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Laid-back and breathtakingly beautiful, the Cayman Islands is aiming to attract filmmakers with a generous 30 per cent rebate on productions in this British territory

Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory, is located in the western Caribbean Sea. Known for its coral reefs, scuba diving and shipwrecks, the splashier side of this island is the actual crowd-puller. The Little Cayman’s Bloody Bay Wall is considered the Caribbean’s most sensational wall dive and creates for memorable dips.

The history of this splendid destination dates back to the 16th century, when Christopher Columbus discovered it on his fourth and final voyage to the New World. The Cayman Islands are made up of three islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. These islands are popular among holiday-makers as they are relaxing, calm and laid-back. So, whether driving around, strolling downtown in George Town, the capital, or taking a swim, there’s enough to keep oneself entertained in this beautiful locale.

Climate

The Cayman Islands have a tropical marine climate, with a wet season of warm, rainy summers (May to October) and a dry season of relatively cool winters (November to April).

And if the breathtaking scenery is not enough to attract producers, the incentives offered by the Cayman Islands Film Commission (CIFC – an agency dedicated to the development of the film industry in the Cayman Islands) may help. Many films have already been shot in the Cayman Islands. And with a sophisticated production infrastructure of a trained talent and crew, it minimises the crew that has to be flown in from elsewhere.

General Requirements

• A letter of intent with company information and an application for Media Production Licence along with a script and/or storyboard if applicable

• An estimated time period for production in the Cayman Islands

• An estimated overall budget, with some indication of the amount to be spent while filming here

• All incoming productions must provide evidence of public liability insurance for the duration of their production in the Cayman Islands

• There should be an indication of a Completion Bond being in place from a reputable bond company

• Permits will not be granted if the script content is detrimental to the image of the country and the people of the Cayman Islands

Incentives

The Cayman Islands offers a number of benefits to international productions seeking to utilise the destination. These include the complete support of a film commission that will work to ensure that your production runs smoothly, production-friendly entry requirements and easy access to necessary work permits.

The CIFC offers a 30 per cent rebate on qualifying film, video, commercial and television productions that record on-Island.

The commission also works closely with local vendors and government agencies to offer special rates for a variety of necessary support services. These include, but are not limited to, reduction in government fees on importation of machinery and equipment as well as work permits.

Incentives Requirements

• An application for Film Incentives is required as well as proof of the following:

• A clear chain of title

• Proof of financing and/or written commitments from reputable distributor(s) to undertake distribution of the film

Immigration Requirements

• The CIFC must be notified of the arrival and departure dates of all crew members. CIFC assistance is available in obtaining visa waivers or work permits.

• A Temporary Work Permit application for Visiting Media Productions is required for all above the line and below the line members of the production and must be submitted at least ten working days before arrival.

Customs Requirements    

• All equipment to be imported (by air and/or sea freight) will require clearance. Customs duties are required, except for equipment brought in on a temporary basis in which case only an administrative fee is required.

• A Film Equipment Notification form along with a complete equipment list must be submitted at least seven working days before arrival. All equipment brought in as cargo or accompanied baggage must be checked in/out with customs on arrival and prior to check in with the airlines at the time of departure.

Expenditure Reporting Requirements

• A Production Expenditure Report must be completed and returned to the CIFC at the completion of filming in the Cayman Islands.

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