You will soon be hearing about St. Kitts and Nevis as a filming destination according to Philippe Martinez, producer at MSR Media. Unable to film his latest works in the UK due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, Martinez and his team selected St. Kitts & Nevis to shoot their upcoming series of films. Citing the Federation’s efficient management of Covid-19 as playing the pivotal role in capturing the attention of MSR Media, St. Kitts & Nevis was chosen over other Caribbean destinations that commonly serve as filming locations but could not match the Federation’s level of safety. “The key factor for us in the decision to create a new film industry here has been the incredible work that has been done by this country, by this government, in controlling the Covid -19 situation,” remarked Martinez upon his welcome to St. Kitts yesterday.
Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, declared “We are witnessing the birth of a new industry for the Federation, one that will provide real jobs, high incomes, and real opportunities, especially for our young people. This project will inject excitement among our youth that they can have a career in the film industry, and they don’t have to leave our beautiful paradise. Further, as MSR Media takes the story of the Federation’s well-managed Covid-19 space to the world, it will generate interest and curiosity in the global community, putting St. Kitts & Nevis more firmly on the map as a filming destination.”
Several unique factors contribute to making St. Kitts & Nevis an attractive filmmaking destination and set the twin-islands apart from anything else found in the region. In St. Kitts they include the St. Kitts Scenic Railway, the Caribbean’s only authentic passenger train, the monumental Brimstone Hill Fortress, a well-preserved and impressive structure dating back to British colonial times, the factory where the original hot wax method of batik is preserved and the former sugar plantation of Romney Manor – still under excavation and revealing more layers of history. In Nevis one will find the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States whom you can learn more about at the Hamilton Museum, and the Bath Hotel and Springs House, the first hotel in the Caribbean founded in 1778.
“As you travel our beautiful island you will be struck by our authenticity, rooted in our flourishing culture and exemplified by our warm, genuine people; you will be stirred by our history and inspired by our natural beauty remarked Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports, Lindsey F.P. Grant in his official welcome. “We offer extraordinary vistas where verdant hills rise dramatically to Mt. Liamuiga’s volcanic peak, a lush, dense rainforest, a deep-water harbor and numerous hidden coves and inlets, charming small towns, a lively capital city and myriad picturesque beaches all easily accessible by the island’s main roadway. One is excited by the potential these attributes represent as a filming locale,” he concluded.
St. Kitts & Nevis is home to a hardworking, well-educated and creative pool of young people eager to work in the film industry. Many who already have knowledge of the entertainment industry fostered by working with productions such as the St. Kitts Music Festival, Sugar Mas and Nevis Culturama have quickly taken up the opportunity presented by MSR Media which is hiring and training locals for various roles. MSR Media brought 50 crew to the Federation and has already hired and trained 45 locals, with 30 persons trained as actors and one person already at work as an assistant director on the first film! The newly created MSR film academy currently has 20 persons in training. “The real infrastructure of St. Kitts & Nevis is their young people,” remarked producer Philippe Martinez.
MSR Media plans to shoot a total of six films in the Federation with the assistance of local crew and talent. These productions will generate significant revenue for the local economy, establishing a new industry and serving as another economic driver for St. Kitts & Nevis. New jobs and incomes will be generated as services catering to the film industry become in demand. Furthermore, as a location for six films, from a comedy to a thriller, seeing St. Kitts & Nevis on the big screen will inspire persons to visit the islands and offers the potential to generate a new niche for tourism – film tourism.
For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.