Commissioners Help Put Bay Area Filmmakers Back to Work

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Local Film Commission Directors Brena Bailey, Stephanie Coyote, and Ami Zins Kick-off 2006 with the Bay Area Women in Film and TV on January 18 in a panel discussion about the future of film and television production around the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Bay Area was once known as a hub for major film and TV productions outside of Hollywood, but as other cities and countries offer increasing incentives to major studios, film production work in the Bay Area has dwindled. Bay Area Women In Film and Television (BAWIFT) kicks-off the new year on January 18 with local Film Commission Directors Brena Bailey, San Mateo County, Stephanie Coyote, San Francisco, and Ami Zins, Oakland, in a lively panel discussion about changing trends, challenges, and the future of filmmaking in Northern California.

Longtime filmmaker and former Executive Director of the San Francisco Film and Video Arts Commission, Lorrae Rominger will moderate the panel. The January 18, 2006 BAWIFT meeting takes place from 7:00PM to 9:30PM at A Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida Street, San Francisco. BAWIFT meetings are open to women only. Meetings are free for members; non-members, $5.00 at the door.

Filmmaker and BAWIFT Board Member, Liz Nord, says, “In a year of huge open arms and a bit of controversy sprinkled in the final mix, this meeting will help our members and other women in the industry find out what local film commissions are doing to attract more projects, keep the permit fees lower, and offer other incentives to boost the local filmmaking community.”

The promising future upturn in local film production is in part due to the diverse background of BAWIFT’s three panelists. A four-year stint with a London magazine coupled with a sales and marketing background “helps with the work I am now doing for the San Mateo County Convention and Visitors Bureau,” says Brena Bailey, a native of Natchitoches Louisiana and an 8-year veteran of the San Mateo County Film Commission.

“My goal is to restore the city to the mid-90’s level (of production), which at times approached $500 million a year,” says Stephanie Coyote, San Francisco Film Commission Executive Director, in a recent San Francisco Magazine interview. Coyote brings over 16 years as a location manager in the film and television industry to her role with the city.

“We take the view that we want to try to accommodate every shoot–whether it is a film for a major studio or a student production,” says Oakland Film Commission Director, Ami Zins after joining the virtually dormant film office in 1998.

“Join BAWIFT to learn what’s happening in 2006 and how women media makers can collaborate with local film commissions,” Liz Nord adds. “We’ve got an exciting year ahead of us.”

For BAWIFT media inquiries and to schedule an interview, contact Liz Nord at 415.377.7274.

Bay Area Women In Film and Television (BAWIFT) brings together a vibrant community of women media makers throughout Northern California to inspire creative collaboration, networking opportunities, and professional development. Evolving from a grassroots group called Cinema Chicks, BAWIFT launched in 2003 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and chapter of Women in Film and Television International network (WIFTI). BAWIFT, 3288 21st St., San Francisco, CA 94110,


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