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Thread: Justin Berfield to Establish Film Commission in Cayman Islands

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Arrow Justin Berfield to Establish Film Commission in Cayman Islands

    Front Page Post

    Justin Berfield and his production company, J2 Pictures, are working with the Cayman Islands Government and local investors to establish an official film commission in that country.

    Former “Malcolm in the Middle” star Justin Berfield, and frequent visitor to Cayman, has confirmed his company’s discussions with the Cayman Islands Government and local investors to establish an official film commission to service all of the Cayman Islands, a press release said.

    Recognizing that tourism and banking are the primary industries that the island benefits from, Berfield’s goal was to formally introduce a whole other industry to the government and people of Cayman.

    “The island is so conducive to many different types of filming and can double as many different locations," Berfield said. “There is so much local talent in Cayman in terms of not only on camera, but trade, electricians, sound engineers, and transportation. The Cayman Islands have done a very good job of servicing tourists. Through this, there is an infrastructure in Cayman that is conducive to television and film production. The infrastructure needs direction and a clear presence. My partners and I hope to work closely with the government and the creative community of Cayman to establish a commission that will truly benefit the country.” said Berfield

    Cayman is no stranger to film production, having played host to several productions over the last few decades including Paramount Pictures The Firm in 1993 starring Tom Cruise, and most recently the independent feature film Haven in 2004 starring Orlando Bloom and directed by local Caymanian Frank E. Flowers.

    It is the intention of Berfield and his proposed advisory board to act as a liaison between Hollywood and the Caymans and as a result bring productions to the island. Further, the proposed film commission would aide local business owners and residents with their existing filming and television commercial production.

    Actor/producer Justin Berfield is a partner in highly regarded Los Angeles based boutique production company J2 Pictures. Berfield and his producing partner Jason Felts got their start in film when they served as producers and investors on the feature film Romance & Cigarettes, starring James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Mandy Moore and Christopher Walken. The film was written and directed by actor John Turturro.

    Berfield and Felts themselves are currently in pre–production on ESCOBAR, a full–length motion picture that will chronicle the life of Pablo Escobar, the infamous Colombian drug cartel leader.

    J2 also has a strong interest in comedy, and produced Blonde Ambition, a comedy feature starring Luke Wilson, Jessica Simpson and Rachel Leigh Cook.
    Source: Caymanian Compass
    Last edited by tjpeople; Feb 27, 2008 at 02:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    Front Page Post

    Justin Berfield

    February last year we reported that Justin Berfield and his production company, J2 Pictures, where volunteering their time and working with the Cayman Islands Government and local investors to establish an official film commission.

    On January 30th it launched with a small red carpet event.

    See more photos from the event in our GALLERY.

    Justin Berfield at Launch Event

    Much of the overseas guest list was sourced from J2 Pictures, run by American actor and producer Justin Berfield and his business partner Jason Felts who invited everyone on their contact list. Both are regular visitors to Cayman and have volunteered their time and services to help get the commission off the ground.

    Mr. Berfield, who starred as Reese in comedy hit show Malcolm in the Middle, has been filming and photographing locations that can double as “anywhere, USA”, in a bid to convince movie–makers that Cayman is not only all about sand, sea and diving.

    He has been visiting spots throughout Cayman in the past two months. “It’s been a great way to see the Island,” he said, as he flicked through images of the Botanic Park for jungle footage and exteriors of houses before taking shots of Walker House in George Town on Friday morning last week. ‘This could be anywhere,” he said, pointing to one large home on his Nikon camera screen.

    Asked how film makers might be able to convince audiences they’re looking at America when people drive on the other side of the road in Cayman, he said movie makers have made America look like Europe by blocking off parts of roads and letting cars drive on the other side during shooting. “The set designers in Hollywood are amazing, they can make places look like something entirely different just by changing the lighting or backdrop,” he said.

    Mr. Berfield and Mr. Felts are also producing a video that will be shown at the launch in Camana Bay on Friday. It will also be featured online, on CITN and also at the Association of Film Commissioners International trade show in Los Angeles in April.

    “Justin and Jason have been coming here for many years, they have owned homes here, their families have visited here and they really enjoy being here.

    “In order to raise awareness, they took their extensive contacts list and designed invitation cards and they blasted it out to more than 1,000 people on their list. Not everyone has accepted, of course, some responded and said they could not come, but they know now we are here and doing business,” he said.

    The partners in J2 Pictures believe that Hollywood and the rest of the movie industry can be educated to view Cayman as a viable location.

    “When the Cayman Islands are mentioned, the entertainment industry thinks it knows what it’s about in terms of visuals. They have seen all the tourism videos and commercials, the travel shows. We are trying to really educate the entertainment industry through the location guide,” said Mr. Felts.

    He added that there had been a misconception that he and Mr. Berfield were trying to set up their own film commission in Cayman, but he insisted they were merely volunteering their time and expertise to help establish a commission for Cayman.

    He has been coming to Cayman since his teens and introduced Berfield to here in 2002. “We both love the place,” he said.

    “Two years ago, we were hanging out on a big trip and we thought what can we do to bring our two favourite loves, the entertainment industry and Cayman together. We talked to Dax about a film commission and said if he needed help, we’d be interested. And that’s what happened,” he said. - Norma Connolly
    Last edited by tjpeople; Aug 18, 2009 at 03:56 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007


    No offense to Justin, but it is kind of upsetting to see Hollywood types jetting off to tax havens to do business. There is no hypocrisy there or anything!


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