Thorne-Stone takes OMDC position


TORONTO -- Toronto film commissioner Karen Thorne-Stone on Wednesday was named president and CEO of the Ontario Media Development Corp., charged with handing out tax credits to Los Angeles producers shooting here and helping them scout film and TV locations in the province.

Thorne-Stone replaces the departing Michel Frappier as head of the provincial government agency and comes on board after a dramatic drop in the number of Los Angeles producers shooting in Ontario compared to the 1990s.

As Toronto film commissioner, Thorne-Stone helped negotiate a new film studio for effects-heavy Hollywood shoots on Toronto's waterfront, Filmport, which is set to open in spring 2008.

In addition to encouraging local film and TV production in Ontario, the OMDC also oversees public investment in book and magazine publishing, music and interactive digital media industries.

Thorne-Stone said she sees her new role at the OMDC as one that will help bridge the gap between traditional media and new media as producers in both sectors increasingly collaborate.

"With mobisodes and Internet distribution, they (producers) are bumping into each other every day," she said. "The OMDC is about maximizing opportunities producers have for growth and innovation in Ontario and abroad."

Thorne-Stone will take up her new position at the end of July.