The Audio-Visual sector is a priority area for Fiji and the Cabinet endorsed Fijian Trade Policy Framework identifies the huge potentials and long term benefits to the economy.
Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism permanent secretary, Shaheen Ali said the Government has a vision of making it big in the industry where Fiji is a smaller version of Hollywood and Bollywood.
“There are synergies to be drawn from having a successful film industry and the inflow of tourists and also investment,” he said while opening the 2015 Audio Visual Agents Consultation Seminar in Suva.
The Government has shown commitment to the industry leading to the once stagnant sector to one that churned $60 million worth of economic activity through 52 productions in 2014.
The three key agencies- Film Fiji, Investment Fiji and Tourism Fiji have played a big role in this with tourism sector expected to register a further boost through the exposure Fiji is getting as a destination.
“In December 2010, the Fijian Government increased the amount of film rebates from 35 per cent to 47 per cent- making Fiji one of the most attractive filming destinations in the world,” Mr Ali said.
He said the licensing regulation for audio-visual agents that came into force in 2012 was not meant to make it difficult for operators but to protect them and the industry.
“The licensing regime ensured that the right people were engaged by overseas production, ensuring efficient and timely delivery of services and agents providing services expected by international standards.”
Film Fiji chief executive officer, Dallas Foon said they were now targeting the television commercial market because not only did it bring in big names such as Samsung and Jeep, it was a great exposure for Fiji as the adverts were beamed across the world.
He said the Chinese production “Dad, where are we going- Part 2”, which was shot in Taveuni, Pacific Harbour, Beqa and the Mamanuca’s, had 70 million tickets in the first few days of screening and expected to sell 1.7 billion.
“It is a great exposure and what we want for Fiji. The tourism sector will benefit at the end of the day,” Mr Foon said.
The Ministry and Film Fiji jointly organised seminar was on the theme “Unlocking the Audio Visual Industry”.