The New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development (NY♥FILMS) is responsible for the growth of the film, television and commercial production, and related industries in New York State.
Contributing Authors

Governor Cuomo recently announced ten major shows produced in New York are premiering in the last two weeks of September on ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC.  These ten series are part of a significant increase in New York-based shows on air.  There are now more series airing this year than in all of 2013, which was a record-breaking year in its own right.  And these series are boosting the New York economy by pumping in over a half billion dollars and creating tens of thousands of hires.

To read Governor Cuomo’s full press release, click here.

 

One Week Sees the Release of Four New York-based Films with a Big Economic Impact

After a summer that saw the release of New York-produced hits like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Empire State’s film sector is poised to show its adaptability this autumn. The week beginning Friday September 12 saw the release of four films produced in New York: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them (9/12), The Skeleton Twins (9/12), This Is Where I Leave You (9/19) and A Walk Among the Tombstones (9/19).

The films tell four stories which showcase New York in very different ways. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them is an original look at the life of a couple. The third part of a trilogy, wherein each film tells the same story from a different perspective, the film stars Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy as a young New York City couple whose relationship crumbles. The first parts, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her, debuted at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

The Skeleton Twins reunites Saturday Night Live alums Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as long-estranged twins who, after surviving similar near-death experiences, begin to put together the pieces of their broken lives.

The star-studded comedy This Is Where I Leave You tells the story of a group of siblings who return to their parents’ home following the death of their father. As they confront their pasts, they try to address their present day problems. The film features Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, and Rose Byrne and is based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Tropper.

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A Walk Among the Tombstones is a gritty detective drama starring Liam Neeson as a former NYPD investigator hired by a drug kingpin to solve the disappearance of his wife and daughter.

Taken together, these projects had a big economic impact on New York. They were estimated to collectively spend $57 million in-state and hire over 3,000 New Yorkers. All four also completed some post-production in New York, further underlining the contribution they made to the state’s economy, and demonstrating the importance of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to eliminate the qualifying post-production threshold for projects in the NYS Film Production Tax Credit Program. Now any film which qualified for the production credit can claim post expenses in New York as part of its credit.

This fall the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture & Television Development (MPTV) is launching its Locations Seminar Program for college students. This seminar will be spearheaded by Dwight Craver, MPTV’s Locations Department Manager, and is the first of its kind.

“Our goal is to inform and educate students on how to secure a location, to address risk and safety issues, and to advise students about the resources that the New York State Governor’s Film Office has to offer,” explains Craver. “I have dealt with hundreds of students in my time here and there seemed to be a lack of education available to them as they attempt to find locations for their respective films.  I saw a need and decided to fill the gap.”

Dwight Craver (far right) with students from LIU Post

Craver will lead each seminar and focus on educating students on the resources that are at their disposal. The “open panel” style seminars will advise students on how to secure a location, what to look for and avoid, how to preserve the location for the next production, how to clear permission to use a location, and what you need to know when it comes to permits and insurance.  Being mindful of student budgets, each seminar will provide students with information on how they can achieve their creative visions while still being cost effective. Students will also have the opportunity to ask questions and address concerns they may have.

The program will offer six seminars per semester at different colleges and universities in the State of New York.  The first seminar was held on 9/17 at LIU Post University, 12:30pm-1:30pm (Long Island), and received an enthusiastic response from the 30+ students who attended.  Upcoming seminars will take place on 10/7 at Pace University, 3:45pm-4:45pm (NYC campus), and on 10/30 at Pace University, 3:25pm – 4:25pm (Pleasantville campus).  Additional dates and locations will be announced soon. Seminars are open and available to all at each college location.

For more information about this program, or if you are interested in hosting a seminar at your college or university, please contact The Governor’s Film Office at (212) 803-2330, or send an email to DCraver@esd.ny.gov



In New York and beyond there are industry events about to take place designed to educate professionals, celebrate genres, exchange information on regional production incentives, and network with top industry decision-makers.  The following are a few of upcoming industry events of note.


MPAA/Film Commissioners Summit
September 29, 2014
Washington, D.C.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) will host a summit for the country’s film commissioners in Washington, D.C. on Monday, September 29.  One of the topics to be discussed is how to better garner legislative and other political support for your jurisdiction’s production incentive program.  Film commissioners will also learn how the MPAA can help with their production incentive program.


AFCI’s Cineposium
October 3-5, 2014
New York, NY

This year, the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) will be holding its Cineposium 2014 in New York City, October 2-4.  Cineposium provides a platform for film commissioners to set aside competition and work together to benefit their own community and raise the level of professionalism and stature of film commissioners everywhere.  Major industry topics - tax incentives and other forms of funding, workforce development, lobbying vs. education, insurance and safety issues, internal and external marketing, film festivals and film-related tourism, and working with different cultures – will be addressed.

Some highlights of this year’s Cineposium:

Building Your Film Tourism Strategy - Panelists will share ideas on how to build a strategy around past and future film properties, collaborate with regional tourism agencies, encourage your local business community to come aboard and, finally, quantify the impact.

How to Swim the Legislative Waters - Whether you’re looking to create or modify a tax incentive, establish or sustain a film commission, or alter local costs like permit fees or police and fire support, you’ll need a specific set of skills.  Learn how to approach legislators, address committees, build a coalition, use effective language, and debate the issues.


New York Comic Con
October 9-12, 2014

Javits Center - New York, NY
The New York Comic Con (NYCC) is an annual fan convention in New York City dedicated to comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television. This year will feature Marvel’s upcoming Netflix series Daredevil, which was filmed in New York and is slated to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the Empire State and hire over 3,000 New Yorkers. It’s the first of four series to focus on Marvel’s Defenders, a group of New York-based superheroes. Read the governor’s announcement on the Defenders series here.

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NYCC is the East Coast’s biggest and most exciting popular culture convention.  Panels and autograph sessions give fans a chance to interact with their favorite creators.  Screening rooms feature sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit either big or small screens. And with dedicated professional hours, NYCC is a market place, bringing together the major players in the entertainment industry.  Last year the convention attracted over 133,000 attendees.

Some highlights of this year’s convention include panels with and appearances by Dan Harmon, Creator/Writer of NBC’s Community & Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty and The Sarah Silverman Program;  Actress/Writer Amy Sedaris; Kristen Schaal, John Roberts and Eugene Mirman from Fox TV’s Bob’s Burgers.  Literary guests will include Kim Harrison, author of The Hollow Series and Cory Doctorow, author of award-winning, New York Times bestseller Little Brother.  Lucy Liu, Seth Green, Michael Shannon, William Shatner and, of course, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog will also be in attendance during this year’s event.


PGA’s Produced By Conference: New York
October 25, 2014
Time Warner Center - New York, NY

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) will hold the inaugural Produced By: New York (PBNY) conference on October 25, 2014 at the Time Warner Center in NYC.  After six years of sold-out, capacity crowds in Los Angeles, the Producers Guild of America is joining hosts HBO and Time Warner to bring the Produced By Conference to New York. This one-day event will showcase the best of the vibrant and diverse New York creative community working in film, television, and new media.

The Produced By Conference is the signature event where the most influential decision-makers in the entertainment industry gather as peers to educate, illuminate, and share new technological and economic innovations.  This event is truly for producers, by producers.  Attendees will have the opportunity to network with Oscar-winning filmmakers, Emmy-winning show runners, and the next generation of creative entrepreneurs during a full day of panel discussions, group mentoring sessions, and an evening cocktail reception.

It’s no secret that New York’s post-production industry has been on the rise over the past few years. While the Empire State has always been a home for the talented artists who transform raw footage into fully-formed film and television productions, things really picked up in 2012. That’s when Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature passed a bill to increase the state’s post-production tax credit from 10% to 30% (and 35% for costs incurred outside of the New York City area). Since then, post-production has been booming. More productions have opted to post in New York, allowing post and visual effects companies to open and expand. There have been a number of beneficiaries, one of the most notable being Sixteen19.

Founded in 2010 by industry veterans Jonathan Hoffman and Peter Conlin, Sixteen19 quickly rose to become a leading light in New York’s post-production scene and an example of the kind of forward-thinking, technology-driven approach a boutique post-production house can offer productions. From dailies to digital intermediate to editing, this approach has brought a wealth of projects to Sixteen19 in recent years. With a core group of talented artists and technicians, the company’s New York office has worked on a staggering number of high-profile, critically acclaimed projects, many of which not only posted in New York, but filmed here as well. These include television dramas like The Leftovers, The Knick, The Mysteries of Laura, and Gotham as well as big-ticket blockbusters, including The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. Additionally, Sixteen19’s reputation is such that it gets work from productions shot all around the world, including HBO’s series True Detective and Treme and other more recent projects like Black Sails, Under the Dome, and The Tomorrow People. This last point in particular demonstrates not just Sixteen19’s richly deserved status as a leader in the industry, but also the impact New York’s post-production incentive has had on transforming the state into a capitol of post-production.

The screening room at Sixteen19’s Steiner Studios Location

“New York City is and has always been Sixteen19’s home and headquarters,” said Hoffman. “Throughout the years, Sixteen19 NY has been entrusted to service some of the largest Hollywood productions in the world. We have always been the leading indicator for the New York post community both culturally and technically. With the recent increase in the volume of production coming to New York we felt it was imperative that New York, as a community, create Hollywood level post infrastructure where key talent in picture and sound finishing can prosper.”

In light of this increase in volume, Sixteen19 has undertaken a number of major expansions recently. “We asked our clients and creatives what NY needed most,” said Conlin. “Unanimously, it was larger scale color grading theaters and mix stages like they have in LA.” With that in mind, Sixteen19 set out to cross the East River, setting up outposts in Brooklyn. They recently opened a 2,500 square foot space in Brooklyn’s Steiner Studios, which features a one hundred seat digital intermediate theatre – the largest on the East Coast, according to Conlin. They’ve also opened a 7,500 square foot location featuring 25 editing suites in Greenpoint, near soundstages developed by Broadway Stages. These new spaces will allow the company to add 15-20 new staff.

“Bringing Hollywood-level post services to both Steiner and Broadway Stages has established a synergy and incredible efficiencies between production and post that until recently was completely unavailable in New York, or anywhere outside of LA for that matter,” said Hoffman. “Having the ability to process dailies, edit shows and establish final color in Hollywood level theatrical environments all within close proximity of the soundstage and production offices has changed the way shows finish in New York.”

Hoffman and Conlin also played a role in the establishment of Empire VFX, which, with its close association with Buffalo’s Daemen College, is training New York’s next generation of visual effects artists. “We are prepped to hire the next batch of students graduating from the Daemen College VFX program and get them trained and operating,” noted Hoffman. “This is a great example of how the increase in New York production, as a result of the tax credit, creates new business opportunities and jobs throughout the state.” The coming months look like momentous ones for Empire VFX, as it begins a partnership with Hewlitt Packard and the Center for Computational Research to optimize virtualized VFX workflows. Daemen’s VFX program is also in the midst of major changes, having just completed a $2 million upgrade to their facilities, including a screening room and a green screen stage.

In many ways Sixteen19’s growth into a powerhouse mirrors the growth of New York State as a center for film and TV production. “The post production [incentive] expansion, in addition to the production incentive, has provided a tremendous increase to the volume of work in both television and feature films that shoot and post in New York,” said Conlin. “With this level of consistent work, Sixteen19 has been able to make significant investments in real estate, infrastructure and staff that were prohibitive historically due to the inconsistency of the work that came to New York.” It’s this newfound level of consistency that exemplifies both the reliability of production’s and post-production’s presence in New York these days, and the stellar work Sixteen19 does to help make that happen.

Lesli Klainberg, Executive Director – Film Society of Lincoln Center

New York is the center of art and culture, and one of its most prestigious and highly anticipated festivals will soon begin – the 52nd New York Film Festival (NYFF), presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC).

This year’s festival is the first one presented under the leadership of the FSLC’s new Executive Director, Lesli Klainberg.  A New Yorker and a filmmaker, Ms. Klainberg was born in the Bronx, educated at the High School of Music & Art (now the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts), and studied filmmaking at the State University of New York at Purchase.

Klainberg  has been managing director of the FSLC for almost two years and produced the last three New York Film Festivals.  Before joining the FSLC, she was the executive director of NewFest, New York’s LGBT Film Festival, and also worked as a consulting producer for the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, and as the producer of IFP’s Independent Film Week Forum.  Her film credits include Paul Monette: The Brink of Summer’s End, Beauty in a Jar, In the Company of Women, Indie Sex, and the 2014 PGA Award-nominated A Place at the Table.

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Lesli Klainberg, Executive Director – Film Society of Lincoln Center


“I’m very appreciative of art’s role in society and culture, and the role the Film Society plays in the Lincoln Center community,” says Ms. Klainberg.  “Being able to interact with my contemporaries and counterparts on the Lincoln Center campus is a highlight of this job.”

The NYFF brings new and important cinematic works from around the world to Lincoln Center.  In addition to the Main Slate official selections, the festival includes newly restored classics, special events, filmmaker talks, panel discussions, an Avant-Garde showcase, and much more.  The New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. 

“The NYFF is not about world premieres, and there is no competition.  The Festival presents a highly curated slate of films, which aims to showcase the film and the filmmaker,” adds Klainberg.  “Without the pressure of commerce we are able to enhance the exhibition and viewing experience of each film in settings such as Alice Tully Hall and the Walter Reade Theater, both of which are exceptional venues.”

Some highlights of this year’s festival include its opening night film, Gone Girl, by director David Fincher, starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris; a Retrospective of the work of Joseph L. Mankiewicz, with screenings of the notable director’s classic films - All About Eve, No Way Out, Guys & Dolls, and A Letter To Three Wives, among others;  the Festival’s closing night film, Birdman, a participant in the New York State Film Production Credit program, starring Michael Keaton and Zach Galifianakis, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, and;  the Spotlight On Documentary program which will screen works by Martin Scorsese (The 50 Year Argument), Ethan Hawke (Seymour: An Introduction) and Joshua Oppenheimer (The Look Of Silence).  Other New York State Film Production Credit program participants include: Listen Up Phillip, directed by Alex Ross Perry, starring Jason Schwartzman and Elisabeth Moss;  Time Out Of Mind, directed by Oren Moverman, starring Richard Gere and Jena Malone; and Josh & Benny Safdie’s Heaven Knows What, with Arielle Holmes and Caleb Landry Jones.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center also offers programming throughout the year, and with this year’s NYFF slate promising to be one of its best and most dynamic, it looks like Klainberg is off to a great start.  “All the work I’ve done in my career has led to this job,” concludes Klainberg.  “I love it.  I hope I have it for a very long time.”

The New York Film Festival runs September 26 – October 12.  For more information, visit http://www.filmlinc.com/nyff2014.  

A group of people look on in both fear and awe as sharks lurk through dimly lit waters.  All that stands between them and these prehistoric beasts is about three inches of reinforced glass, and yet this is not a scene from a horror film, but rather one of the many exhibits at the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition in Riverhead, NY.

The Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Executive Director, Bryan DeLuca says that producers seek the Aquarium out and keep returning because, “We work hand in hand with productions and have very limited filming restrictions.”  In fact, productions are granted behind-the-scenes access to the aquarium, including the ability to shoot inside the shark tank, using a shark cage.

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There is an on-site catering service for productions, a marina, and an estuary on which riverboat tours allow access to sand bars in Riverhead Bay. The Hyatt Hotel, which sits directly adjacent to the Aquarium, provides productions with the perfect place to lodge cast and crew. These amenities offer a myriad of looks and location options for productions.

Netflix’s popular television show, Orange Is the New Black, a participant in the New York State Film Production Credit program, filmed key scenes of a recent episode at the Aquarium’s exterior and also utilized one of the facility’s spaces for makeup and wardrobe. Other productions that have taken advantage of the Aquarium recently include the reality TV series Project Runway, Tanked, and various Discovery Channel shows.

The Town of Riverhead in Suffolk County, Long Island, where the Aquarium is located, boasts a list of notable film and TV productions. Phoebe in Wonderland chose the Roanoke Avenue Elementary School’s theater to film a large part of the film in 2008. Gabriel, starring Rory Culkin, also shot primarily in the Town of Riverhead in 2013, and will make its premiere at this year’s Hamptons International Film Festival in October.

“The Town of Riverhead is film-friendly and loves the activity. There are a lot of different architectural looks - from brick buildings dating back to the early 20th century, to farms, to small town Americana, and even a buffalo ranch,” says Michelle Isabelle-Stark, the Suffolk County Film Commissioner. Stark also notes that the Town of Riverhead and the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition will be included in the Suffolk County Film Office’s “Fabulous FAM Tour 3” this fall. This tour will provide location scouts and managers the opportunity to become more familiar with what eastern Long Island has to offer filmmakers.

Mari Jo Winkler describes her latest project as “the cherry on top of my career in the film industry.  It was a true honor and privilege to recently work with master filmmaker Martin Scorsese in New York for an HBO TV pilot. It’s about 1970’s rock & roll, and it was exciting to recreate that snapshot in time.  I felt like I was taking a master class at NYU.”

Winkler was destined to work in film and television. She earned a degree in Public Communications and International Studies at American University in Washington, D.C., and was fortunate to walk out of college and directly onto a movie set.  While working as a student assistant in the school media center, Winkler took a call from an A.U. alumni, a producer who asked her to post a job opening for a director’s assistant.  Instead of posting the job, she sent her resume, scored an interview, and got the job as assistant to Emile Ardolino, who was directing Chances Are in D.C.  She declined an offer to work at a political consulting firm so she could join the “movie circus” - and the rest is history.  Winkler says that having the opportunity to work as a director’s assistant gave her the chance to see all the elements of shooting a film and to learn the function of everyone on a film set.

 

After Chances Are wrapped, she stayed in D.C. for a while doing film jobs, and tried various facets of the business.   But she always dreamed of moving to New York, so when a friend from high school invited her to sleep on their couch, she jumped at the chance and started working as a film production assistant in New York.  From there, she did a brief stint working in the commercial industry, but her heart was really in film and she missed working on movie sets. 

When she bumped into an old film friend, she seized the opportunity to get back into film and took a step backward to work as key production assistant on Once Around, which filmed in New England and North Carolina. Those were the days before the tax incentives and there were not many feature films shooting in New York so she knew that to realize her dream, she would have to travel.  

It was on Once Around that she met her mentors G. Mac Brown and Diana Pokorny.  After it wrapped, G. Mac Brown presented her with an opportunity to production coordinate and eventually to production supervise.  She then went on to work as Diana Pokorny’s Production Manager for many years, often traveling to other states but always coming back to New York.

Winkler’s big break came when Jane Evans, an executive at Miramax Films at the time, presented her with her first opportunity to work as a line producer on Shall We Dance. She went on from there to co-produce two films in Los Angeles for Curtis Hanson. Shall We Dance was scripted for Chicago, but shot in Canada during a time when there were no film incentives in the United States. 

While working on No Reservations, she realized that there were many productions filming in New York. “When I first moved back seven years ago, the tax credits were not that great, so work was not as plentiful in New York, but I noticed a definite surge in production after Andrew Cuomo became Governor and now feel that there is plenty of work for everyone – and then some,” Winkler said.

Winkler’s love of New York goes beyond New York City.   She grew up in Orchard Park near Buffalo, and would definitely welcome the chance to work Upstate.  She notes, “Buffalo and Albany have more preservation of history.  New York City and Brooklyn are ever-changing, and Upstate has lots to offer in space and locations.”  As more and more filmmakers are discovering the benefits of filming all over New York State, opportunities to work on film projects Upstate keep growing.

Working in film in New York has provided Winkler with many memorable experiences with a variety of directors. While filming the New York portion of Catch Me If You Can, Winkler remembers standing in front of St. Bart’s Church in Manhattan while recreating a scene on Park Avenue from 1969 with period cars and costumes, with Steven Spielberg at the helm. When executive producing Fair Game, a politically charged film thattakes place in Washington D.C. and the Middle East, Winkler was impressed that the New York based director, Doug Liman found a way to recreate the interior of the CIA building at a location in Long Island.  While working on Premium Rush with director David Keoppshe was able to experience what life as a New York City bike messenger was like while shooting in every neighborhood from Columbia University to Chinatown.

Winkler is also a dedicated environmentalist and a chair of the Producers Guild of America’s Green Committee which promotes sustainability in the film industry and works hard to reduce carbon emissions on New York film sets. Since New York is her favorite place to work, Winkler is grateful that the New York State Film Tax Incentive program attracts so many opportunities here and she is happy to be able to say, “With Governor Cuomo’s commitment to the tax credits I feel there is enough work in New York so I can feel confident that I can make a living and raise my family in the state that I love – where I was born and raised.”

Armed with a mission to educate, develop and celebrate the next generation of great American storytellers, the Ghetto Film School (GFS) was founded in 2000 in the South Bronx section of New York City by Joe Hall.  Key supporters include top media industry leaders and directors such as David O. Russell, Lee Daniels, and Spike Jonze.  Through its various pre-professional programs, GFS serves 650 emerging artists annually, and program alumni have gone on to secure positions in film, television, and other creative jobs in advertising, education, politics, and the non-profit world.

GFS describes its passion for cinema as “a collaborative industrial art form that unites all other forms of creative expression”, and offers a 30-month, college level, pre-professional program focused on teaching the art of storytelling and production.  The program is free and accessible to everyone. GFS houses a $3 million industry-grade post-production facility, the South Bronx Post House, run by Digital Bodega.  Revenue from Digital Bodega projects represented 23% of GFS’ total revenue in 2013.

A study done in 2012 revealed that students who attended GFS programs graduated from high school at double the rate of their peers (100% of GFS students, compared with 49% of NYC high school students) and more than 88% of GFS alumni went on to college, and many were accepted to prominent schools such as Columbia University and NYU/Tisch School of the Arts.

One GFS program, Film Credits, is in partnership with the NYC Department of Education, and GFS has been awarded “pre-qualified vendor status” to deliver outstanding services and resources to students of all grade levels of the NYC school system.  The program challenges students to reach new levels of understanding through rigorous training and hands-on production experience achieved by taking the GFS award-winning Creative Education Model into public school classrooms.  Their Model combines art, education and business to prepare young people for lifelong creative, academic and professional success.  Students also benefit from access to industry-grade equipment and the acclaimed filmmakers that participate in the program.  Film Creditsalso encourages teachers to bring production and cinema studies into their regular lesson plan by providing them with professional development workshops and training.

Another great program was formed when GFS recently incorporated their award-winning Fellows Program into The Cinema School and developed the Honors Program at The Cinema School, a rigorous year-long course in film studies and production.  Twenty juniors and seniors were immersed into cinematic storytelling that culminated in an international thesis project and an industry internship during the summer of 2014. 

Dedicated to mentoring future filmmakers, GFS is a great asset to the film industry in New York and beyond.   We expect to see the products of successful Ghetto Film School alumni for many years to come.  To learn more about Ghetto Film School, visit http://www.ghettofilm.org/

TV Premieres

Gotham - September 22, 2014 on FOX at 8PM

Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world’s greatest foes, a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon’s story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world’s most iconic villains? And what circumstances created them – the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker?

The Blacklist – September 22 on NBC at 10PM

For decades, ex-government agent Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader, “The Office,” “Boston Legal”) has been one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives. Brokering shadowy deals for criminals across the globe, Red was known by many as “The Concierge of Crime.” Now, he’s mysteriously surrendered to the FBI with an explosive offer: He will help catch a long-thought-dead terrorist, Ranko Zamani, under the condition that he speaks only to Elizabeth “Liz” Keen (Megan Boone, “Law & Order: Los Angeles”), an FBI profiler fresh out of Quantico. For Liz, it’s going to be one hell of a first day on the job.

Forever - September 23, 2014 on ABC at 10PM

Doctor Henry Morgan, New York City’s star medical examiner, has a secret.  He doesn’t just study the dead to solve criminal cases, he does it to solve the mystery that has eluded him for 200 years—the answer to his own inexplicable immortality.

Person of Interest - September 23, 2014 on CBS at 10PM

Starring Jim Caviezel and Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson, this crime thriller is about a presumed dead former-CIA agent, Reese, who teams up with a mysterious billionaire, Finch, to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice.

Law & Order: SVU - September 24, 2014 on NBC at 9PM

This hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC’s “Law & Order” brand chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York City Police Department, an elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes.

Mysteries of Laura - September 24, 2014 on NBC at 8PM

Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) stars as Laura Diamond, a brilliant NYPD homicide detective who balances her “Columbo” day job with a crazy family life that includes two unruly twin boys and a soon-to-be ex-husband - also a cop - who just can’t seem to sign the divorce papers. Between cleaning up after her boys and cleaning up the streets, she’d be the first to admit she has her “hot mess” moments in this hilariously authentic look at what it really means to be a “working mom” today.

Blue Bloods- September 26, 2014 on CBS at 10PM

BLUE BLOODS is a drama about a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement. Frank Reagan is the New York Police Commissioner and heads both the police force and the Reagan brood. He runs his department as diplomatically as he runs his family, even when dealing with the politics that plagued his unapologetically bold father, Henry, during his stint as Chief.

Saturday Night Live – September 27, 2014 on NBC at 11:30PM

Chris Pratt will host the Season 40 premiere with Ariana Grande as musical guest.

Manhattan Love Story - September 23, 2014 on ABC at 8:30PM

Have you ever wondered what your date was thinking?  This romantic comedy exposes the differences between men and women through the unfiltered thoughts, and often contradictory actions, of a new couple who have just begun dating.

Gracepoint – October 2, 2014 on Fox at 9:00PM

A riveting mystery event series about a young boy murdered in a small town where everyone is a friend, and also a suspect.

Elementary - October 30, 2014 on CBS at 10PM
Stars Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare - a sober companion, Dr. Watson.

Film Premieres

The Judge- October 10, 2014 - Warner Bros

Big city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town’s judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.

(Participated in the New York State Post Production Credit program)

St. Vincent - October 10, 2014 (limited release) October 24 (wide release)

The Weinstein Company

A young boy whose parents just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic, war veteran who lives next door.  Cast includes: Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy.

Kill the Messenger - October 14, 2014 - Harlan Films

Based on the True story of Journalist Gary Webb. The film takes place in the mid-1990s, when Webb uncovered the CIA’s past role in importing huge amounts of cocaine into the U.S. that was aggressively sold in ghettos across the Country to raise money for the Nicaraguan Contras rebel army. Despite enormous pressure not to, Webb chose to pursue the story and went public with his evidence, publishing the series “Dark Alliance”. As a result he experienced a vicious smear campaign fueled by the CIA. At that point Webb found himself defending his integrity, his family, and his life.

(Participated in the New York State Post Production Credit program)

Birdman - October 17, 2014 – Fox

A black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) - famous for portraying an iconic superhero - as he struggles to mount a Broadway play.  In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.

Listen Up Phillip – October 17, 2014 (limited) – Tribeca Film

Anger rages in Philip (Jason Scwartzman) as he awaits the publication of his second novel. He feels pushed out of his adopted home city by the constant crowds and noise, a deteriorating relationship with his photographer girlfriend Ashley, and his own indifference to promoting the novel. When Philip’s idol Ike Zimmerman offers his isolated summer home as a refuge, he finally gets the peace and quiet to focus on his favorite subject: himself. Also stars Elizabeth Moss & Jess Weixler.

Low Down – October 17, 2014 (limited) – Oscilloscope Laboratories

A look at the life of pianist Joe Albany from the perspective of his young daughter, as she watches him contend with his drug addiction during the 1960s and ’70s jazz scene. Starring Taryn Manning, Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning and Glenn Close.

John Wick – October 24, 2014 – Thunder Road/Summit Entertainment

A former hit man is pursued by an old friend who was contracted to kill him. Cast includes: Keanu Reeves, Willem Defoe, Bridget Moynahan

New York Film Festival – September 26–October 12, 2014

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers. Presented by The Film Society of Lincoln Center, which was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, to recognize and support new filmmakers, and to enhance awareness, accessibility and understanding of the art among a broad and diverse film going audience.

Manhattan Shorts Festival– September 26 – October 5, 2014

An instantaneous celebration that occurs simultaneously across the globe, bringing great films to great venues and allowing the audiences to select their favorites. If the Film Festival experience truly is about getting great works in front of as many eyes as possible, MANHATTAN SHORT offers the ultimate platform — one that sees its films screened in Sydney, Mumbai, Moscow, Kathmandu, Vienna, and Cape Town to cinemas in all fifty states of the United States and beyond.

Irish Film New York Screening Series – October 2-5, 2014

Irish Film New York aims to help Irish films and filmmakers find a market in the United States by fostering partnerships between Irish and US-based film institutes. It brings the very best in contemporary Irish cinema to New York. It connects producers and directors and holds many film screenings and Q&A sessions with filmmakers throughout the year. The annual three day festival will showcase six critically acclaimed contemporary Irish films at NYU’s Cantor Film Center and will hosts a selection of public filmmaker Q&As, industry panel discussions and filmmaker receptions

Ocktober Film Festival – October 2-5, 2014

The Ocktober Film Festival (OFF) serves as a platform for artists to express themselves through film and new media. OFF debuted last year at the Ocktober Music and Film Festival, which showcased some of the best visionaries in music and film. This year, as a separate entity, OFF will be expanding its efforts, and will concentrate on the diversity of filmmaking and new media while continuing to provide useful information that will enrich and empower the filmmaking community. Educational workshops in areas of acting, writing, filmmaking, producing, distribution and financing will be available to the public.

Albanian Film Festival - October 2-12, 2014

The mission of the Albanian Film Festival is to help artists tell the story of Albanian struggles and greatness. For the third consecutive year the Albanian Artists Association is bringing to New York City quality cinematic work that, through stories of happiness, pain, success and endurance, shows the spirit of the Albanian people to audiences in North America and around the world.

Syracuse International Film Festival – October 5-12, 2014

We’re the elephant those blind men tried to describe: it all depends on which part interests and involves you the most. For new & independent filmmakers: we’re a chance for your film to be screened before an appreciative audience. For actors, directors and technicians: we’re a go-to resource for all local film activity. For audiences of international film: we’re a chance to see new and exciting film expression from around the world. For movie lovers in general: we’re a great night out at the movies - all kinds of movies!

Hamptons International Film Festival – October 9-13, 2014

The Hamptons International Film Festival was founded to celebrate Independent film—long, short, fiction and documentary—and to introduce a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to our audiences. The festival is committed to exhibiting films that express fresh voices and differing global perspectives, with the hope that these programs will enlighten audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment for all.

Russian Film Week NYC – October 9-13, 2014

Since its launch in 2000, Russian Film Week has introduced New York to the latest works of Russian filmmakers, actors, and producers. Russian Film Week NYC has become the landmark cultural entertainment event of the city, and is highly regarded by the Russian-speaking community as well as enthusiasts of foreign and indie cinema. After a yearlong hiatus, the beloved festival returns to New York with the support of Kartina.TV, the leading IPTV provider of Russian-language programming. This year’s program will also feature Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and master classes led by the participating filmmakers and actors, as well as Hollywood directors, producers, and film critics.

Woodstock Film Festival – October 15-19, 2014

Each year film and music lovers from around the world gather at the Woodstock Film Festival for an innovative variety of films, first-class concerts, workshops, celebrity-led panels, an awards ceremony, and fantastic parties.

NYC Independent Film Festival– October 15-19, 2014

NYC Independent Film Festival is a celebration of the true independent filmmaker, documentaries, short and feature-length films, music videos, and animation. Whether a submission is comedic, dramatic, or something in between, The NYC Indie film Fest is eager to embrace fresh ideas and storytelling.

Chelsea Film Festival – October 16-19, 2014

The Chelsea Film Festival (CFF), non-profit organization is an international film festival, enlightening the work of emerging filmmakers, producers and actors. It offers a wide range of films, such as documentaries and feature-lengths, focusing on the theme of “Global Issues”.

The Yonkers Film Festival – October 17-19, 2014

YoFi Fest is three days of watching and talking about movies.  It’s a chance to see new works by emerging filmmakers, including features, shorts, music videos, animation and student works.

New York Television Festival – October 20-25, 2014

Founded in 2005, The NYTVF is a pioneer of the independent television movement, connecting its community of artists with leading networks, studios, agencies, production companies, and brands. Year-round submission opportunities for TV and digital development culminate at the annual New York Television Festival each fall, uniting indie creators, industry decision-makers, and TV fans alike.

Crown Heights Film Festival – October 21,-26, 2014

The Crown Heights Film Festival (CHFF) is a social forum in Brooklyn, NY, which showcases a diverse range of exceptional local and international films curated in a way to encourage dialogue and audience interaction. CHFF is a movement fueled by an active community of filmmakers, artists, musicians, and Brooklyn residents to increase public access to evocative and innovative films. The Festival aims to provide a voice and opportunities for filmmakers, to foster cross-arts collaboration, and to provide a framework for discourse between filmmakers and the wider Brooklyn community. Held at FiveMyles gallery and at FREECANDY, the non-profit festival is supported by the Brooklyn Arts Council and is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas.

FilmColumbia Festival – October 22-26, 2014

Hosted by The Chatham Film Club and Crandell Theatre, FilmColumbia offers film buffs an exciting long weekend of film screenings and meet the filmmaker events. In our fourteen year history, we have screened many films that have gone on to garner industry and critic awards and nominations. This year’s selections will introduce audiences to an outstanding group of new films before they are released to the general public.

Margaret Mead Film Festival– October 23-26, 2014

The Margaret Mead Film Festival encompasses a broad spectrum of work, from indigenous community media to experimental nonfiction. The Festival is distinguished by its outstanding selection of titles, which tackle diverse and challenging subjects, representing a range of issues and perspectives, and by the forums for dialogue with filmmakers, invited speakers, and film protagonists.

High Falls Film Festival – October 23-26, 2014

The HFFF was created to raise awareness of films created by, and for, women.  The festival provides a forum for discussions and actions designed to help remove the obstacles women face, both in front of, and behind, the camera.

All American High School Film Festival – October 24-26, 2014

The All-American High School Film Festival is the premiere showcase for talented high school filmmakers and media arts enthusiasts from around the world.  Our mission is to connect the filmmakers of the future with the rewards, respect, and recognition they deserve.

Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series - October 25 -26, 2014

The festival was founded by African Voices magazine and Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus.  It  is the first Brooklyn-based festival devoted to supporting films produced, directed and written by women of color. Since 1997, the festival has been enriching the city with over 400 films by women of African, Caribbean, Latino, Asian, Indian and Native American descent. Reel Sisters attracts more than 1,200 film lovers from across the nation and globe, and screens 25 films each year. Reel Sisters also provides scholarships to emerging women filmmakers and offers other resources for women filmmakers.

NYC Food Film Festival – October 29 – November 2, 2014

Born in Brooklyn in 2007, The Food Film Festival sprang from the imagination of Festival Director and Travel Channel host George Motz, the documentary filmmaker behind the award-winning Hamburger America film and book, along with co-creator Harry Hawk. Through documentaries, features and short films, the Festival showcases the best, and the most memorable, of the world’s favorite foods. Along with a heaping helping of mouth-watering films, Motz, Hawk and company serve up the food that guests are watching on the screen for a multi-sensory, full-bodied experience.

As the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) gets set to launch on September 4th, New York State’s film industry is poised to play a major role at the prestigious industry event. In total, 24 films which were shot or did post-production in New York will screen at the festival. These productions accounted for an estimated $120 million direct spend in New York State, and hired over 7,400 New Yorkers. See below for a full list, and click here for more information about the Festival.

Bill Murray’s eponymous role in the much-anticipated “St. Vincent”, which was filmed in New York, is debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival.

TIFF Films in the New York State Film Production Program
“The Cobbler”
“The Drop”
“Heaven Knows What”
“Hungry Hearts”
“The Last Five Years”
“Learning To Drive”
“Ned Rifle”
“Revenge Of The Green Dragons”
“Ruth & Alex”
“Shelter”
“St. Vincent”
“Still Alice”
“This Is Where I Leave You”
“Time Out Of Mind”
“While We’re Young”


TIFF Films in the New York State Post-Production Program
“The Humbling”
“It Follows”
“The Judge”
“Love And Mercy”
“Maggie”
“My Old Lady”
“Pawn Sacrifice”
“Rosewater”
“Roger Waters’ The Wall”

“The Primetime Emmy awards represent the very best in television today,” noted Governor Cuomo in a statement congratulating the 29 New York State-based Emmy Award Winners, including 23 winning shows that participated in the NY State Film Production program. Television’s biggest night took place on August 25th when the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented its 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. In case you missed our live feed on Twitter during the awards broadcast, click here for a list of winners and Governor Cuomo’s statement.

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The Good Wife’s Julianna Margulies wins Emmy for Lead Actress - Drama Series

It was great to see so many New York based shows win awards, including The Blacklist, Boardwalk Empire, Orange Is The New Black, The Good Wife, Louie, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, and films, including HBO’s The Normal Heart and The Sound Of Music Live!   In addition, HBO’s True Detective and Treme, two showsthat do post production work in New York and participate in the New York State Post Production Credit program – also went home with honors.

Congratulations to all!

Roughly two years after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation in July 2012 increasing the post production incentive from 10% to 30% (35% upstate), New York’s post-production industry is  booming. As project applications steadily increase in volume, post and visual effects companies are hiring and expanding statewide, positioning New York as a center for the growing post-production industry.

New York’s status as a rising star in the sector was especially apparent this August with a wealth of film and television releases that all posted in New York. One unprecedented week (August 8th-August 15th) saw the release of three major motion pictures which participated in the state’s post-production program: The Hundred Foot Journey, Let’s Be Cops and The Giver. These three projects together accounted for $11.54 million spent in New York and 148 hires.

On August 18th, Dora and Friends: Into the City premiered.  The 20-episode Nickelodeon series is the first fully animated show to take advantage of New York’s post production incentive, which lowered the qualifying threshold for both animation and visual effects, and was signed into law by Governor Cuomo in the summer of 2012. The production spent roughly $1 million on post-production in New York, in addition to roughly $5 million in non-post related New York costs.  It also hired 80 New Yorkers.  To read more about Dora and Friends: Into the City, click here.

“The new post production incentive for animation was a key factor in our decision to keep post production in New York,” said Teri Weiss, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Nickelodeon Preschool Television. “We’re thrilled to be able to take advantage of all the talent and facilities here in the city, and very proud that Dora and Friends supports the New York post production community.” 

This increase in post-production activity is providing a tangible boost to New York’s economy. In the past two years, more than 140 productions have applied for post-production work in New York and are estimated to generate more than $130 million in direct spending  – more than eight times the number of applications received during the prior eighteen month period before the legislation was passed to increase the post incentive. Additionally, 13 post production companies have established new operations, including three Upstate.

Trevana Post’s Yana Collins Lehman, co-chair of the Post New York Alliance, highlighted the gains the industry has made in New York, saying, “VFX and Animation companies in New York have never been busier.  Governor Cuomo recognized early on that getting aggressive with the Film and TV incentive was the surest way to attract to New York the kinds of projects that have, for years, been leaving the country.  And it’s working!  Companies are expanding and relocating to New York.  And great jobs in VFX and Animation are coming here, almost faster than we can fill them.”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) filmed in New York State last year, including locations in New York City and Tupper Lake, hiring 1,500 people and generating tens of millions of dollars in economic activity.  Local businesses, including lumber supply companies and restaurants, benefitted from the film, and the communities were excited to host the production. 

According to a Motion Picture of America Association (MPAA) release issued on August 7th, TMNT filmed for over 70 days in New York State and spent over $55 million in local economies, including $30 million in salaries to New Yorkers and $3.2 million in taxes to New York State. In total, 1,500 New York residents worked over 12,000 man-days on the project on locations across the State, from New York City to the North Country.  To read the full press release, click here.

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Megan Fox and Will Arnett join NYS Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey, NYS-MPTV Executive Director Gigi Semone and special guests from a Harlem youth organization at a TMNT event urging kids to have fun and stay fit by being a NY Ninja.


The upstate village of Tupper Lake, nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, hosted TMNT while the production  filmed scenes at the Big Tupper Ski Area in late March of 2013.  As a thank you for the town’s support and assistance with the filming, Tupper Lake received a boost from Paramount Pictures and TMNT with a screening of the film in advance of its release at the village’s own State Theater on August 7.  On hand to greet attendees with opening remarks were Tupper Lake Mayor Paul Maroun, Garry Douglas, Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, and Gigi Semone, Executive Director of the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture & Television Development.  Attendees at the screening included local elected officials, area residents, business owners, members of a local summer youth recreation program, as well as a group of Girl Scouts.  Read more about this exciting event click here.

TMNT also teamed up with New York State Parks to encourage kids to be a New York Ninja for fun and fitness this summer.  New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey and Gigi Semone were joined by the film’s stars Megan Fox and Will Arnett, and children from Harlem RBI, a local youth organization, at a Fan Appreciation screening in Manhattan on August 6, to help inspire kids to find fun and fitness by visiting their local State Parks.  To read more about this event click here.