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Jaclyn Philpott has been named the first executive director of the Association of Film Commissioners International, a global network of film commission members better known as AFCI.
Philpott will take helm of the organization in the newly-created role on Jan. 3. She succeeds Eve Honthaner, who was named AFCI president in August 2021 but stepped down in September for personal reasons.
In the role, Philpott will prioritize growing membership — currently the most geographically and culturally diverse roster in the organization’s 50 year history. Another key focus will be helping film commissions work with governments to recognize the film industry’s impact on regional economic and cultural development, job creation and tourism.
Other goals include expanding education and diversity awareness to empower members to create programs in their regions.
“I am honored to be selected as AFCI’s new Executive Director and excited for the opportunity to work closely with our members across the world to build on the accomplishments of those who came before me,” Philpott, who will relocate to Los Angeles from New Zealand, said in a statement. “The screen sector is at a turning point in history, and I see significant opportunities for growth and collaboration.”
Philpott comes from a background in developing a wide range of government, film and sports initiatives. She most recently worked with Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, New Zealand’s largest economic and cultural development agency, to cocreate and produce the Auckland’s Future, Now development conference, which focused on advancing the region’s economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by expanding collaboration between the private and public sectors.
Oher large-scale projects Philpott spearheaded include developing business programs for the Tripartite Economic Alliance, the 36th Americas Cup and the World Masters Games. She also created the Invest Auckland website and marketing campaigns for Screen Auckland’s involvement at the Toronto International Film Festival and Techweek New Zealand. She’s led ongoing marketing efforts for Screen Auckland and has worked with regional film offices across New Zealand.
Philpott’s appointment follows a search of more than 120 candidates. AFCI advisory board members, who include Warner Bros. Discovery vice president of public affairs Michael Walbrecht, HBO senior vice president of production planning Jay Roewe and Apple TV+ head of production Carol Trussell, interviewed top prospects. Philpott was unanimously selected to lead the organization.
“We have selected an accomplished professional with the skills and global experience needed to lead AFCI to success,” said Bas van der Ree, AFCI Board Chair and Netherlands Film Commissioner, in a statement. “Jaclyn will collaborate with our global members, production industry leaders and government policymakers to make AFCI an even more valued resource.”
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