The Hon. Ralph Higgs, Minister of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Maritime and Gaming has today announced plans are afoot for the formation of the TCI Film Commission (TCFC).
It is envisaged that the Commission will operate under the Tourist Board and will be responsible for all activities associated with inward filming and photographic activities, outward filming development and distribution, establishment of business opportunities to support both endeavors and in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, the encouragement of educational opportunities to expand both activities in our schools and community.
In a parallel development, the Minister has encouraged the creation of the TURKS AND CAICOS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (TCIFF) with highly-respected industry executive Colin Burrows as its Director. The TCIFF will be a private, not-for-profit local organization that will host the three-day festival, which will focus on the dual themes of the ocean and the environment; strands called BLUE AND GREEN will showcase the best dramas and documentaries that address these themes. A companion strand, YOUNG TURKS, will highlight the achievements of the islands’ own film-making community. An eleven-member committee has been working for the past 6 months to develop a framework and working organization to bring the Festival to fruition. Fundraising and marketing activities will begin shortly.
Festival Director, Colin Burrows, states: “Every week we hear another news story about the state of our oceans or damage to our reef systems. When you live on a Caribbean island, surrounded by one of the world’s best-preserved barrier reefs and where these precious eco-systems are critical to your survival in the event of a hurricane, such stories are particularly close to home. We want to celebrate what we have and explore ways to make sure it stays pristine for the next generation.”
The Festival will take place in the high end resort areas of Grace Bay and Long Bay on Providenciales, the most populated island in the Turks and Caicos, from November 15th to 17th, 2019. Grace Bay beach is regularly voted the best beach in the world.* The TCI tourist board slogan is “Beautiful by Nature.” The idea for a film festival has been tried in the destination before, however, Minister Higgs feels that this time we have the right formula for a successful and sustainable annual event. This revised energy for a festival was born out of the passage of Irma and Maria in September 2017, and the core themes of the festival “ocean and environment” will be highlighted to show how, local entrepreneurs and the creative community realised there was all the more reason to celebrate the country’s resilience.
“The Turks and Caicos Islands are well established as a luxury brand for celebrities, and we already have many travellers from Hollywood enjoying Turks and Caicos opulence,” adds Colin Burrows. “But there is a vibrant and entrepreneurial local community that is sometimes overlooked by tourism. We’re looking to bring both aspects of island life together in an event that raises a common concern for the natural world.”
Submission dates for entry and further details for sponsorship opportunities will be announced shortly.