Lights, Camera, Action! Exploring the potential of Trinidad and Tobago’s creative industries
Leslie Ann Wills-Caton, General Manager, FilmTT/Film Commissioner
As reported on CreativeTT’s site, music, film, and fashion have collectively generated TT$824 million in revenue. Creativity is a business that offers significant opportunities for sustainable economic growth and job creation. The orange economy is full of infinite possibilities; let’s explore.
Roll out the red carpet! Trinidad and Tobago’s orange economy is ready for its close-up. Bursting with creativity and talent, this dynamic industry is an export-ready melting pot of music, art, fashion, and film. The orange economy has many opportunities for growth, business, and investment. From product placement to strategic brand alignment, the possibilities are endless. Grab your popcorn and explore the colourful world of Trinidad and Tobago’s orange economy.
Race to amazing opportunities
Recognition of the impact of the orange economy is rapidly growing in Trinidad and Tobago for several reasons. Our rich cultural heritage provides a unique, diverse source of inspiration for artists and creatives. Trinidad and Tobago’s strategic location in the Caribbean makes it an ideal hub for creative and cultural exchange. Furthermore, Trinidad and Tobago has invested in developing support infrastructure, such as establishing the Trinidad and Tobago Creative Industries Company Limited (CreativeTT) and the National Intellectual Property Training Centre.
Investors can also benefit from the Production Expenditure Rebate Programme offered by FilmTT®. This programme gives businesses a rebate of up to 35% on qualifying local spend, with 20% cash back on the hire of local labour. This is a cost-effective way to invest in local talent and participate in the orange economy.
Our film industry has attracted foreign investment, generated employment opportunities, and promoted Trinidad and Tobago as a tourist destination. In fact, on 14th October 2020, “Trinidad” and “Tobago” were the most searched words on Google during the premiere of “The Amazing Race” series, Season 32, filmed on location in both islands.
Branding for success
Brands that align themselves with creative output from the cultural and creative industries benefit from the innovation and creativity of the orange economy while tapping into the passion and loyalty of fans and audiences. Intellectual property is also often incorporated into marketing strategies. This generates buzz and interest in the brand and supports the indigenous creative community.
Strategic brand alignment through product placement in films has become a popular marketing strategy in Trinidad and Tobago. This approach involves integrating a brand’s products or services into a film or television show’s storyline to increase brand awareness and create a positive association with the audience. Both local and international brands have embraced product placement in Trinidad and Tobago’s film industry. This trend provides a new revenue stream for filmmakers. It enables brands to tap into a captive audience and create a unique emotional connection with consumers. As the film industry in Trinidad and Tobago continues to grow, we expect to see more brands adopting this strategic approach of aligning their brand with the stories and characters on the big screen.
Businesses can collaborate with digital media professionals and content creators to further tap into the growing orange economy in Trinidad and Tobago. With the rise of social media, audiences value the insight and recommendations of peers and industry professionals. By working with specialised service providers and investing in local talent, businesses can leverage their influence to reach wider audiences and contribute to the growth of the creative industries.
The future is orange
The creative capital and intangible assets that underpin the creative industries are unique in their value proposition. However, they are also vulnerable to external pressures. In particular, the rapidly changing technological landscape and the shift towards digital distribution have increased the risks associated with investing in the creative industries. Therefore, the industry must receive continuous support for marketing and promotional activities whilst also working to mitigate the risks of investing in this unique valuable sector. By collaborating with industry stakeholders and leveraging local expertise, we can build a sustainable, thriving orange economy that benefits everyone involved.
To ensure the continued growth and success of the orange economy, we need increased investment in the industry, including funding for artists and creatives, infrastructure, as well as education and training programmes. We must develop policies and regulations that protect intellectual property rights and prevent copyright infringement. This will help to ensure that artists and creatives are fairly compensated for their work and can continue to innovate and create.
The orange economy provides numerous economic, cultural, and social benefits, such as job creation and the promotion of cultural exchange. It drives innovation and contributes to overall economic growth. Businesses, investors, and policymakers need to recognise its value and support continued growth and development. The creative industries are open for business.
Financing the Orange Economy
An approach that could support the further development of the orange economy is the establishment of a Creative Industries Fund. This Fund would support artists and creatives financially to develop projects and businesses. The Fund could also be supported by public and private sector investment, with applications for financing evaluated by a panel of industry experts. The aim is to ensure the growth and sustainability of the orange economy in Trinidad and Tobago and support the development of new talent and innovative ideas.
In recent years, the film industry in Trinidad and Tobago has seen significant growth, with local productions gaining international recognition and acclaim. In 2019, the locally produced film “Green Days by the River”, an adaptation of a local literary work, earned over TT$1.4 million (US$206,000) at the box office. This success is a testament to the profitability of these intangible assets. It underscores the potential of the creative industries in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Creative Economy: Benefits
- Intellectual Property
- Job Creation
- Economic Growth
- Cultural Promotion
- Diplomacy (national image/values)
“Our rich cultural heritage provides a unique, diverse source of inspiration for artists and creatives. Trinidad and Tobago’s strategic location in the Caribbean makes it an ideal hub for creative and cultural exchange.”
“In recent years, the film industry in Trinidad and Tobago has seen significant growth, with local productions gaining international recognition and acclaim. In 2019, the locally produced film, “Green Days by the River”, an adaptation of a local literary work, earned over TT$1.4 million (US$206,000) at the box office.”
“An approach that could support further development of the orange economy is the establishment of a Creative Industries Fund. This Fund would provide financial support for artistes and creatives to develop projects and businesses.”