It is also true that nothing you do to build a local industry will have much of an impact unless you make equal efforts to build an audience interested in watching local films. Given the commercial imperatives of most movie houses/complexes, this is not as easy as one might think. Working outside the norm, audience development activities include movie clubs (like book clubs, but with local films), mobile cinemas, providing free display stands for local film at local video outlets and of course, film festivals.
In general, the best way to support local filmmakers is to go see the work and give them feedback if asked. Screenings nowadays take place just about anywhere. Find out about them through your local college or alternative weekly newspaper and make sure you trumpet them from your website/blog. And don’t forget to support the venues that support local filmmakers too.
A word of advice, however: make sure your local filmmakers are themselves the prime targets of your audience development activities. Make sure they show up and support other filmmakers. After all, if they’re not prepared to support local filmmakers, why should they expect any support in return?