“Collaboration, co-operation and communication are vital to the success of bringing any vision to reality”
– The head of the only global organisation representing film commission professionals reveals the association’s goals and shares impressions on the 3rd Shooting Locations Marketplace
After working closely with the New Zealand Film Commission and regional film offices nationwide, including Screen Auckland, where she managed activations at premieres and major events such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Jaclyn Philpott relocated to the US to take on the role of Executive Director at the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI). From this leading position she oversees advocacy, educational programs and events that empower AFCI members to work more effectively with policymakers and businesses in the screen sector — all with the goal of fostering economic growth in an inclusive and sustainable manner.
At the recently wrapped Shooting Locations Market in Valladolid, Spain (17-18 October), Philpott moderated a roundtable titled “Different visions and realities” on which occasion we approached her with some questions. She speaks about her work for AFCI and shares some observations on the event, as well as on the further potential of Spain as a globally attractive shooting location.
Cineuropa: What is the main purpose of AFCI and could you provide insights to some of its key activities?
Jaclyn Philpott: Founded in 1975, the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) is the only global non-profit professional organisation representing city, state, regional, provincial and national film commission members on six continents. AFCI provides advocacy, connectivity and education necessary for film commissions and businesses in the screen sector in order to foster economic growth, to initiate the groundwork for strong infrastructure and provide the essentials for professional development in a fair, sustainable and socially diverse manner world-wide. We have a strong set of education modules, curate targeted events for members, partner to release research and insights and work with governments to help them understand the importance of Film Commissions and provide insights on incentives.
Additionally, we have recently released a new strategy which shows an ambitious roadmap for the next three years. The future we pursue is one where world-class productions are possible in any location around the globe, bringing powerful content to life and benefiting local communities.
You joined for the third edition of the Shooting Locations Market. What attracted you to the event?
As a global organisation it is important that we understand the regions, as well as our members who are new to the business. I saw the event as an opportunity to connect with our global members, especially those in Europe where membership is growing and we look to undertake more activity. After hearing great feedback about last year’s event from others in the industry I was even more interested in attending, so I could connect with industry colleagues. It turned out to be excellent, hence AFCI will look to be part of the event in 2024 and support its growth. I’m excited to work more closely with our European members so we can ensure AFCI is providing value as we move into our new strategic plans.
You moderated the round table “Different visions and realities” at the event. Which were the most important issues raised and conclusions drawn from the discussion?
Collaboration, co-operation and communication are vital to the success of bringing any vision to reality. We heard the various panellists talk about planning up front, being agile and open to changes, as well as working with trusted colleagues on the ground. The various panel members talked about the process they go through and how important it is to build relationships and nurture them to get the best outcomes for all.
What kind of future possibilities do you see in Spain as a shooting location for the global film market?
Spain has incredibly diverse locations and from what I have experienced is also a very welcoming country, has an established industry with great incentives. The infrastructure is also in place and the country is ready to welcome productions with specialist and experienced crew on the ground.
Moreover, Spain Film Commission offers world class service, which together with their long history of successful production, means that the region can only build on this in the years to come.