Pavilion+ aims to revolutionise Caribbean streaming

Pavilion+ aims to revolutionise Caribbean streaming

A new player has emerged in the ever-evolving landscape of digital entertainment promising to transform the way we consume movies, television shows, and documentaries in the Caribbean.

Pavilion Entertainment, the brainchild of Los Angeles-based film producer from Trinidad and Tobago, Gian Franco, aims to disrupt the streaming industry with a transformative approach to delivery and a world-class streaming experience.

Pavilion Entertainment aims to become the “Disney of the Caribbean” offering a fresh alternative to content creators and consumers in the region.

Streaming platform Pavilion+ is set to make its mark in a competitive market, by showcasing movies and TV shows from and for the Caribbean.

The innovative mind behind the creation of Pavilion Entertainment and Pavilion+ is Gian Franco, who has shared his talents with Microsoft and Amazon and has consulted for Comcast and Liberty Media.

Franco’s film Venus as a Boy won an audience award at the Tribeca Festival and was picked up for distribution on Hulu.

He has also collaborated on projects such as Machel Montano’s Bazodee, Kingston Paradise, and Green Days by the River.

Pavilion Entertainment was born in an application essay Franco wrote in applying for a Master’s in Business Administration and Finance, Strategy, Media, Entertainment, and Technology at the New York University Stern School of Business.

Franco told LoopTT that as a producer from the Caribbean and a champion of homegrown content creators, it was his mission to bring Caribbean voices to the world stage.

“We aspire to become the “Disney of the Caribbean,” positioning Pavilion Entertainment as a leading media and entertainment company dedicated to creating and curating content exclusively from the Caribbean. Our focus spans across movies, TV shows, music, and various forms of entertainment,” he said.

“We’ve launched Pavilion+, a streaming service, which showcases the best Caribbean movies, TV shows, and documentaries, all in one place – from classic movies and TV shows that haven’t been available for years to never-before-seen shows from other Caribbean islands,” Franco added.

While Franco’s key differentiator is his commitment to original content he also wants to dispel the misconception that Caribbean television shows and movies lack quality.

“In truth, incredible stories by Caribbean creatives exist, and we aim to elevate the standards of Caribbean content by showcasing the rich creativity of these creatives,” he said.

“We also want to inspire global audiences. We often say, “These are our stories, best told.” You don’t have to look elsewhere for quality Caribbean content, and by showcasing the diverse and vibrant storytelling that the Caribbean has to offer, we want global audiences to see that. That starts with Pavilion+. We want to reshape local and global perceptions of Caribbean content,” Franco said.

Franco believes that Pavilion Entertainment and its streaming service Pavilion+ have the power to transform how we produce, distribute, and consume Caribbean television and film in the Caribbean and globally.

“Pavilion+ not only aims to be a central hub but also envisions a future where Caribbean storytellers consistently produce world-class content within the region. With data on our side, we can understand what audiences in the Caribbean and the diaspora want to watch,” he said.

“This allows us to invest strategically in content creation, and in turn, puts us in a position wherein we can produce world-class Caribbean content without having to leave the region – and export that Caribbean content to the world. It’s a transformative step towards making our stories resonate on a broader scale,” Franco added.

An independent film producer, Franco says that it is a real challenge to find Caribbean content despite the ease of creating and accessing the content in the era of streaming.

“The current scenario often involves hoping local stations broadcast desired content or navigating through scattered, and sometimes illegally uploaded, episodes on platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Moreover, making people aware of Caribbean titles in the first place – including where to find them – also remains a challenge,” he said.

“Pavilion+ is changing that. By offering the widest selection of Caribbean content in one place, we’re eliminating the need to search across multiple platforms and websites to find what you’re looking for, or to discover new content,” Franco added.

The streaming industry is dominated by the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Max, Disney, and Hulu.

Franco says that Pavilion Entertainment stands apart with a transformative approach that is unique to the Caribbean.

“While the world has witnessed a widespread shift to streaming, the Caribbean is largely left behind. Not only do we find ourselves consuming content on major streaming services like Netflix, HBO, or Hulu that reflects a foreign perspective, you also won’t find Caribbean content on these international platforms,” he said.

“Recognising this gap, Pavilion+ offers the Caribbean and its diaspora a modern streaming experience that includes an extensive library of classic and brand-new Caribbean titles. By exclusively featuring content that authentically captures the diverse tapestry of Caribbean culture and storytelling, Pavilion+ addresses this lack of representation,” Franco added.

The associate producer of Green Days by the River, Franco his company is also dedicated to providing first-class service to its users on par with the industry leaders.

“Beyond content, Pavilion+ provides a world-class streaming experience comparable to industry giants such as Netflix, HBO Max, or Disney+, offering the convenience of watching Caribbean titles anytime, anywhere, with an internet connection. This not only simplifies content discovery but also enriches the overall enjoyment of Caribbean entertainment,” he said.

Moreover, Franco believes that the Caribbean is ripe for this type of opportunity.

“The Caribbean holds a treasure trove of untapped stories, and – now, more than ever – it is cheaper and easier to make these films and have them reach global audiences. Now is our time. Pavilion+ is the vehicle,” he said.

Franco sees the Caribbean as possessing a wealth of untapped narratives that are unique to its culture, and he believes the Caribbean perspective can enrich universal themes with its unique cultural nuances.

He pointed out that hugely successful films such as Cool Runnings, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and Death in Paradise incorporated a Caribbean point of view and maintained global appeal

“These examples demonstrate that a Caribbean perspective adds a unique flavor to universal themes, enhancing them with cultural richness and depth. The success of these projects on a global scale attests to the universal nature of the themes they explore, regardless of whether the story is set in Los Angeles, New York, Kingston, or Port of Spain,” he said.

“The Caribbean’s untapped storytelling potential provides a fresh and potentially lucrative lens through which audiences can immerse themselves in and appreciate universally resonant narratives,” Franco added.

For Caribbean creatives, the sheer amount of films, movies, and documentaries emerging from the leviathans of the North American market is a monumental threat.

However, the industry-savvy Franco, says that Caribbean creative output can do far better than just compete.

“The potential for Caribbean content to rival that of the US is not just plausible but highly achievable. The Caribbean is home to some of the most talented individuals globally, spanning various fields such as sports, music, literature, and business. Despite the smaller populations compared to many US cities, success stories from the region have reached the highest echelons of achievement” he said.

“The key challenges lie more in access, infrastructure, and opportunity rather than a lack of talent. Pavilion Entertainment recognises this and is committed to addressing these challenges by providing a platform that not only showcases the immense talent in the Caribbean but also ensures that the stories told are authentic reflections of the Caribbean experience,” Franco.

Venus as a Boy executive producer Franco is also heavily invested in the idea that Caribbean creatives and storytellers, if given the right platform, can produce work that can excel on the world stage.

“Pavilion Entertainment is dedicated to transforming the underrepresentation of Caribbean producers, directors, and actors in the global media landscape,” he said.

“We’ve already taken significant steps in this direction by establishing content partnerships with major platforms like The Roku Channel, Tubi, and Amazon. Furthermore, we actively pitch new projects to industry giants such as Netflix, Hulu, Sony, and Lionsgate. These partnerships and engagements with major players in the industry are opening up new avenues for Caribbean talent, enabling them to reach broader international audiences,” Franco adds.

Franco says that Pavilion+ serves as the heart of their initiative, offering a dedicated space for the region’s storytellers to showcase their work.

He adds that their commitment extends beyond Pavilion+.

“Pavilion sees itself not merely as a distributor but as a catalyst for Caribbean talent to embark on more ambitious projects, ultimately elevating the entire region in the global entertainment landscape. Our goal is to continue providing the necessary support and opportunities for Caribbean talent to shine,” he said.

Pavilion Entertainment stands out as a bold and innovative addition to the competitive streaming market and offers a unique appeal with its Caribbean focus.

With a forward-thinking approach, the company stands to redefine the future of entertainment streaming in the Caribbean and shape the next chapter in the digital entertainment revolution.


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  • PublishedMay 23, 2024

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