The failing promise of the audio-visual industries for national development: the history of seventy years of film policy in Jamaica, 1948–2018

Emiel Martens*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to evaluate the promotion of the audio-visual industries as a means of national development in post-war Jamaica. Since the late 1940s Jamaica has aimed to evolve into a modern society, moving from an agrarian to an industrial and, later, service economy. Besides the tourism industry, the film industry has always been part and parcel of the island’s modernization goal. While the focus on the film industry as a development strategy is nowadays recognized in many small island developing states (SIDS), so far little attention has been given to the making of film policy in these contexts through time. To fill at least part of this gap, this article traces Jamaica’s history of state support for film production from the late 1940s until the late 2010s The seventy-year chronicle of Jamaican policymaking for the audio-visual industries will demonstrate that location filmmaking has long served a specific discourse to foster economic growth and diversification on the island. However, this discourse, part of the wider celebratory discourse of the creative industries, has not been able to fulfill its promise of becoming a key driver of the Jamaican economy and contributing significantly to the island’s national development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalCreative Industries Journal
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Research programs

  • ESHCC A&CS

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