Mayor Eric Adams announced July 21, 2022 his three components of his "Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent" plan to drive inclusive growth in the film and television sector, invest in New York's creative economy, and ensure the industry recovers beyond pre-COVID19 pandemic levels. The components include the first-ever Film and Television Production Industry Council, created to advise the city's production policies and programs. The Mayor has appointed Kwame Amoaku as Deputy Commissioner in the Film Office of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainemt (MOME), to serve as principal advisor on production policy as film production in New York City returns to pre-pandemic levels. And finally signing Executive Order 21, requiring each city agency to have a film office liaison to support the industry working in the 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 Film and Television Production Industry Council will be co-chaired by Directors Guild of America (DGA) Eastern Executive Director, Neil Dudich and Executive Producer, New York COVID Protection Response Alliance's 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
New York City's film and television industry led the recovery of our creative economy; demonstrating its importance to our city's cultural identity and vitality; and drawing talent, businesses, and tourists from around the world," said MOME Commissioner Anne del Castillo. "With the authority of Executive Order 21, the leadership of Deputy Film Commissioner Kwame Amoaku, and the support of the Industry Council, we can advance a holistic and coordinated approach to strengthen and diversify the industry in New York City."
"I would like to thank Mayor Adams and Commissioner del Castillo for the opportunity to serve the film community in this incredible city," said MOME's Film Office Deputy Commissioner Kwame Amoaku. "I look forward to being a part of the awesome economic force that film production represents, for not only the studios and networks that make quality content here but the residents and businesses of New York."
Commissioner Kwame Amoaku has worked for Chicago as the Film Office Director.
Amoaku's career in film and television spans 30 years, and includes experience in directing, producing, writing, cinematography, acting, and location management. As director of the Chicago Film Office, he helped develop COVID19 protocols that allowed filming permits to be issued by June 2020 and served as part of the city's COVID Recovery Task Force, which invested in workforce development and infrastructure to increase soundstage capacity and revenues by 25 percent and film production by 125 percent. Amoaku also designed and implemented a workforce development program for Chicago residents from underserved areas and created the Chicago Independent Producers Lab, to provide professional development and support to Chicago's independent film community.
"A strong foundation of production workers calls New York City home, but sadly many saw their jobs and their livelihoods suffer during COVID-19, but 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."