17 named to new Louisville Film Commission

Sheldon S. Shafer,

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is creating a commission to promote the city as a “premier location for film, television and new media production.”

Formation of the new Louisville Film Commission was announced Friday at the Kentucky Center. Attending were Gov. Steve Beshear, Fischer, state Tourism Secretary Bob Stewart, representatives of the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism and members of the commission.

The commission’s goal is to “educate the local community on the importance of film and to serve as an advocate for increased workforce and support,” a release said.

Fischer created the commission by executive order. His aides said the commission will not have a specific budget and will serve as an advisory body to Fischer’s Louisville Forward agency. That is the administration’s lead agency on a variety of economic and development-related matters.

The film panel is expected to elect its own officers, the aides said. The initial appointments to the commission by Fischer include 17 people, many of whom have ties to the film industry, such as producer and investor Gill Holland and Soozie Eastman, who heads the Louisville Film Society.

The other initial Louisville Film Commission members are Merry-Kay Poe, Mark Rabinowitz, Archie Borders, Michael Fitzer, Erin Roark, Daniel Diamond, Devin Bundrent, Scott Davis, Antonio Pantoja, Meredith McDonogh, Heather Weston Bell, Mary Clay Boland, Billy Rapaport, Dr. Jai Wilson and Mona Juett.

Fischer noted that the Louisville area’s film history dates back a century to pioneering director D.W. Griffith. He said that according to the Internet Movie Database, all or parts of more than 330 movies and television episodes have been filmed in Louisville. Among those films were “Stripes,” “Goldfinger,” “The Insider” and “Secretariat.”

Fischer said, “From my perspective, what makes film great for Louisville is the same thing that makes it a challenge for the film makers — it’s relatively expensive, so you have to spend money. And you have to hire a lot of people.”

He noted the positive economic development aspects of the film business, and that it is also “another art form to add to the fantastic arts and cultural offerings we already have — theater, music, visual arts, dance and more.”

Fischer said he is assembling a “team of pros who will serve as the Louisville Film Commission. This team is made up of a diverse group of film industry experts who will work with and advise the team at Louisville Forward and serve as our eyes and ears to the film world.”

He said that with the commission, “we can maximize our potential for opportunities in film and media.”


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