Scouting the Competition at the Sundance Film Festival

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Last week, FilmL.A. President Paul Audley and Vice President Todd Lindgren returned from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, more knowledgeable of the competitive production environment and inspired by the experience.

FilmL.A. was able to tag along with the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA), which put together an economical trip package for its members that included passes to all festival events and screenings.

While FilmL.A. regularly participates in industry-related events such as the Association of Film Commissioners International’s (AFCI) Annual Locations Show, the California Only Locations Tradeshow and the Producers Guild of America’s Produced by Conference, it has not attended out-of-state film festivals in the past.

FilmL.A. staff attended Sundance this year in order to gauge the participation by other countries’ and states’ film offices. Though the festival does not have a film commission or film office tradeshow component, Park City was not entirely devoid of such. The New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development bought out a Main Street café store-front for the week, converting it to a New York bagel shop, which promoted in-state film production.

“The New York State film office had a conspicuous presence. With private sector sponsors, they were able to promote their locations and state tax incentive, which dwarfs California’s,” said Audley. “Being there was helpful. We were able to speak to independent producers and directors about their upcoming productions and are working to help ensure they’ll shoot in Los Angeles.”

FilmL.A.’s board of directors is currently developing a strategic plan, which will lay out marketing initiatives for the next few years. FilmL.A. staff’s findings from Sundance will be factored into that process.

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