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Locations Expo Silver Anniversary Provides Healthy Turnout

M. Galas


For twenty five years, producers, film makers, students, and production enthusiasts have gathered at the AFCI Locations Trade Show.  This longest running gathering of global film commissions kicked off its anniversary on April 15th and saw a healthy attendance over the course of its three day expo and workshop events.

Nearly 3,800 attendees participated in this year’s event, a number that matches last year’s attendance.  Also holding steady was exhibitor participation, with 240 exhibitors representing thirty countries and a number of production services and industry focused companies, including LA 411.

"As tradeshows covering a multitude of sectors across the nation and around the world struggle to attract crowds, the entertainment industry is encouraged by the strong numbers seen at Locations Trade Show," said Larry Brownell, CEO of the AFCI in a prepared statement.  "The steady traffic coming through the doors for the show is undoubtedly an indicator that our industry continues to grow despite a challenging economy that’s really taken a toll on other industry trade shows."

Off-site, advanced registration courses offered this year focused on reducing spending and making the most of a production budget.  This theme was carried onto the show floor as producers took advantage of the easy access to film commissioners and staff. 

"We just had a gentleman who shot in Michigan before approach us about his next project," said Janet Lockwood, director of the Michigan Film Office.  "We’ll be signing paperwork before the end of the weekend."

In addition to getting productions off the ground, many individuals came to the show to make personal connections with commissioners they hope to work with in the near future.

"I don’t have a project lined up, I’ve just graduated from UCLA," said one young man.  "I came here because it’s the best place to start meeting people.  I want to get a relationship developed; I think it will really help me when I am ready to produce my first film."

On the second day of the expo this year, AFCI presented first, second, and third place ribbons to exhibitors for categories including "Best exhibit" and "Most informative."   The staff members of the Australian Film Commission were quite tickled with their third place ribbon for "Most Informative."  

"This is really great fun," said Michelle Sandoval, Client Liaison Executive for the Australian Film Council.  "We’ve been having a great time at the show this year and have had a fantastic turn out.  What a nice little bonus to be able to leave the festival with a ribbon."

Hawaii Film Commission staffers were also pleased to be able to display a first place ribbon for "Best Display."  After finding the best place to hang their ribbon, the staffers gathered around their prize for a group photo.  "Say Hawaii!" replaced "Say Cheese!" as attendees joined in the laughter of that celebrated moment.  

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