And while the Film Festival is a lot about celebrating the best in submissions, it is also looks at how to move the budding film industry forward. At today’s “meet the press,” Whitfield and Fairweather were joined by Hollywood film producer Tracey Bing. The women say that for Belize to attract more interest from international film producers, it must look at tax incentives since there is a big market for international destinations that are tax friendly and can bring huge economic benefits.
Debra Fairweather, TV & Film Costume Designer
“With a lot of things that is going on in the world right now, and locations in films is just about everything. And so I think that Belize making itself more available as a possible location to shoot. A lot of American productions used to go, even European films used to go to Puerto Rico because they have the infrastructure; they have the availability and they have the people and the tax incentive. And we provide a great tax incentive. Please provide great tax incentives. – films would come here to work. Films will take on Belizeans as production assistants and you can be trained to work in different departments within the film industry but the biggest thing for anyone to come here to make films is the tax incentives. It is not called show business for nothing; it is a business. If we provide adequate tax incentives, films would flood here.”
Tracey Bing, Producer
“And people do that like when you are putting a movie together you say where can I shoot? Where does this movie lend itself that has a tax credit? Maybe it is Canada, Africa, Ohio. There is a location sort of expo that happens in L.A around May or something like that. All the countries come and present what they have going on and what the benefits are of shooting in their location. One of the first thin people ask are what are the tax incentives; how is it going to help me, how deep is your crew; all of those things.”
Lynn Whitfield, Emmy Award Winning Actress
“It is great for hotels; it’s great for dry cleaners; it’s great for beauticians, caterers, seamstresses.”
“It has the trickle effect. Carpenters, Photographers, Hotels, Photo labs. It is almost like every industry within every city with a population is affected by us coming in and doing a project. You are getting trained in a new profession; you are learning how to do it; you are working with creative people and collaborating. And there is always the possibility for growth and learning to be the producer or director and growing with the industry. And also moving with it where ever it goes and having the opportunity to travel with films and different projects.”