By Davina Henry——-
Entertainment activities have been in state of constant flux for a few years now, and there are those who are concerned that the industry is in trouble.
In 2011, for instance, entertainment activities were negatively affected by lower employment levels which resulted in reduced expenditure on recreational activities.
But, according to the Economic and Social Survey 2011, published by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), despite that downturn, there were also notable achievements.
One such achievement is the increase in the number of amusement licences which were issued last year, a fact directly leading to increased revenue.
Film, music and other creative-industry jobs generated temporary employment for 1,055 persons, a decline when compared to the 1,541 persons who were employed in 2010.
JAMPRO, through its Creative Industries Unit administered 70 creativeinvestment projects, another decline when compared to the 89 projects which were administered in 2010.
The projects were in film/TV which made the bulk of profits, followed by advertising, radio, music and photography.
JAMPRO ended up spending $312.9 million, which represented a decrease from the $261 million it spent in 2010.
According to data in The Economic and Social Survey Jamaica 2011, an assessment of the preliminary General Consumption Tax (GCT) revealed that total gross sales for the categories: motion picture, radio, television and other entertainment activities fell by 17.5 per cent relative to 2010.
This performance reflected declines in all categories, with filings by record production and recording studios registering the largest declines.
According to JAMPRO’S website, industries like film, music and fashion have been carrying more and more of the economic fortunes of the entertainment industry.
“The segments of the creative industries sector actively promoted by JAMPRO comprise film, music and fashion. The December 2010 UNCTAD/UNDP report states that such industries are not only being recognised increasingly for their ability to drive economic growth and promote development in a globalised world, but are presenting developing countries with the potential to diversify their economies and participate in one of the most dynamic sectors of world commerce,” read one of the conclusions on the website.
JAMPRO also stated that the annual CAPEX target for the creative industries is $232 million. They also facilitated $625.1 million in investment flows and local business opportunities, generated from 95 short-term projects.
The number of dramatic productions and plays staged in 2011 remained unchanged at 41 with the newly formed New Caribbean Cinema, which aims at exposing the work of film makers, expected to create a boost.
With the increase in activity during a year that has marked Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary of Independence, industry players are hopeful.