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Sarasota County Creates Film Office
(released 3/9/2007)
By greenroomwire

A new era in economic development was launched as Jeanne Corcoran was named director of the Sarasota County Film and Entertainment Office. "This takes us to a whole new level," said Kathy Baylis, President of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), which houses the new office. "Jeanne's previous experience in the film industry, coupled with her untiring energy, will be just what we need to help put Sarasota County on the map as a location for film, video and new media production activities."

The role of promoting Sarasota County's film-related business was previously housed with the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Tourist Development Council's task force recommended moving the office to the EDC because of its focus on expanding the local creative services sector and its larger mission of a more diverse and sustainable economy. The Board of County Commissioners agreed and, after completing a study on how leading film commission offices are set up, a search began for a new director.

Funding sources for the new office include tourism taxes, the county's occupational license tax and a one-time, startup investment from Sarasota County. Corcoran says her first task is to build an inventory of resources already here. The list will include businesses already in the industry, like video-production and web design studios, plus artists, historians, musicians, actors, set designers and volunteers. She plans to tap into local schools, such as the Ringling School of Art and Design or Booker High School's Visual and Performing Arts magnet school. "Once we know what we have, we will cultivate, incubate and showcase them."

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