Toward a Governance Model for the Caribbean Film Industry

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  • Title: Toward a Governance Model for the Caribbean Film Industry: An Exploration of the Jamaican Film Industry
  • Author(s): Alpha Obika
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Communication and Media Studies
  • Journal Title: The Journal of Communication and Media Studies
  • Keywords: Jamaican Film Industry, Media and Cultural Policy, Jamaican Films, Cultural Imperialism, Caribbean Cultural Identity, Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Volume: 8
  • Issue: 2
  • Date: February 15, 2023
  • ISSN: 2470-9247 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2470-9255 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Obika, Alpha. 2023. "Toward a Governance Model for the Caribbean Film Industry: An Exploration of the Jamaican Film Industry." The Journal of Communication and Media Studies 8 (2): 1-9. doi:10.18848/2470-9247/CGP/v08i02/1-9.
  • Extent: 9 pages

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The Anglophone Caribbean has been the backdrop for international films from the 1960s right up to the 2000s. Jamaica in particular has hosted international films from as early as 1916. Over 100 years later, the film industry would welcome thousands of international and local film productions, employing tens of thousands of workers annually and providing much needed revenue to the local creative economy. This study critically examines the Jamaican film policies of the 1960s right up to 2020, which facilitated the creation of these feature productions. More specifically, it maps the language of the policies and ascertains the direct impact on the development of the film industry. The broader exploration of the media and cultural policies of Jamaica was critiqued against the backdrop of what could be called the Caribbean film industry. Key questions of legislative robustness, sustainability of approaches, availability of financial and human resources, film infrastructure, and political “will” are central to understanding the governance models adopted in Jamaica and the wider Anglophone Caribbean. A critical discourse analysis of policies relevant to the film industry was complemented by a brief historical analysis of a selection of feature films produced in Jamaica from 1962 to the current period. Unearthing the philosophy of governance adopted by the Jamaican government empowered the researcher to make assertions about strategic legislative and regulatory reforms that can improve the sustainability and viability of the Jamaican film industry. Theories of media governance, globalization, and cultural imperialism guided the theoretical analysis in this study. Additionally, issues of Caribbean cultural identity and representation were important theoretical pillars of analysis.