ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- A new home-grown Caribbean movie based on the life of music legend Bob Marley has chosen an innovative financing method: allowing wealthy angel investors the chance to qualify for passports of a Caribbean island nation in return for fronting the cost of production.
Golden Islands Filmworks Ltd, a film production company headquartered on the island of Antigua, with Hollywood names behind it, has just announced its new title: REBELS: The Legend of Bob Marley.
Decades after his passing, Marley is still measured as one of the most influential musicians of all times; a devout Rastafarian, he is credited with bringing reggae to a global audience, and serves as a symbol for West Indian spirit and character.
Golden Islands Filmworks has recently received approval from the government of Antigua and Barbuda for funding through its citizenship by investment programme (CIP). An investment of US$410,000 will qualify for the CIP.
Global business migration firm NTL Trust launched this opportunity earlier this month to its clientele, who it describes as predominantly wealthy individuals from China, the Middle East, and Russia.
“We are delighted to be involved in this programme, a first for the Caribbean, that offers above all a fun alternative to the usual real estate investments that our clients typically use to qualify under the CIP,” said Robert Martin, global immigration director at NTL Trust. “Not forgetting that by helping to put Antigua on the movie production map, we are contributing in an innovative and exciting way to sustainable development of the local economy and job creation. And who better as the subject of a Caribbean movie than Bob Marley?”
With a qualifying investment of at least US$410,000, backers are eligible to apply immediately for citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua passport holders can travel without visas to more than 130 countries and pay no personal, capital gains, or inheritance tax in Antigua. Although the applicant must pass a strict due diligence screening, the process to obtain citizenship can be completed within three months and requires no travel to the islands. Applicants may also include family members in the application process.
Aside from the obvious perk of qualifying for citizenship, investors are offered opportunities to visit production sets, mingle with stars, directors, cast, and crew, may be hired for non-speaking roles in pictures, and will attend private screenings and red carpet events.
The film chronicles the gritty lives of Marley and three major players in his life along the way to stardom. Danny Sim, a skilled gambler for one of the largest mob families in the world, turned music producer, discovered and signed Bob Marley to a major record label deal; Bob Marley himself, son of a plantation overseer and teenage mother, homeless as a child, channelled raw rebellion into a revolutionary spiritual movement, still thriving to this day; Allan Skill Cole, a talented football striker, he managed Marley’s career while dabbling in a life-long petty crime career; and lastly, Johnny Nash: a dreamy-eyed, church produced American singer (“I Can See Clearly Now”) became one of the first non-Jamaican singers to record reggae music in the West Indies.
Within the pulsing reggae beats, this flick paces alongside the surprising journey of these young men as they solidify the sound we all know and love. Reggae music was born of an unlikely partnership of talent, aspiration, and discovery.
Golden Islands’ team benefits from the Caribbean’s lower production costs, and works with leading producers in cinema, as well as music. It is responsible for some of the highest grossing, award winning films such as Mission Impossible Four, Crash, and Legend. Music productions include White Stripes, Katy Perry, and David Bowie. With top of the line industry professional, the global film industry is rapidly growing and foresees expected revenue of $48 billion by 2019.
Investors are being offered the choice between two types of preferred shares; non-participatory preferred – a fixed return – and participatory preferred – a percentage of the movie profits. The company intends to issue a total of 32 preferred shares.