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Changes to NYS Office Of Motion Picture And Television Development

East coast residents are used to big changes in the spring: the weather warms up, ice starts to melt, and wildlife dormant for months gradually awake from their slumber. This year, the production world will be experiencing a spring change as well: the departure of long-time ally Pat Kaufman.

Stepping into Kaufman’s role as Executive Director of the New York State Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development is Gigi Semone. A native New Yorker who resides in New York City, Semone has worked in the production industry for many years, focusing primarily in publicity and marketing. Previous positions include Executive Vice President of National Publicity for Sony Pictures Entertainment, where Semone crafted and executed national broadcast, digital, print and radio publicity strategies, and Vice President of Walt Disney Company’s East Coast Publicity division, where she successfully managed all aspects of magazine publicity for live action and animated films. She also executed east coast events and press coverage for Walt Disney live action and animated films. Semone holds a B. A. from Colgate University.

With the reinstatement of the New York State tax credit, production has continued to grow over the past few years. Many major television and film productions have cited the program as a leading factor in their decision to film and produce in the state, and it’s estimated that 349 projects that have filmed or applied to the program will result in over $5.9 billion in direct spending in New York State.

“”This is an exciting time to join the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development. The Office is on a record-breaking path, bringing new productions – and jobs – to all parts of the state,” said Semone in a press release from the Empire State Development’s office. “I am honored to take on this new role, and am committed to fostering the growth of this critical economic development engine.”

As Executive Director, Semone will be responsible for marketing New York State as a location for film and television production and will also oversee new initiatives championed by Governor Cuomo to grow the industry, especially upstate. Semone will report to Rhoda Glickman, Senior Vice President for Arts, Culture and Film Development.

To learn more about the New York State Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, please visit:

To learn more about the Empire State Development Office, please visit: