FIJI FILM INDUSTRY PLUNGES IN 2007

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By Ashwini Prasad

SUVA. Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 3) –Economic activity generated by the Fiji Audio Visual Commission in 2007 dropped by FJ$150 million [US$96.8 million] over the previous year, says chief executive officer, Taniela Bolea.

Mr Bolea said FAVC generated more than FJ$27 million [US$17.4 million] worth of business in 2007 compared to $179 million [US$115.5 million] in 2006.

He said mostly small television serials were shot in Fiji last year.

Some major projects were lost to Queensland (Australia), Mr Bolea said.

He said the commission hoped 2008 would be a better year.

While we have quite a few projects we will not be able to confirm the number of projects until the first quarter of the year.

Mr Bolea said shooting for most productions started in the second quarter of the year.

From 2002-2006, Government invested $6.05million in the FAVC, with the commission generating $324million worth of new economic activity and 7000 full-time equivalent jobs were created.

Mr Bolea said the FAVC would look to review their legislation to make incentives more attractive to a wider range of producers.

Fijis audio visual industry had potential but there were challenges such as the political climate and poor infrastructure, which, he said, were a hindrance.

Earlier, the FAVC said film producers still lacked confidence in the country.

Chairman Richard Broadbridge said as with any other investor, producers were concerned about the security situation.

Mr Broadbridge said competition with other countries such as Australia was tough but Fiji was trying its best to lure more movie producers.

Fiji is still not 100 per cent there in terms of confidence, Mr Broadbridge said

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