other countries are offering production or studios to come film their. This year we did not have a both per say but we were invited by locations expo because I had gotten accepted into the International Film Commission's Association. That was also part of the reason why were there. I had my final meeting with the committee and everything is a thumbs up. It gave us a chance to see everything that was going on from a budget stand point that wasn't there this year because of the planning but we have already planned for it to be a part of our 2010/2011 budget and Belize will be represented fully there."

Miguel says that while Belize falls short when it comes to infrastructure it can be marketed for its natural beauty and close proximity to the US.

Nigel Miguel

"We are putting a whole package together with obviously just filming but also from a tourism side because if a film or production is done here like an hour and thirty minute commercial, from a TV show to a movie to a video as long as they know it is Belize and we are promoting Belize. I think it is a win-win situation. I would like to have, next year, for someone from the Ministry of Finance to come with us. We are putting together proposals to where we can present an extensive package so that we can compete with other countries in the region. The main thing is that we see this across the board, government and private sector, that we see this as an opportunity to put Belize forward and show it in its best light. What other counties don't have that we have are natural resources and so many different types of terrain and individuals within a small country. What they do have that we do not have yet is just the infrastructure and the packaging from a governmental stand point that will allow us to compete. Once we get that going I think the sky is the limit."

The expo was held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium from April fifteenth to April seventeenth.

Live and let live