New York City has a new film commissioner.
Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Cynthia Lopez as the new head of the city's Office of Media and Entertainment.
Lopez, formerly an executive vice president of PBS' award-winning "POV" (Point of View) documentary series, replaces Katherine Oliver, who served under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and was praised for reviving the city's film and TV business.
Oliver's departure had raised concerns in the film industry about whether De Blasio would champion the entertainment industry in the way his predecessor did, making New York one of the leading production hubs outside of Los Angeles.
The city currently hosts 29 series and as many as 200 films a year. An estimated 130,000 people work on TV and film productions, according to the city's film office.
De Blasio has vowed to continue supporting the industry, which enjoys one of the most generous film incentives in the country. New York state allocates $420 million annually in rebates to film and TV productions.
“The film and television industries are central to New York City’s cultural vitality and to economic strength,” De Blasio said in a statement. “Cynthia has the experience and understands how the industry works in the city, and as commissioner, she will lead the administration’s efforts to continue keeping New York City a top filming destination – while opening up the industry to New Yorkers from all five boroughs.”
Lopez, a native of Brooklyn, has been executive vice president and co-executive producer of American Documentary and the documentary series "POV" since 2006. Previously, she served as acting executive director of the Deep Dish Satellite TV Network and executive producer of Hunter College’s Satellite TV Network.
“Having spent my entire career working in the television and film industries in New York, I’m honored to join the De Blasio administration,” Lopez said. “New York City is a thriving center of production and home to thousands of creative professionals who contribute to the film and television industries—and I look forward to leading the administration’s efforts to drive more film production to New York.”
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