The world’s largest tradeshow of its kind in the film industry was held recently in Los Angeles and AdvantageWest’s Western North Carolina Film Commission was there.
The annual Association of Film Commissions International’s (AFCI) Locations Tradeshow took place at the Hyatt Century Plaza in March, and WNC Film Commission Director Amanda Baranski was among the 3,000-plus attendees. The tradeshow brings together regional, state and national film commissions from around the world to discuss their respective area’s locations, crew base, tax incentives and other matters of importance to filmmakers and film professionals.
“AFCI was a wonderful platform for presenting North Carolina’s 25 percent refundable tax incentive to prospective film clients,” said Baranski, who shared booth space with representatives from the state film office and other regional film commissions from across North Carolina. “It was also an excellent opportunity to meet personally with producers and industry personnel who have expressed interest in filming in our 23-county region.”
Following the worldwide success of “The Hunger Games,” shot in Western North Carolina in 2010 and 2011 with assistance from WNC Film Commission, inquiries are at record numbers, says Baranski. “We assisted with 20 film scouts in 2013, which was a 185 percent increase over 2012.”
Baranski responded to 234 film-related inquiries in 2013 and assisted with completion of 34 film productions. Inquiries can include everything from responding to calls about locations or crew, helping with permits or a casting call, and assisting with road closures or with accessing and using public property, such as a state or national park. Projects come from major studios as well as independent filmmakers, ad agencies, TV and documentary producers, and more.
Earlier this year, based on information and metrics submitted by Baranski, MovieMaker Magazine, a trade publication for the film industry, selected Asheville as the “No. 1 Town in the U.S. for Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2014.”
The WNC Film Commission is a program of AdvantageWest, the nonprofit regional economic development organization serving the 23 counties of Western North Carolina. For more information about filmmaking in the region or opportunities such as film competitions and casting calls, visit the film industry section of the new AdvantageWest website, AdvantageWest.com, or follow the Western North Carolina Film Commission on Facebook.