The Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) has elected its first female-majority board of directors and its first Europe-based chairperson in more than a decade.
Bas van der Ree from the Netherlands Film Commission becomes AFCI’s first board chairperson representing Europe in more than a decade and will lead the organisation’s most geographically and culturally diverse board to date.
Eight out of 11 board members are women. Officers include 1st vice chair Donne Dawson from the Hawaii State Film Office, 2nd vice chair Silvia Echeverri from the Colombia Film Commission, secretary Sorrel Geddes from the British Film Commission, and treasurer Steven Davenport from Screen Ireland.
The board includes three newly elected members: Gina Black from Screen Queensland; Marnie Gee from Creative BC; and Renee Robinson from Film Jamaica. Three members – van der Ree, Dawson and Nina Parikh from the Mississippi Film Office – have been re-elected for new two-year terms.
Members returning for the second year of their two-year terms are Davenport, Echeverri and Geddes, along with Timothy Owase from the Kenya Film Commission and Erin Stam from AusFilm. Outgoing chair Tim Clark from the Buffalo Niagara Film Office will serve as ex-officio board member.
“AFCI’s board represents the diverse needs and interests of our members, and I feel very honoured to serve as chair,” said van der Ree, who previously served as the board’s 1st vice chair and has been the Netherlands Film Commissioner since 2014 when the country launched its film production incentive. “Our newly elected, culturally diverse board will aim to further nurture and grow sustainable connections between industry professionals from all corners of the globe. We’ll also celebrate our amazing locations and staff.”
“I’m thrilled to work with Bas and such a smart and geographically-diverse board,” said AFCI president Eve Honthaner. “Each member brings the experience and perspective needed to work collectively to cement AFCI’s reputation as a valued global entity. Our 2022 board is committed to helping AFCI grow and thrive.”
AFCI’s 2022 board will focus on empowering film commissions to face a rapidly changing global production landscape amid increasing demand for content. Priorities are workforce training, infrastructure development, technology adoption and the ongoing impact of Covid-19.