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Film Connecticut


 

This site will cover the worlds of film, video and the visual arts in the state of Connecticut, beginning with coverage of the Connecticut Film Festival from May 4 to 10, 2010. One of the most important places in the Northeast Corridor of the United States, the state of Connecticut is fast emerging as a go-to destination for innovation in new technologies and the visual arts.


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Building A Media Industry in Connecticut

 

 

Yes, the Connecticut Film Festival, which begins this Tuesday and runs through Sunday, May 9, is about presentation of films and new media projects for locals and visitors alike, but its goals are far loftier and more ambitious. The Festival hopes to serve as a catalyst for building a sustainable and creative working environment for film, video and visual artists who call Connecticut home.

That explains the Festival's ambitious plan to gather the men and women on the front lines of the growing Connecticut film and media industries together for  an unprecedented roundtable discussion on Wednesday, May 5. Titled “Building an Industry: Film as an Economic Driver in Connecticut”, the information-session-cum-pep-rally takes place from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the Common Council Room of The Danbury City Hall, 155 Deer Hill Avenue in Danbury. There will be a networking meet and greet reception with refreshments after the discussion, from 7:00 to 8:00 with food and beverage provided by Two Steps Downtown Grill.

The panelists for this discussion include economic development directors, economists, and George Norfleet, Director of the Connecticut State Film Office, the agency most responsible for creating tax and other incentives to attract production to the state, as well as education and training initiatives for students looking to break into the high-flying media industries of film, video and high tech. The focus of the discussion will be about the economic and social impact these industries have had on cities and towns and how films can spark economic development in a state that is flirting with bankruptcy.

Among the panelists set to participate:  

  • J. Bruce Allesie, Economic Development Director - Town of Stratford: Allesie is currently working with Dogstar Studios, a full service motion picture and television studio with 12 soundstages, 22,000 square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet for support services, and an educational component.
  • Laure Aubuchon, Director of Economic Development - City of Stamford: Aubuchon oversees economic development for the Connecticut city that has seen the most filmmaking activity since the state passed a film tax incentive in 2006. Stamford is also home to the Connecticut Film Center, a leading state film production services company.
  • Tony Bialecki, Deputy Economic Development Director - City of New Haven: Bialecki and his New Haven colleagues have proposed city-based tax incentives to lure media companies to the Elm City. These tax benefits include 80 percent reductions in property and equipment taxes for five years.
  • George Norfleet, Director, Connecticut Film, TV and Digital Media Office: Norfleet has served as Director of the Connecticut Film Office since 2008. He directs the film division's programs and operations and focuses the Commission's resources on marketing Connecticut as a potential locale for projects.
  • Dale Shannon, Senior Economist, Connecticut Economic Research Council: At CERC, Shannon is responsible for developing, compiling and analyzing economic data pertinent to CERC's mission of promoting Connecticut economic development. Shannon authored a study analyzing the impact the Connecticut Studios project would have in the state.
  • Craig Stevenson, Economic Development Consultant - Town of South Windsor: Stevenson is currently working with Connecticut Studios LLC, the developer of the proposed full service, state of the art motion picture and television studio, production and post production facility Connecticut Studios, which plans to break ground this spring.
  • The discussion will be moderated by Greg Bordonaro, a reporter for the Hartford Business Journal who has followed and written on the film industry in Connecticut.

    “Many people in Connecticut may not understand just how much of an economic boost the industry can provide,” said Marty Lang, Educational Director of the Connecticut Film Festival. “Hopefully, this discussion will start to educate people on just how beneficial the industry can be for our state and how other cities and towns can become proactive in attracting the industry to their region.”

    For more information on this and other specia events, visit the Connecticut Film Festival website: www.ctfilmfest.com.

    Sandy Mandelberger, Film Connecticut Editor

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