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20thNovember 2018: At the opening of the 2018 Animae Caribe Animation and Digital Media Festival, the  region’s largest animation and film network gathering, the Trade and Industry Minister Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon encouraged local animators to access funding and collaborate with the Government on building capacity and developing the animation industry in Trinidad and Tobago.

According to Minister Gopee-Scoon, “The Government, guided by Vision 2030, is committed to developing the film industry and helping you to become globally competitive businesses.”  She identified both FilmTT and exporTT as economic partners in developing the industry. The sector which was valued at US $244 billion in 2015 provides myriad untapped career options for young creatives.  It is positioned to generate meaningful employment, revenue and export earnings.

Film makers and animators were also encouraged to utilise incentives for, innovative, technology-driven business initiatives and film production through the Research and Development Facility (RDF) and the Film Rebate Programme. The RDF offers tiered funding for business ideas up to a maximum of $1 million per beneficiary while the film rebate is available to both local and foreign producers and offers a 35% cash refund. Festival Director, Ms Camille Selvon Abrahams also highlighted the importance of the sector in providing and creating new economic opportunities and also creating spaces for youth entrepreneurship, skills development and application of knowledge. There is value in localised stories, she added. She indicated that a feasibility study and a strategic plan are being developed to take the festival, now in its 17th year, forward.

Animae Caribe is a six day festival which brings together trainers, films and animators to build capacity and linkages in the sector. Both exporTT and FilmTT, agencies of the Ministry of Trade and Industry supported this year’s event which focuses on youth development and charting a way forward.

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