Film Florida has announced that it has retained The Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners as its government relations firm. The entertainment production association said Slater Bayliss, a partner with The Advocacy Group, will lead advocacy efforts for Film Florida during the 2016 Legislative Session and help craft bill language that can be better supported by Florida’s legislative leaders.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome the team at The Advocacy Group to the Film Florida team, and we’re looking forward to working with them over the upcoming months leading up to the 2016 Legislative Session,” noted Michelle Hillery, Film Florida President. “While Film Florida focuses on many aspects of the film, TV and digital media industry, the legislative side is one of the more visible aspects of the organization. Slater and the Advocacy team have an extensive track record in consensus building, carrying out successful advocacy strategies and utilizing cultivated relationships in Tallahassee. Film Florida is anxious to work toward success that will positively impact our industry and in turn the entire state of Florida.”
The film, TV and digital media industry has a long history in Florida. More than 100,000 Floridians and 16,000 companies work in the industry in Florida. More than thirty colleges and universities in Florida offer film or digital media degree programs. The goal is for those graduates to eventually become working professionals in Florida where the average annual wage is in excess of $70,000. Close to forty other states have some sort of rebate, grant or tax credit program aimed at attracting film, TV and digital media projects and companies. Since 2004, when then Governor Jeb Bush instituted Florida’s first program, for every $1 (dollar) invested by the State to grow the industry, the industry has returned a $5 (dollar) return on that investment in the state’s economy. In addition, in 2013 a VISIT FLORIDA study showed that 22.7% of domestic tourists said something they saw on film or television contributed to their decision to visit Florida.
“We look forward to working with the industry’s legislative champions as well as legislative leadership in an effort to craft the most fiscally conservative, performance-based program in the United States and put Florida back on the map for the film, TV and digital media industry,” Bayliss commented.
About Film Florida: Film Florida is a not-for-profit entertainment production association that serves a leadership role in Florida’s film, TV, and digital media industry by representing all aspects of the business including film commissions, industry, labor, associations and education. The growing membership driven organization provides a network, a platform, and the benefits of playing an active part in solidifying Florida’s position as a major production destination, positive economic development driver and tourism generator. For more information about Film Florida visit FilmFlorida.org.