LOS ANGELES, April 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) today announced that this year's Cineposium conference will be held September 13-16 in Saint Petersburg, Russia – concurrent with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly Meeting.
The announcement was made in Los Angeles at the AFCI Week Physical Production Power Brunch. Over the past decade, Cineposium has been held in the United States, France, New Zealand, Spain, and South Korea. This year's conference will mark the first time in the event's 43-year history that it will be held in Russia.
The annual Cineposium conference connects AFCI members with production industry partners and policymakers worldwide. It is the only international conference focused on education and professional development with an emphasis on film commissioners. Cineposium is one of AFCI's two hallmark annual events (the other is AFCI Week, which is currently underway in Los Angeles April 2-5).
"This year's Cineposium will be a truly global event," said AFCI President Jess Conoplia. "As the cultural capital of Russia, Saint Petersburg is an exciting choice. We look forward to welcoming attendees and speakers from the U.S., Europe and all parts of the world, including Russia's growing production industry."
The decision to hold Cineposium in Russia's second largest city followed a rigorous selection process in which prospective host cities were judged based on resources, infrastructure and commitment to hosting a world-class conference. The opportunity to be in Saint Petersburg in concert with the UN World Tourism Organization was also a factor given the public's growing interest in locations that are featured in popular films and TV series. The growth of such "film tourism" presents opportunities for AFCI to work with other organizations to expand Cineposium's global reach and relevance.
"This will be AFCI's 43rd Cineposium, and we are proud it will be held in St. Petersburg," said AFCI Board Chair Kevin "KJ" Jennings, who also serves as executive manager of New Zealand's Film Otago Southland film office. "Bringing the conference to Russia demonstrates our ongoing commitment to educating and uniting AFCI's global membership."
AFCI is working closely with the Russian Office of Film Commissions and the Committee for Tourism Development of Saint Petersburg to secure Cineposium venues and develop programming.
Saint Petersburg will offer attendees a unique, world-class conference experience. The city's nickname among Russians is the "Window to the West," and at Cineposium 2019 it will also become a window into Russia's media production industry. The nation currently boasts 10 major studios, 113 sound stages, and skilled labor rates that are up to 50 percent lower than other production locales. It is also a burgeoning technology center, with at least five Russia-based streaming platforms seeking international partners.
"International producers have a limited perception of filmmaking in Russia that usually involves stereotypical images of the Kremlin," said Russian Office of Film Commissions CEO Val Kupeev. "We look forward to welcoming AFCI members and industry leaders from around the world for a stellar conference and an introduction to all that Russia has to offer."
Eygeny Pankevich, chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development of Saint Petersburg, added, "Saint Petersburg is the birthplace of Russian cinema, so it is a great honor for our city to host AFCI's first Cineposium in Russia. Hosting the conference here will bring lasting value and new perspectives to everyone involved."
Pankevich also noted that St. Petersburg will soon launch its own regional film commission.
The Cineposium 2019 schedule includes the core Cineposium conference, the 3rd Business-to-Business Industry Day and a Saint Petersburg cultural and production industry tour. Initial sessions and speakers will be announced soon.
Early registration for Cineposium 2019 is now open. More information about is available at https://afci.org/afci-news/events/afci-cineposium-2019/.
About The Association of Film Commissioners International
Founded in 1975, the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) is the professional organization for film commissioners worldwide. It represents more than 300 city, county, state, regional, provincial and national film commission members on six continents. AFCI empowers its members by sharing best practices, providing workforce development training and strengthening ties to policymakers and the production industry. AFCI is based in Los Angeles. For more information, visit AFCI.org.
SOURCE Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI)