SUVA, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Film Fiji is expecting more films to be shot in Fiji in 2017 that would bring in more financial benefits to the island nation.
Dallas Foon chief executive officer for Film Fiji said this week that they expected a busy year because of the number of overseas film productions that were already underway in Fiji.
Major productions came from American studios CBS (Survivor), Viacom/MTV (Stranded with a Million Bucks) and Fox/Lionsgate (Kicking and Screaming).
The Indian production Jaani was also produced in Fiji, featuring Gippy Grewal and Miss India 2013, Navneet Kaur Dhillion.
Foon says the expertise brought into Fiji by overseas film producers greatly benefitted locals who were also growing in the film industries from the exposure.
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya said 56 films were shot in Fiji in 2016 and eight were major film productions which had a budget of around 64 million U.S. dollars.
Koya said the eight major film productions brought in about 20 million U.S. dollars into the Fijian economy in 2017.
He said this while launching the 2017 local Fijians Kula Awards which gave students the opportunity to learn more about drama and gain experience in the creative arts industry.
The awards night would be a two-day program scheduled for July and would have two categories.
One of the categories is the School's Film Competition where students in secondary schools can submit a five-minute film in any genre vetted by Film Fiji while the Open Category Film Competition is targeted at amateur filmmakers who have left school.
Foon said 24 local schools had registered so far for these awards that would enhance student's talents.
"As the Kula Awards enters its second decade, we will be raising the bar with more training and introducing more categories for students to compete for expanding the competition and improving the skills," Foon said.