Bahamas Ministry of Tourism's film update highlights film sector’s resilience

The Bahamas earned close to $300,000 in screen production revenue in the month of July, the Bahamas Film & Television Commission confirmed.

The revenue was the combined spending in The Bahamas of four television show productions that streamed into the country at the earliest opportunity, said Clarence Rolle, General Manager of the Film Commission, a division of the Ministry of Tourism.

“We were not surprised by this because the research shows that film is a very resilient business,” Rolle said, referring to a June 2020 report released by Olsberg SPI, an organization specializing in entertainment research. “They released a report in June that said that film was going to be one of the first industries to come back after Covid-19. Film is expected to lead the way and help other industries recover.”

Rolle pointed out that, film and television productions utilize many other economic sectors to complete their work. They are known for large expenditures on accommodations, meals, ground transportation and purchasing merchandise that ranges from building supplies to electronics. So, the film business feeds many other businesses, he said.

“We are very encouraged by the business that came in for July,” Rolle noted. “Screen productions have provided employment for scores of Bahamians, and many of them were able to get right back to work in July. Also, thousands of dollars were spread through many communities.”

The Bahamas Film & Television Commission assisted with the production of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week on Grand Bahama Island, which brought former world boxing champion Mike Tyson there to film. The production, which includes Shaq’s Shark Week Special, left $80,000 on Grand Bahama Island. Mr. Beast, a YouTube channel with more than 30 million subscribers, filmed in North Eleuthera and Spanish Wells, contributing $115,000 to the area. Finally, productions entitled Shark Rober and Shark Lair left $40,000 each on Grand Bahama and Nassau, respectively.

Rolle said July’s film revenue is still below the average monthly expenditure on screen productions in The Bahamas, but it is a good start after a long break in filming. There are still several television shows and other screen productions hoping to access The Bahamas in the near future, he said.