As Bahamian film Pigs of Paradise prepares for an exclusive screening next week in Florida, the book’s author argues the storyline of Exuma’s phenomenon and its global appeal as one of the strongest marketing tools The Bahamas could hope to have.
The way author Jeff Todd sees it, it’s the country’s true differentiator amidst an abundance of similar products offering sun, sand and sea.
“There is no doubt that The Bahamas has some of the best beaches and water in the entire world,” he told Eyewitness Business. “But from a consumer’s perspective, when we are inundated with information 24/7, how do you rise above the crowd? The pigs are rock stars, particularly on the internet. It was the big differentiator and it continues to be an entry point so people can discover the rest of what The Bahamas has to offer.”
The screening of the film – with astronaut Scott Kelly narrating the mystery behind Exuma’s famous swimming pigs – is expected to take place to a packed house next week at the Savor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale.
Todd’s book, Pigs of Paradise, has already flown off of shelves all across North America, with digital sales reaching far beyond the shores of the swimming animals. He’s taking interviews from as far as Hong Kong from people who can’t get enough of the island pets seen on the screen and described in his novel — and it’s an interest he feels the country should move to capitalize on.
“It is not every day that a book about The Bahamas makes it onto bookshelves across North America, and beyond, so the appeal of the swimming pigs is global. This book and now the full-length film, I think, really allows this attraction to take its place in tourism history,” said Todd.
“Also, I think having astronaut Scott Kelly narrate the new film is very important. Kelly, during his year in space, famously said that Exuma was the most beautiful place from space. You just can’t buy this kind of publicity and marketing.”
Next Thursday’s screening follows several multi-country screenings of the film, which documents how they reached celebrity status, what made them so famous and why, in February 2017, did so many of them die.
“I’m often amazed just how popular they have become,” he remarked. “What started off as a single colony of pigs in Exuma has become a national attraction, with colonies in Abaco, Nassau, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama and Long Island.
‘There could be even more. They are sprouting up all the time. Exuma will always be the original, but it has clearly taken on a life of its own. This attraction has generated millions in tourism revenue and will continue to do so.”
Appearing in magazines, videos, newspapers, commercials, TV shows, and countless selfies, the Swimming Pigs of Exuma are the new bucket-list sensation and have been named one of the marvels of the universe.