PM Harris: Federal Government Committed To Building World-Class Film Industry

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, March 21, 2021 (MMS-SKN) — The Federation is currently hosting MSR Media as it produces ‘One Year OFF’ and Prime Minister and Minister of Human Resource Management and Information, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, has said the activity will put St. Kitts and Nevis more firmly on the map as a filming destination.

“What brings us here at this very special idyllic area of St. Kitts and Nevis is a very exciting project which MSR has brought to the shores of St. Kitts and Nevis, and in a way it is signalling to our people that now in this challenging time of Covid-19, it is still an exciting time – an exciting time to be an actor or an artiste in our Federation,” observed Prime Minister Harris on Sunday March 21 at the MSR Media ‘One Year OFF’ Media Briefing that was held at the Christophe Harbour Marina, Southeast Peninsula.

Prime Minister Harris noted that the film production, which had been on-going on the Island of Nevis, while filming started in St. Kitts for the first time just before the media briefing, will inject interest and curiosity in the global community, and will put St. Kitts and Nevis more firmly on the map as a filming destination.

“I assure you Mr (Philippe) Martinez (Producer, MSR Production) that my Government is here to work with you, as the Task Force has been doing over the last several weeks, as you work with us to build a world-class film and creative industry right here in our beautiful Federation. We are committed to supporting independent producers. I hope that this is the start of many, many more productions and of course with many, many more producers.”

Prime Minister Harris, who also has lead responsibility for Human Resource Development, Health and HIV/AIDS issues in the CARICOM’s quasi-cabinet, noted that MSR Production chose St. Kitts and Nevis over other highly rated filming destinations solely because of the way the country has successfully managed the Covid-19 pandemic and he praised members of the Covid-19 National Task Force. He introduced those that were present.

“Clearly we are winning the fight against Covid-19, and of course your presence here will help us to do that,” pointed out the Honourable Prime Minister. “I understand that in terms of contribution to the economy that every four months you will be injecting about US$1,000,000 in our economy.”

Added Dr Harris: “But of course this production will do much more than that. It will inject in excitement amongst young people that they can have a career in film industry and they do not have to leave our beautiful paradise to be part of the film industry – you have brought the film industry right here and we thank you very much for that.”

The media briefing which was chaired by Director General of St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS), Mr Lesroy Williams, and had welcome remarks from the Chief Executive of St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Ms Racquel Browne, was also addressed by the Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports, the Hon Lindsay Grant.

Present at the media briefing included the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Premier of Nevis the Hon Mark Brantley, Minister of Health et al the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett, Minister of Labour et al the Hon Wendy Phipps, and Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Hon Vincent Byron who also heads the Mitigation Council.

Also present were members of the Covid-19 National Task Force, Chairman Mr Abdias Samuel, Chief Medical Officer Dr Hazel Laws, and Superintendent Cromwell Henry. Others included Permanent Secretaries Mrs Carlene Henry-Morton (Tourism) and Ms Cheryleann Pemberton (ICT, Entertainment et al), President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Mrs Giselle Matthew, and TDC Executive Director, Mr Nick Menon.

“I want to acknowledge the hard work of my Cabinet colleagues both at the level of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and at the Federal Government, whose hard work brought this opportunity into reality,” observed Prime Minister Harris. “Indeed today the film industry in St. Kitts and Nevis is being given a real boost.”

Thanking Producer of MSR Production, Mr. Philippe Martinez, for making St. Kitts and Nevis his home over the last several weeks, the Honourable Prime Minister observed that he was aware that the crew and cast were enjoying themselves as he had seen their photos as they savoured moments of interaction with the local community at Sunshine’s Bar in Nevis.

“There are many, many more stories and many, many more characters and many more places like Sunshine’s Bar right here on our beautiful Federation, and we challenge you to capture their stories and to internationalise the story of life and living in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr Harris. “We give you the permission to tell our genuine story to the rest of the world.”

Prime Minister Harris had earlier tol+ have ‘One Year OFF’, and I hope next year we will be celebrating ‘One Year ON’.”

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