Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 23, 2021 (SKNIS): The exceptional management of the COVID-19 pandemic by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, through its National COVID-19 Task Force, is reaping benefits as the country has recently benefited from a multi-million dollar investment in the film industry by MSR Media, a boutique Film and TV Production Company based in York, England.
Because of the restriction in the United Kingdom caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, MSR Media Chief, Producer, Philippe Martinez, chose St. Kitts & Nevis to shoot his latest upcoming series of films for the comedy “One Year Off.” The film is being directed by Brad Watson.
“One Year Off” is really a very beautiful feel good, poetic film,” said Mr. Martinez.
To date, St. Kitts and Nevis has only registered 44 confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus with 42 of the cases completely recovered and zero deaths. The country has had no curfew and shelter-in-place since the end of August 2020.
Speaking at a media briefing at Christophe Harbour Marina on the South-East Peninsula in St. Kitts on March 21, 2021, Mr. Martinez was brimming with joy to have found a beautiful and safe place to shoot his comedy series.
“The key factor for us—and we said that in a meeting with the Task Force—the incredible work that has been done by the country, by the government in controlling the COVID-19 situation, that has been the key factor for us to create a film industry in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Mr. Martinez, while describing the Federation as “beautiful” and a dream come true.
The country is also benefiting from a film acting academy that was launched by Mr. Martinez to train local aspiring actors.
“We brought with us, fifty crew members. I think we hired on top of that 45 local people. My greatest joy so far, besides being in this beautiful country, is when I see that in the past few weeks, we have already trained a new generation of crew members…the real infrastructure is the young people of St. Kitts & Nevis,” he said.
“The long-term plan is over the next six weeks to train and set up a film industry, and frankly from what I see from the young guys and young women who are working on the film, I think that in a year from now, we will be more than in a good shape,” added Producer and Director Martinez.
Mr. Martinez said that the plan is to make six movies and to produce a new movie called “Assailant”, which is a thriller.
St. Kitts & Nevis’ Tourism Minister, Hon. Lindsay Grant, in welcoming the Cast and Crew of the MSR Media Team said he was confident that St. Kitts & Nevis “has the makings of an ideal filming destination—from our lush natural attributes to our man-made infrastructure.”
“As we move forward with our reopening and eventually beyond the pandemic, we do so with confidence as one of the few places in the world recognized for its exemplary management of the COVID-19 virus. Presently, the CDC rates the Federation at Level 1: Low Covid Risk and the State Department assigned the Federation a Level 2 travel advisory. We are the only Caribbean destination currently placed at a Level 2 (Level 1 is only New Zealand, the Republic of China—Taiwan, and Macau),” said Minister Grant.
Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris said that the investment from MSR Media augers well for the country.
“At 38, we are a young country with a very youthful population. It is opportunities like this from MSR Productions that will help them reach their full potential,” the Prime Minister said.
He added, “It will inject new creative passion amongst our local artiste, to lead the way and build our film and creative sector. It will inject interest and curiosity into the global community, putting St. Kitts and Nevis on the map as a filming destination. My Government is here to work with you, as you work with us, to build a world-class film and creative industry right here in St. Kitts and Nevis,” Prime Minister Harris said.
“One Year Off” is more of a human interest story about what happens when a family takes off and travels the globe temporarily putting their “regular life” on hold to explore the world.
Principal photography for the British production began on February 25, 2021. -30-