Greetings Film Florida Members, Stakeholders, and Friends ~
I hope you had a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year. Hoping 2021 is much different than 2020. I wanted to reach out with a quick look back on 2020 as well as look forward to 2021.
Marketing and professional development organization are the core of Film Florida’s mission. Our top priority has been and will always be to market the state of Florida, the industry, and our members in order to bring more projects and to help grow and strengthen the industry while diversifying Florida’s economy. Our focus will always be to convey the message that Florida is open for business and interested in competing for high-wage jobs in the film, television and digital media industry.
To sustain those efforts, I want to introduce our $20.21 for 2021 initiative. Film Florida is a statewide not-for-profit association run by volunteer members of the industry. The goal of the organization is to grow and strengthen Florida’s film, television and digital media production industry. In order to do that we rely on the support of those that support our efforts. We are asking for you to consider donating $20.21 to Film Florida’s 2021 fundraising initiative. Your donation of $20.21 will help us to continue our tireless efforts on behalf of the industry. We realize this continues to be a difficult time for everyone, but these efforts help us to continue to work for YOU. CLICK HERE to donate.
We continue to focus on legislative efforts as well. Legislative Committee Weeks leading up to the 2021 Legislative Session begin on January 11 and conclude on February 19. The 2021 Legislative Session begins on March 2 and is scheduled to end on April 30, 2021. The film and television industry can and should be a major part of Florida’s economic recovery. Film Florida will be advocating for bills that will create the Film, Television, and Digital Media Targeted Rebate Program.
While a bill has not passed in recent years, great progress has been made with building relationships with legislators. Our membership has done a tremendous job, on a completely volunteer basis, meeting with legislators to help educate them on the importance of the film, television and digital media industry. Our goal continues to be to build relationships with legislators that put our industry in the best position for success in Tallahassee. Notable progress has been made the last two years in significantly building momentum and garnering positive media coverage for the industry. With the continued help and support from groups like Florida TaxWatch, Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, etc. we will continue to push legislators to pass a program that helps the industry while provides a positive return on investment to Florida taxpayers.
To achieve our legislative goals, we are asking each of you to engage your local State Senator and State Representative and encourage them to support Florida’s film, television and digital media industry. We are standing by to assist you in this effort but we need you to send the e-mails, make the calls or set up the meetings (Zoom or in-person). Please send your full home address to info@FilmFlorida.org and we will locate local legislators for you, give you the appropriate contact information, and supply you with the pertinent background info so you can professionally and knowledgably reach out to your legislators.
While our state doesn’t have a statewide incentive program, Florida continues to offer an entertainment industry sales tax exemption. We encourage everyone to take advantage of the program, CLICK HERE for more information.
Film Florida regularly participates in a variety of “sales missions” both in-state and around the country. Unfortunately, the bulk of our traditional sales missions were cancelled during 2020. As these sales missions continue to develop virtually, in person or a little of both, we are thrilled to provide an opportunity for our members (oftentimes at discounted rates) to attend the events. We realize many don’t have the resources available to attend these events, which is why Film Florida continues to put a renewed emphasis on promoting our member film festivals as local sales missions. Filmmakers from around the world attend film festivals (in person and virtually) so we encourage everyone to pay attention to our social media pages and our newsletter promoting those Florida-based film festivals that are members of Film Florida. These in-state events are effective networking events while at a significantly lower price point.
As everyone knows, 2020 was the year for Zoom meetings and seminars. Film Florida migrated our Quarterly Meetings to Zoom, making meetings much more accessible to our members. We also hosted multiple free virtual town halls to continue our mission of offering a variety of professional development opportunities to industry professionals, both members and non-members. Be on the lookout for more events throughout 2021.
The Film Florida Podcast is currently in season 3. Season 3 topics include David Makes Man, The Highway Men, on-set safety, mental health awareness and suicide prevention, Film Florida’s legislative efforts, and more. The podcast has released a total of 65 episodes and is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, the iHeartRadio app and on the Film Florida website. Please make sure you subscribe, rate and review the podcast.
I have tasked Film Florida’s Membership Committee to develop an outreach initiative to recruit new members, invite diverse voices to the table, and encourage future leadership positions on Film Florida member Councils, Committees and the Board of Directors. If you are a member of Film Florida, and you are interested in joining the Membership Committee on this diversity initiative, please email email@example.com to be invited to the next Committee meeting taking place on Wednesday, January 13 from 11am-12pm.
An initiative for our Individual members: we want to listen, learn from, and make sure Film Florida is providing value to you. Film Florida will be hosting 4 regional Zoom Focus Groups where our individual members will be invited to participate, ask questions, and give input so we know what you want and need out of your Film Florida membership. Be on the lookout, more information coming very soon.
I want to thank our members for their continued support. Without that support from our members, we are not able to provide the representation that we do throughout the year. Through the pandemic, we have been able to sustain most of our membership, which has allowed us to be proactive with our efforts. If you’re not a member, we encourage you to join Film Florida and get involved to ensure your voice is heard. Annual individual memberships are just $75 and full corporate memberships start at $500.
As you can see, 2020 was a challenging but productive year for Film Florida and 2021 is shaping up to be even more active. Finally, special thanks to our Executive Director John Lux, for his tireless efforts on behalf of Film Florida so we can continue to provide a leadership role for Florida’s film, television and digital media industry. You can contact John directly at 407-494-6195 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate your ongoing engagement and support and look forward to a great 2021.
President, Film Florida