Yet to be explored by tourists, Trinidad and Tobago offers a bounty of unspoilt beauty to be explored on the film canvas
In 1962, Sean Connery as James Bond introduced us to this grand island in his film Dr No. Then, in 1967, our very own Raj Kapoor too gave us a glimpse of what this island has to offer in his film Around The World. Dubbed as the ‘Caribbean Tiger’ by international business publications, Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles.
Locations of interest include Buccoo Reef underwater photography, Aripo Caves, white sand beaches, Fort George and Pitch Lake, which is the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world.
T&T is one of the most prosperous, highly diversified and industrialised countries in the Caribbean. It is a nation consisting primarily of two Caribbean islands and numerous smaller landforms – including Chacachacare, Monos, Huevos, Gaspar Grande, Little Tobago and St Giles Island.
Not exploited by tourism yet, T&T is replete with unspoilt natural beauty not found in most other Caribbean countries. Whether you are seeking adventure, culture or a nightlife setting for your film, T&T is waiting to amaze you with its diverse locations such as pristine beaches, untouched rainforests and many vibrant cities. From the cosmopolitan streets of Port-of-Spain to the tranquil beaches of Tobago, there is something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a relaxing setting or a residential location, there are various resources to help you shoot.
The climate is tropical, with relatively high humidity. The coolest months are January and February, when the average minimum temperature is 20 °C. The warmest months are April, May and October, which have an average maximum temperature of about 32 °C. In general, mean temperatures range between 25 °C in February and 29 °C in April. Temperatures vary significantly between day and night, and the climate along the coast is tempered by sea breezes.
Visas and Work Permits
Visiting crews travelling on Western passports can enter Trinidad and Tobago visa-free for a stay of up to 90 days. Work permits are not required to film in this country and T&T is inexpensive by Caribbean standards. Since little to no filming infrastructure exists, all key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. Trinidadian fixers help negotiate local deals and provide production support to match every budget.
The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (TTFC) recently enhanced its competitive rebate program, with a view to attract international producers to the country. The Production Expenditure Rebate Program now provides cash rebates of up to 55 per cent for expenditures on qualifying local labour and 35 per cent on other local expenditures accrued while filming in the twin island paradise.
These rebates apply for the following areas of filmmaking:
Rental of local equipment, supplies and services
Payment to the Police, Fire and Ambulance services
Wardrobe, props and related items
Employment of local cast and crew
Accommodation and food
Local travel and transportation costs (including drivers)
The TTFC will evaluate the applications with special reference to:
The total estimated expenditure in T&T
The level of employment of T&T crew
A script that does not portray T&T in a negative light
Shoot in T&T
Filmmakers can receive on-location support from the TTFC. The requirements below should be used as a guide to filming in T&T:
A letter of intent with information and an outline of your project along with a script and/or storyboard
The estimated time period of your production
A copy of the completed product must be forwarded to the TTFC after transmission
TTFC must be notified of the arrival and departure dates of all crew members. Assistance can be obtained for visa waivers or work permits
Location Insurance: All incoming film companies must provide a copy of their liability to the TTFC for the duration of their production in T&T. Expiration date should be clearly marked on the original document sent.