Film Festival in the works

Cayman is intending to launch a film festival and has announced the Terms of Reference thereto.  

Cannes, LA, Edinburgh and Utah all have one thing in common: international film festivals. 

And now the Cayman Islands Film Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Tourism and Camana Bay has announced a joint approach to setting up a festival in the Cayman Islands. 

The aforementioned festivals are known, according to the commission, to draw hundreds and even thousands to their events. 

“Spin-offs and impacts have benefited these regions economically in big ways. These festivals have been the thrust to many famous big picture motion films. The synergies created have meant, in the case of the Sundance Film Festival, the creation of the Sundance Institute.  

“This is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences. Through its programmes, the Institute seeks to discover, support, and inspire independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. 

“A Film Festival in the Cayman Islands will aid the film commission’s objectives for capacity and resource building. In addition it will create awareness of the Cayman Islands’ potential as host to film/TV projects,” said the body. 

Ken Hydes of Camana Bay echoed those words. 

“Camana Bay is excited about the prospect of partnering with the Cayman Islands Film Commission and the Department of Tourism to develop an annual Film Festival.  

“This event has great potential to drive visitation to the Cayman Islands and Camana Bay by providing a reason to travel; plus it should resonate well with the local population through the varied programme of cultural events and proposed educational component.”  


Fostering relationships  

The Department of Tourism said that the concept was a new area in which to foster relationships and generate ambassadorship in the international source markets. 

“Through hosting this type of event the Cayman Islands will have a presence in an unexpected realm of engagement. There is great value in this event, as it will ultimately drive visitation, which is the Department of Tourism’s top strategic objective.  

“The Department of Tourism’s mission is to attract and retain visitation to the Cayman Islands by developing and implementing sustainable policies and initiatives in collaboration with all stakeholders for the benefit of the people; this aligns well with the Cayman Islands brand. It will provide opportunities to leverage the marketing initiatives for the destination. The potential in this event concept will allow the Cayman Islands to engage an affluent market of director, producers, actors and the like. In anticipation of the Film Festival growth, as with Camana Bay, the Department of Tourism would focus on the event to generate and increase brand awareness, which is the second priority for the Tourism Department.” 

Camana Bay added that part of the objectives were to strengthen the brand, build ambassadors for Camana Bay, celebrate Caymanian culture, strengthen community relations and build international brand awareness. The tourism department added that a film festival could help excite a new industry for Caymanian youth and assist with building an on-island pool of talent for the future. 

The film commission added it was aiming to work closely with local vendors and government agencies for special rates on support services including importing machinery and equipment plus work permit fees. 


Promoting the industry  

The commission was set up in January 2009 as part of the Department of Commerce in order to promote and develop the film industry. It promotes Cayman as prime location for film, television, music video, and advertising productions and facilitates these productions with every aspect of production from development and pre-production through post-production. 

The film commission acts as a liaison between all film/photography producers and all relevant Government agencies. 

In addition, the body works to build capacity in the local entertainment community to create opportunities for Caymanians to write, produce, direct, and possibly finance their own projects entirely within the Cayman Islands. Through an ever-expanding educational programme, says the commission locals are trained to aide incoming producers, studios, and productions as a whole. 


Criteria for proposals  

  • In establishing a high standard for the requirements of a film festival in the Cayman Islands, the following criteria must be in place: 
  • Executive Summary – an overview of the proposal, briefly highlighting each area. 
  • Committee – the group of people i.e. Board of Directors, who are responsible for managing and organising the festival and their experience/expertise in the film industry. 
  • Schedule of Events – a detailed schedule reflecting the proposed events with tentative dates and times. 
  • Marketing, Operations, and Development Plan – a plan that details the marketing effort and the day-to-day operations and growth of the festival.  
  • Sponsors – list the sponsors/sponsorship packages involved. 
  • Financial Plan and Funding – a detailed budget of the expenses involved in producing the film festival.  
  • Festival guide – closer to the date of the festival, a draft program guide for the festival will be required. This guide will include movie descriptions, director and writer profiles, proposed guests, guest speakers, and volunteers. 


A deadline of September 2, 2011 has been set for all proposal submissions or re-submissions.For more information, contact Melanie McField at the Department of Commerce and Investment on 345.244.2261 or [email protected] 

film zombie driftwood cover.jpg

Many movies have been made in the Cayman Islands, the last one being Zombie Driftwood.