JAMPRO and the Jamaica Film and TV Association (JAFTA), have officially launched the “Safe Return to Set” industry guidelines that will govern filming during and after the COVID-19 pandemic in Jamaica.
Film Commissioner Renee Robinson said the major aspects of physical production are addressed in the guidelines, which seek to prevent transmission of the Coronavirus in the screen-based industries.
The guidelines adhere to the national imperatives issued by the Government of Jamaica and Ministry of Health and Wellness, and it incorporates global industry best practice as outlined by the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) and the European Film Commissioners Network (EUFCN), which have also been adopted by the various international jurisdictions that have already returned to set.
The protocol outlines the hygienic responsibilities of individuals working on set, as well as general responsibilities of production companies including the availability of medical personnel, sterilization of equipment and public areas, social distancing, and the issuing and wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The protocol additionally outlines the size of allowable cast/crew separated into micro, small, medium, and large-scale productions; and how the guidelines should be followed based on the scale of the production.
Matters related to insurance, testing and on-set screening for COVID-19 are also addressed in the document, and guidelines have been created to manage specific areas of production such as casting, production coordination, catering/craft service, and location scouting.
Analisa Chapman, President of the JAFTA, said the body was pleased with the launching of the guidelines. She noted, “These measures were crafted so that we can strike a balance between staying safe and allowing the creativity and productivity of the Jamaican film, television and other screen-based community to flourish. As the world moves towards a new normal, our creative content will continue to shape and stimulate new and future growth.”
Ms. Robinson said that with filming resuming, “We are serious about ensuring the safety and well-being of all professionals who work in the Jamaican screen-based industry – whether on local productions or on international guest productions. We will continue to enforce the directives of the Government of Jamaica and the international industry best practices for safe return to set. This hasn’t been an easy time for anyone, but production is regaining momentum on the island and new business opportunities are emerging. These guidelines signal to the world that the business of film in Jamaica is being done, and being done safely. We are ready to get back to work.”