Audio-visual sector generates millions in 3 consecutive years

Kaajal Kumar (second from left) delivers her submission to the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the budget consultation at De Vos on the Park hotel in Suva yesterday. Picture: RAMA

Kaajal Kumar (second from left) delivers her submission to the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the budget consultation at De Vos on the Park hotel in Suva yesterday. Picture: RAMA

THE Fijian audio-visual sector is forging its way to becoming a fully-fledged local industry that supplies sustainable employment and returns for investment says Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Koya.

Mr Koya said in terms of numbers, the industry in the past three years, had shown exceptional performance.

“In 2015, there were 42 productions with a budgetary value of $9.9 million. This value increased to $308m, in terms of total budgetary value of all the productions in Fiji, in 2017. The number of productions also increased by 76.2 per cent in 2017,” Mr Koya said.

He said in 2015, the local spending by the productions was valued at $5.8m, which increased by $119.2m in 2016 and then $125m in 2017.

“The economic activity created by the audio-visual productions in 2017 is approximately $350m, which is an increase of $333.8m compared with 2015,” he said.

“The increase in large film productions has led to increased employment of local talent. Local vendors are engaged to supply products and services to the productions.”

He said there was also investment by locals into new areas of businesses that could provide technical support to the industry, for example, set and prop designs.

“Last year, over 1300 Fijians were employed by the productions. These were specialised skilled personnel, we are listed on the Film Fiji talent database,” he said.

He added the five-year and 20-year National Development Plan (NDP) provided a clear link between tourism promotion and the development of the audio-visual sector.

“This will include the development of large production studios, enhanced availability of specialised equipment and nurturing of local talent,” he said.