Greetings Film Florida Members, Stakeholders and Friends,
As I begin my second year as President of Film Florida, I wanted to share how honored I am to continue to serve this organization and lead our efforts for Florida’s film, television, and digital media production industry. I am proud of what we accomplished, but more importantly I look forward to the new challenges ahead that will propel Film Florida’s success in the future.
Before talking more about the future, I want to reflect on the recent past. Last month, Film Florida had the opportunity to hold our Annual Meeting in Palm Beach County. While we were “based” out of Palm Beach, we had the opportunity to visit a number of areas throughout The Palm Beaches and we had a very productive, yet enjoyable time. The Annual Meeting was based out of The Brazilian Court Hotel. Not only was the entire resort wonderful, every detail for our meeting was taken care of flawlessly. Special thanks to the entire Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission team, especially Chuck Elderd, Michelle Hillery and Christy Andreoni. Thanks also to Film Florida member Ko-Mar Productions for hosting a tour and panel discussion that included another terrific Film Florida member, Olympusat. The final stop on our tour of The Palm Beaches was a special drive-thru adventure at Lion Country Safari. In addition to the photos below, CLICK HERE for more photos from our time at Lion Country Safari.
As an organization, we have numerous goals and we hope you will participate with us. Over the last year, we have added close to 100 new members to our organization. The last two years have been, by far, the largest increase in membership over a 2-year period in our organization’s history. That shows the commitment everyone has to growing and strengthening our industry. If you’re not a member of Film Florida, now is the time to join! As a not-for-profit, we are funded entirely by our members so our ability to work on behalf of the industry is completely dependent upon the support we receive through our membership efforts. As an industry, we are stronger working together so we hope you will CLICK HERE and consider joining the team.
We have developed some tremendous partnerships over the last couple of years with organizations such as VISIT FLORIDA, Florida TaxWatch, Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), and the Florida Chamber of Commerce just to name a few. These partnerships will help strengthen our efforts to put Floridians back to work at home, generate new revenues for the state, and enhance tourism. We believe these are important steps toward growing and diversifying our economy.
In addition to the relationships we have forged, our best sales and marketing tool is ourselves. A staple of our marketing efforts continues to be our sales missions to tell the Florida story and bring projects and companies to Florida. In addition to our current group (Toronto International Film Festival, Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism, NATPE, SXSW, Tribeca Film Festival, and Produced By), we are excited to explore additional sales missions this year including Reel Screen (East and West) and AFCI Week. We are happy to announce that we plan to offer packages to select sales missions to both members and non-members. Whether you are part of Film Florida or not, be on the lookout for special packages in the future so you can help spread the message that “Florida is open for business!”
Film Florida continues to capture stories from those in non-traditional industries that support film, television and digital media production in Florida. We need to see and hear the stories from the thousands of Floridians that don’t work directly in our industry, but still depend on the industry to make their livelihood. We want to hear their story, who they are, what they do, how they benefit from our industry and what our industry means to them and their family. Thirty seconds, maybe a minute is all we need. Once you have recorded the videos, please e-mail them to info@FilmFlorida.org. If the videos are too large to e-mail please send via Google, Dropbox, Hightail, etc. but indicate they are videos so we know the link is not spam.
Florida’s independent film and commercial production continues to thrive in Florida, along with the growing tech clusters throughout the state, and we look forward to further enhancing those aspects of our industry. While a state-wide program to entice projects and companies to Florida is still a challenge, there are now 7 counties (Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties), and 2 cities (Miami Beach, North Miami) with some form of program to enhance production work in their region. We will continue to work on ways, both on the state and local level, to keep and/or bring more work and jobs to Florida. CLICK HERE to learn more about the local programs. Florida also offers an entertainment industry sales tax exemption, CLICK HERE for more information and to apply.
Speaking of statewide, as you are aware, this November Florida will elect a new Governor as well as 100+ legislators in Florida’s Senate and House. On the advice of our Government Relations team, we are in the midst of an unprecedented effort to speak to every elected official and/or candidate running for open seats in the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives and we look forward to passing that information on to you. If you are interested in actively being involved in the effort to ensure every person running for state office understands who our industry is, what we do, and how we can be a positive part of further growing, strengthening and diversifying Florida’s economy, please respond to this e-mail at info@FilmFlorida.org so you can be included on that team. We will make sure you are prepared and understand the task. We just need your help with execution.
We hope to provide you with many successful, educational, and enjoyable opportunities in Florida’s production industry, and we thank you so much for your continued support moving forward. Please mark your calendar for our next Quarterly Meeting, scheduled for September 24-26 in Jacksonville as we celebrate Film Florida’s 20th Anniversary. We invite all Film Florida members to participate in the committee and council meetings on September 25th and as always, our Board of Directors meeting on September 26th is open to the public.
As always, we appreciate your engagement, participation, and support.
President, Film Florida