A film commission is a specialist business unit mandated by government to contribute to competitive, sustainable, local economic development by promoting and supporting film and video production and other film-related activities in their respective jurisdictions. There are some 340 registered film commissions and film offices from more than 40 countries on every continent. There are a couple of global standards in order to be recognised as a film festival – including impartiality, a government mandate for a specific geographic area, and fee free services. But beyond that, there is no typical home for a Film Commission; they are set up by cities, counties, states / provinces or federal governments, and are generally operated and funded by various agencies of government, such as the governor’s office, the mayor’s office, chambers of commerce, convention and visitors’ bureaus, tourism offices and business and economic development departments. And example of the scope is covered here at Cannes Eco 2012.
Most Film Commissions undertake a standard set of functions including:
- To act as official adviser to government on the policy, legislation and regulations necessary for the promotion of the film, television and related multi-media industries.
- To act as official intermediary on behalf of government with the film sector, and vice versa.
- To market and promote their region as a cost-effective, quality location for local and international productions using a variety of tools
- To compile a database of locally-available crew, talent, services, facilities and equipment in the region, and promote their use to international and local filmmakers;
- To advise film makers on any other aspects of production including, but not limited to, municipal by-laws, traffic ordinances, environmental legislation and employment legislation and practices;
- To support learning and training opportunities to build skills in the sector;
- To conduct and coordinate research into all areas of film, television and multimedia productions locally and internationally, and to be informed on best practices within Film Sector development and management.
- To collate reports and statistics to complement the work and to draft reports where required; and
- (where necessary) To raise money for the programs and projects of the organization.
So what would a Film Commission or Film Office look like for your jurisdiction? What would its roles and responsibilities be, how would it be structured, how would it be managed? Taking into consideration our work with film commissions on every continent, we can help devise the optimum film organisation for your jurisdiction.