December 23, 2014

History Channel begins documentary – Guyana’s Amazon to be highlighted

Cast of Bamazon and producers from the History Channel with Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali in the executive lounge at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA)

A 24 member team; eight males from Alabama (Southern United States) and 16 producers from the renowned History Channel arrived in Guyana on Wednesday to commence a six- week documentary on Guyana’s wildlife and rainforests. The documentary will feature eight one hour series titled “Bamazon” and will be broadcast on the History Channel worldwide, reaching millions of households.

The eight males from Alabama will be the feature of the documentary and they will be exploring Guyana’s rainforests and wildlife. The History Channel team will be in charge of the filming and production of the documentary.

The name Bamazon was derived from the shorten form of residents in Alabama, which is Bama. Since the cast will be exploring Guyana’s Amazon, they came up with the word “Bamazon”. Supervising Producer of “Bamazon” from the History Channel Scott Madden said the cast will be spending most of the time in the Interior. According to Madden, adventure, documentary and television is a very arduous task but noted that the team from the History Channel is world class.

“The History Channel has a reach for what we call top tier cable in the U.S. and that means those are households in the United States that most of the cable stations can hit. So we can get viewer numbers in the millions”, Madden stated.

Madden said that a broadcast date is not scheduled at the moment but noted that as soon as production in Guyana is finished they will be in post- production during the summer and the documentary can be expected to be completed before the year is over. According to Madden, the team has acknowledged Guyana as a leader of sustainable nature and said that they are delighted to be part of it.

President of New River Holdings Guyana Incorporated, Tim Evans said that his company which has been stationed in Guyana for the past five years have been looking for destinations for eco- tourism resorts and lodges across the length and breadth of the nation. He said that Guyana has vast potential which prompted him to inform the History Channel.

“Guyana is the only English speaking country in South America; it has non-stop flights from New York, it has warm political relations with the United States, unlike a lot of other rain forest countries. It has the complete package”, Evans stated.

Evans said that the focus of the documentary is to showcase Guyana in its beautiful, pristine and unspoiled natural resource. He could not give an exact value of the investment being made into the documentary but Evans said that it is in the millions.

Meanwhile, Acting Tourism Industry and Commerce Minister, Irfaan Ali said that Guyana is increasingly becoming an exciting adventure in terms of eco-tourism and explorative tourism.

Ali expressed much gratitude at the fact that Guyana has attracted such a high level of foreign interest in the tourism sector.

“The History Channel has a very large market. The U.S. market is one that is consistently looking for a different product-a product that rekindles them with nature, a product that gives them more adventure – and Guyana has that ability. We are hoping that after this documentary by the History Channel we can continue the relationship and bring other such entities into Guyana so that we can promote this unique product of ours”, Minister Ali said.

According to Ali, the documentary is an excellent opportunity for Guyana to boost its tourism sector. He said that it will enable Guyana to have wider access to a larger market. Ali said that Guyana is already known as one of the leading countries in terms of environmental protection.

“The Low Carbon Development Strategy is now a global strategy. It’s a strategy that is being discussed in many parts of the academic world. So the environment itself is a product today and we have that product the issue is how we promote this product as fast as possible in all the markets and get the product to be known- and this is an opportunity for us in promoting that product and getting it known”, Ali stated.