The Nuts and Bolts of Film Commissions: Governmental Relations

As discussed, film commissions/offices operate at varying levels. In the following segment, think specifically of the levels of governmental interaction that are appropriate for your position.

All film commissioners need to develop relationships with the political leaders in their area. This may be in order to educate and inform leaders on the significant role that a film office plays in recruitment of out-of-region productions and the growth of the indigenous (local) film industry, in creating job and businesses opportunities, in safeguarding the region by issuing permits or all of the above.

These relationships may be imperative for soliciting support and funding to start a film office and/or to continue to fund a film office year after year. Relationships with local leaders may also provide an avenue towards the adoption of a film production incentive, making the region more competitive.

As part of the relationship building process, a film commission may start by:

1. Strategizing ways to interface with key government leaders
2. Strategizing with other local and regional film commissions
3. Developing a regular schedule for meetings with federal, state/provincial, and/or local agencies – as is appropriate for the given film office

In addition to political leaders, there are many other governmental entities and individuals that are critical to a film commission’s ability to facilitate film production. These include government offices/agencies/ministries that handle film policies, permits, ordinances, and guidelines that are imperative for maintaining the region’s reputation as efficient and ‘film friendly’.

Other agencies/ministries include land management, parks, transportation, police, arts and culture, tourism, fire, immigration, revenue, wildlife, military, labor, health and any number of others.