Permanent Secretary, Norris Herbert, delivers remarks at ttff’s Business Seminar

Source: Ministry of Trade and Industry

On Thursday 20th September, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Investment, Mr. Norris Herbert, delivered the following opening remarks at day one of the trinidad+tobago film festival 2-day Business Seminar sponsoed by FilmTT:

"Good morning.

On behalf of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, CreativeTT and FilmTT, it is my pleasure to open the 2018 Business Seminar, hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival and sponsored by FilmTT.

In its 13-year history, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival has created a platform for local audiences to discover the power and value of seeing our stories come to life on screen. It has also been one of the key contributors to capacity building in the film sector through annual training and information exchange on all aspects of the film industry.

This 2-day Business Seminar continues that important work, introducing attendees to the critical tools required for building knowledge in their chosen industry. This session ensures that participants can fully engage in the Business of Film and is also testament to their commitment to understanding their niche.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry, as the line Ministry for FilmTT and CreativeTT, recognises the value of the creative sector, and particularly the film sector, in the Ministry’s ongoing work to diversify our economy away from traditional energy sources. The global creative economy has demonstrated consistent growth within the last decade. Due in large part to the resilient and sustainable nature of the human resources on which this economy is based, creative sectors internationally have continued to thrive, even in the face of economic downturn in more traditional sectors.

In December 2015, UNESCO commissioned and published Cultural Times: The first global map of cultural and creative industries, a survey that quantified the global economic and social contribution of this important sector. The publication noted that:
“Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) generate US$2.25 billion in revenues [or 3% of the world’s GDP] and 29.5 million jobs worldwide; CCI employs 1% of the world’s active population.”

The study also stated that for Latin America and the Caribbean, in 2013, the creative economy generated US$124 billion in revenue, and created 1.9 million jobs. These statistics demonstrate the measurable value of the global Creative Industries. Trinidad and Tobago therefore has the potential for success in the film and audio-visual sector through the articulation of a clear vision for development, strategic investment in infrastructure and ideas, and leveraging a collaborative network.

While more than 80 feature films have been produced in Trinidad and Tobago in nearly 50 years, the last few years have provided examples of T&T films that have not only screened locally, but through the development of business strategies for the production, are finding audiences and potential sales regionally and internationally. Through film festivals, film markets and sales and distribution companies, there is reinforcement of the need for the business infrastructure behind the creative idea. Bazodee, The Cutlass, Green Days by the River and most recently, Moving Parts and Unfinished Sentences are manifestations of this fact.

This Business Seminar is well-positioned to equip you with the tools to approach your next production with consideration of the full film value chain, from Development to Exhibition.

As the state agency responsible for the sustainable development of the film sector, and as the country’s film commission, FilmTT is currently working to develop and implement projects designed to positively impact industry development, and attracting productions to shoot in Trinidad and Tobago. The Government remains committed to creating more opportunities to engage with all our stakeholders on the exciting and important work of developing the Trinidad and Tobago film industry. The coordinators of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival on are congratulated for the successful implementation of the festival’s 13th instalment. To the participants I wish you a productive Business Seminar.

I thank you."