Walea Constantinau talks about AFCI Locations 2007

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Walea Constantinau is the founding director of the City and County of Honolulu’s Honolulu Film Office, an agency that is dedicated to providing economic stimulus and job creation to Oahu by growing and nurturing the film industry. She has 20+ years in the fields of marketing and advertising, 14 of which have been as a business development specialist in the area of film.

Walea  is a University of Hawaii graduate with Distinction in Communications, a degree that focused on emerging technologies with a minored in journalism. After graduationshe started working for a company that developed integrated application training curriculum for AT&T Bell Labs. Working between Honolulu and Morristown, New Jersey, she worked as a trainer and technical writer, and taught the curriculum she developed to the executives of AT&T. The experience led her to Kapiolani Community College where she took the position of marketing and developing manager of the computer training education program. Under Walea’s direction, in less than three years the number of people taught through the program had doubled – to over 8000 annually – and the program became the first in the community college system to exceed $1 million in revenues generated.
 
Shortly thereafter, Walea caught the entrepreneurial bug and left KCC to start Corporate Training Center, a private computer training firm that specialized in ‘consultive training’ for Hawaii’s Top 250 corporations. The company, funded with startup capitol from credit cards, saw profits within its first 8 months of business.

As film commissioner for Honolulu and the Island of Oahu, Walea attracts and facilitates hundreds of projects each year including such high-profile fare as Pearl Harbor, Windtalkers, Tears of the Sun, Jurassic Park III, 50 First Dates and LOST. Since 1995, annual Oahu production expenditures have increased from $39M in annual direct expenditures by production companies into Oahu’s economy, to a record high of over $130M in 2004.

As film commissioner, Walea represents Oahu’s interests on a number of boards and associations and is currently serving on the board of the Association of Film Commissioners International since 2003. The AFCI has over 300 worldwide members on six continents. She is Vice President, Marketing for the organization which has in its portfolio of responsibility oversight for the longest-running entertainment trade show in North America – Locations Trade Show , the AFCI website, publications, marketing events and the branding strategy of the organization.

Cinema Without Borders: Some of our readers are not familiar with the AFCI activities and goals; please tell us about the AFCI mission in the film industry. Please tell us about history of AFCI and your involvement with this organization.

Walea Constantinau: The Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) is the global professional organization whose members are film commissioners that assist film, television and video production throughout the world. It is a non-profit educational association whose members serve as city, county, state, regional, provincial or national film commissioners for their respective governmental jurisdictions.

CWB: What should we expect to see at the 22nd annual AFCI Locations Trade Show
Walea: The Locations Trade Show, produced by the Association of Film Commissioners, is the longest-running entertainment trade show in North America. This year’s show will feature 260 exhibitors representing more than 30 countries, spanning six continents. Locations Trade Show is a unique opportunity to connect with the global community of film commissioners. 

CWB: How many countries are participating and if you please name a few?
Walea: Present at Locations Trade Show 2007 will be film commissioners representing more than 30 countries spanning six continents. Please refer to the attached Exhibitor List for more details. 

CWB: Beside the exhibition, are there any activities held at the show?
Walea: New this year, the AFCI will be unveiling its slate of AFCI
Global Initiatives that includes a worldwide educational program that covers the breadth of the film commission profession, easy access to the most current information available on worldwide incentives and an effective and efficient way to make confidential location inquiries to one or multiple AFCI member commissions. The three initiatives are:
– AFCI Professional Development Courses
– AFCI Dynamic Incentive Tool
– AFCI Location Inquiry Service Tool

In keeping with the AFCI Global Initiatives, the organization presents at this year’s Locations Trade Show an impressive series of seminars focused on key aspects and topics of international significance and interest to the industry. The seminars are co-produced by the AFCI and the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, the Producers Guild of America, the Locations Managers Guild of America and Loyola Law School.

CWB: Will filmmakers and other creative members of a filmmaking Team benefit in any way by visiting AFCI Locations?
Walea: Locations Trade Show 2007 is a unique event where industry professionals can meet the breadth of the global film commission community. Film Commissioners are a great resource for industry creatives as they usually have detailed knowledge of locations, history and culture of their region as well as information on production resources in their areas. Additionally, film commissions are often the administrators of government-sponsored financial incentives. 
CWB: Please tell us about the level of international cinema and independent cinema involvement with AFCI.
Walea:  AFCI member commissions assist all levels of production from the four corners of the globe. 

CWB: Please tell us about other AFCI events in the near future.
Walea: The next major AFCI event will be the Cineposium International Conference, the worlds leading educational conference for those involved or interested in the business of film commissioning. The conference will be held this year in Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 26-30, 2007.

Information on the Seminars at the AFCI Locations Show 2007
Keeping with its AFCI Global Initiatives approach, the AFCI presents at this year¹s Location Trade Show an impressive series of seminars focused on key
aspects and topics of international significance and interest to the industry, partnering with the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, the Producers Guild of America, the Location Managers Guild of America and Loyola Law School. To register for these seminars, go to http://www.afc.org. This year¹s seminar line-up includes:
• ³Incentives on the Spot² ¬ Thursday, April 12 from 1:00-3:00pm at the Sheraton Delfina Hotel, Espada Room, 530 W. Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica. Sponsored by AFCI, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers. Experts in the field will present scenarios and case studies on what type of incentives are available for commercial spot production and how these incentives in the USA and abroad can influence decisions on shooting location choices. Panelists include:
o Matt Miller, AICP (Moderator)
o Susan Lava, HIS Productions
o Pat Kaufman, New York State Governor¹s Office for Motion Picture & TV Development
o Jeff Begun, Axium International

Cost: $50 for non-members; AFCI/AICP members $25.

• ³Soft Money 3: Financing Independent Film Today & Accessing Film & TV Production Incentives Worldwide: Update² ¬ Friday, April 13 11:30 am ¬
2:30 pm. At the Loyola Law School, 919 Albany St, Los Angeles. Sponsored by AFCI and Loyola Law School. In this popular third annual examination of
film and video incentives worldwide, entertainment attorneys, production executives and film commissioners discuss in-depth trends in production incentives.

Panelists for Financing Independent Films Today (11:00am-12:45pm) include:
o Steve Monas, Partner, Business Affairs, Inc. (Moderator)
o Brian Goldsmith, COO, Mandate Pictures
o Carolyn Hunt, Partner, Loeb and Loeb, LLP
o Danny Mandel, Director, Newbridge Film Capital

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About Author

Bijan Tehrani

Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as editor in chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language of Film and Film History at workshops nationwide. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children's books.

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