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AFCI Location Tradeshow 2009

Did you know that the AFCI Location Trade Show is the longest running entertainment industry event in North America?

Heading into its 24th year, the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Location Trade Show will be held from April 16 -18 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica. This year, 240 exhibitors from over 30 countries and 180 AFCI member Film Commissions will be on hand to meet and answer questions posed by industry professionals. The event is considered a “must attend” for producers, production executives and other production decision makers who deal with national and international policies, practices, and resources.

“Finding a customer base and participating in a trade environment can be done in one place, which is a real benefit to the show,” said Bill Lindstrom, AFCI’s Chief Executive Officer. Attendees have the ability to meet executives and location professionals throughout the three days of the show. As Lindstrom states, “It’s a good time to get to know the people, and to make the connections, that will aid your production.”

The AFCI offers a series of workshops in conjunction with the trade show. Panelists involved in this year’s seminars include Jerry Ketcham, Senior VP, Walt Disney Pictures, Garry Brown, Television Producer, Twentieth Century Fox, Michael Karagosian, President, MKPE Consulting LLC, and many other executives and film commission directors.

“The AFCI has always endeavored to enhance the Locations Trade Show experience with educational and professional development opportunities for the general public,” said Mary Nelson, AFCI Board President.

Partnering with the Loyola Law School, this year’s workshops will be “Digital & Dollars: Production Through Exhibition” and “Globalization and Incentives: Film Without Borders.”

“’Digital & Dollars: Production Through Exhibition’ looks at the ways the digital revolution touches virtually every aspect of media production, while ’Globalization & Incentives: Film Without Boarders’ explores how co-production between two or more different jurisdictions can be successfully accomplished,” said Nelson. “Both of these topics represent exciting and challenging new territory for our industry.”

In response to the success of the panel presentation entitled “Candid Conversations with Studio Executives” that debut in Wellington, New Zealand, AFCI will hold a continuation of this session. The first Candid Conversations resulted in both panelists and audiences leaving the experience with a better understanding of each other and their respective needs. “Candid Conversations with Studio Executives Part 2: The Film Commission as Investor” hopes to provide the same experience for participants.

“In recent years, film commissions have become increasingly important to the production process and in many cases are becoming true production partners,” said Nelson. “’Candid Conversations’ is an open, no-holds-barred conversation about how film commissions can most effectively participate in the production process as well as the rights and responsibilities that producers and production companies have when filming on location.”

Three days prior to the Location Trade Show, those looking for more in-depth and advanced education may enroll in AFCI’s advanced courses. One entry level class, “Film Commission Professional” and two master classes, “Marketing for Film Commissioners” and “The Film Commissioner as Economic Developer,” are being offered this year. Film commissioners may use the master classes towards AFCI Film Commissioner Accreditation. All AFCI classes are open to the general public.

This year will see a number of new and returning participants. With 20 new members added to the AFCI roster during 2009 from commissions including the US, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, the Philippines, New Zealand, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Finland, there will be many new connections to make. “There are always new exhibitors, and always a different feel to the show,” said Lindstrom.

In addition to making contacts and utilizing the trade show floor, Lindstrom notes that anyone interested in learning about the economy’s effects on location incentives should attend the show to obtain as much information as possible.

“We’ve seen remarkable cutbacks in incentives programs this past year. There have been changes to the amounts of limits, caps, and services that can be provided,” said Lindstrom. “These issues alone warrant attendees at this year’s Location Trade Show to discover what’s recently affected incentives and location shooting.”

Summarizes Nelson, “Locations Trade Show is a valuable opportunity for everyone with interest in on-location filmmaking and the seminars are designed to enhance the trade show experience.”

For additional information on the AFCI Location Trade Show, please visit: