EXCLUSIVE: UK production and sales firm MSR Media is planning to shoot comedy feature One Year Off on the relatively Covid-free Caribbean island of Nevis, the producers and island’s leadership are announcing today.
Stringent Covid-19 guidelines, as well as its location, have helped Nevis avoid many of the ravages of the virus. To date, Nevis and neighboring island Saint Kitts have only recorded 37 Covid cases and no deaths.
One Year Off will be directed by Brad Watson (Miss Willoughby And The Haunted Bookshop) and is being produced by MSR principal Philippe Martinez (Father Christmas Is Back) and Stewart Thomson (BBC’s The Break) from a script by Kate Wood (Miss Willoughby And The Haunted Bookshop). Casting is underway.
The film will follow a woman who rekindles an old flame on the island only to discover that ‘paradises’ have their own challenges.
A cast and crew of about 50 people have started to arrive in Nevis amid what the producers describe as “strict protective measures”. Principal photography is set to begin on February 25.
One Year Off is the first film announced under a two-picture production deal that MSR Media has negotiated with the Nevis Island Administration (NIA). Under the deal, the Nevis government is offering access to multiple locations across the island and hotel support for visiting cast members. In turn, MSR Media has announced the creation of an education program to train local people in a variety of on-set roles in an effort to boost the island’s production infrastructure. A plan to create an acting academy on the island is also underway.
Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis, said: “Nevis is uniquely placed to develop a world class film industry. My government is agile, responsive and aggressively seeking to partner with filmmakers to develop this industry on Nevis. The island is warm and welcoming with stunning mountains and beaches and a people who epitomize hospitality. The Caribbean is one of the most beautiful places in the world and Nevis is one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean. In a world now beset with the COVID-19 pandemic, Nevis continues to be one of the safest places in the world with very few cases, no community spread and to date no COVID related deaths. We certainly look forward to the development of a robust film industry and welcome film producers to consider our island for their next film venture.”
Producer Martinez stated: “We are extremely proud to announce this partnership with the Government of Nevis. Premier Mark Brantley’s vision to develop the film industry is clear and exciting. During our negotiations we have found his team wonderfully efficient and reliable partners. We plan to shoot four films in the Caribbean in 2021 and are overjoyed to kick off with One Year Off on Nevis. All of us at MSR Media hope to contribute to the development of the entertainment industry that will benefit the people of Nevis while offering a safe place for film productions.”
Alongside Martinez, One Year Off is produced with Alan Latham from Highfield Grange Studios. The film’s financial partner is Kirsty Bell from Goldfinch Entertainment, who serves as executive producer alongside Lee Beasley and Karinne Behr from MSR Media. MSR Media International is handling worldwide sales for the film.