NEW YORK—New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced a number of new measures to encourage film and TV production in the city, including the introduction of the first-ever Film and Television Production Industry Council, the appointment of Kwame Amoaku as deputy commissioner in the Film Office of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), and the signing of Executive Order 21, highlighting the city’s support of the television and film industry.
The efforts to help the production industry recover from the pandemic come at a time when the number of productions in New York City are reaching all-time highs, both pre- and post-pandemic, with 35 productions filming on the ground at any given time and 80 series shooting in the city — a 34 percent increase in episodic production since 2014.
The city also reported that nearly 1 million square feet of production and related space is being newly built or renovated throughout the five boroughs, including at the ‘Made In NY’ Campus at Bush Terminal in Brooklyn.
“A strong foundation of production workers calls New York City home, but sadly many saw their jobs and their livelihoods suffer during COVID-19 — this administration is taking action to change that,” said Mayor Adams. “We vowed to help the film and television industry fully recover, and our new Film and Television Production Industry Council and the appointment of Kwame Amoaku as the new Deputy Film Commissioner make good on our promise. New York City has some amazing stories to tell, and we’re going to make it easy as possible for the film and television industry to tell each one of those stories.”
“New York City’s film and television industry supported over 185,000 local jobs and accounted for more than $82 billion in total economic output before the pandemic,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “The execution of these initiatives ensures this administration continues to equitably and effectively serve the needs of this industry and the greater city.”
The new Film and Television Production Industry Council will be co-chaired by Directors Guild of America (DGA) Eastern Executive Director Neil Dudich and Executive Producer and New York Producers COVID Response Alliance Co-Chair April Taylor. The council will advise the city’s production policies and programs and include the following 21 members:
- Venus Anderson – Program Director, ‘Made in NY’ Production Assistant Training Program at Brooklyn Workforce Innovations
- Gina Argento – President and CEO, Broadway Stages
- Kathy Banuelos – Senior Vice President, State Government Affairs, Motion Picture Association (MPA)
- Rebecca Damon – Executive Director, New York Local, Labor Policy and International Affairs, Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)
- Ryan Ferguson – Location Manager and DGA member
- John Ford – President and Business Manager, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 52
- Carolyn Gershenson – Set Medic, IATSE Local 52 Officer
- Malaika Johnson – Location Scout, Teamsters Local 817 member
- Ezra Knight – New York President, SAG-AFTRA
- Dede Lea – Executive Vice President, Global Public Policy and Government Relations, Paramount
- Amy Lemisch – Director, Studio Affairs, Netflix
- Matt Miller – President and CEO, Association of Independent Commercial Producers
- Flo Mitchell Brown – Chairperson, New York Production Alliance
- Tommy O’Donnell – President, Teamsters Local 817
- Santiago Quinones – Producer, DGA member
- Jay Roewe – Senior Vice President, Production, HBO
- Hal Rosenbluth – President, Kaufman Astoria Studios
- Doug Steiner – Chairman, Steiner Studios
- Vans Stevenson – Senior Advisor, Global Government Affairs, MPA
- Veronica Sullivan – Senior Vice President and Head of Global Production, External Affairs and State and Local Government, NBCUniversal
- Canella Williams-Larrabee – Unit Production Manager, DGA member
Most recently, film and television industry veteran Kwame Amoaku served as director of Chicago’s Film Office. In his new role as deputy commissioner in the Film Office of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), Amoaku will: promote New York City as a premier location for production; develop and maintain relationships with key industry stakeholders; and oversee the film permitting process. Amoaku’s career in film and television spans 30 years and includes experience in directing, producing, writing, cinematography, acting, and location management.
Finally, the administration announced the issuance of Executive Order 21, requiring each city agency to have a film office liaison to support the $82 billion economic impact in the city and the 185,000 jobs the industry supports and contributes to the cultural identity of New York City. This will facilitate on-location production across the five boroughs, which, in turn, supports industry growth, connects New Yorkers to jobs in this growing sector, and strengthens local small businesses, the city reported.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.