Fall 2018: Building on the Best Laid Plans

September 12, 2018
Posted by: Leslie Wootton

MPPIA is on a roll in 2018 — it’s a message I deliver with a measure of confidence because, as an industry association, we have remained focussed on the values and collaborations that distinguish BC within a well populated competitive landscape. To that end, we’ve been building leadership strategies within the film & television production sector, as well as more broadly across the creative sector — and the results of our efforts are bearing the kinds of outcomes that contribute to BC’s reputation as a centre for excellence.

This doesn’t mean our work here is done — quite the opposite, we’re working harder than ever to deliver on the promise in BC. Two strategies that underpin our future vision for BC as an international centre for production are the creative industries strategy ‘BC Creates’ , as well as the Industry Stewardship Pilot Project being led by the Motion Picture Community Initiative task force. Both are long range collaborative strategies that have been built over several years and are maturing as driving forces behind many of our activities.

Launched in 2015, ‘BC Creates’ is the over arching message of Creative Industries Week, BC’s vibrant two day creative sector showcase held for the fourth year running in Victoria this past spring — better than ever this year, with great engagement from across industry and government. Similarly, our industry’s Motion Picture Community Initiative established in 2016, has incrementally built engagement from all levels of industry, municipal, provincial and community partners with a series of grassroots events — all of which informs a substantive long range strategy for managed growth in location production. This strategy is set to be rolled out at the Vancouver International Film Festival next month (Oct. 5) during the third edition of the Sustainable Production Forum.

Both strategies go hand in glove with MPPIA’s efforts to integrate our growth plans with those of our local governments, who play such a key role in planning for our industry to flourish in BC communities. This year, thanks to the efforts of Mayor Gregor Robertson and the City of Vancouver, the COV Film Office and its (former) Film & Events Manager Sandi Swanigan — as well as Creative BC, the MPA-Canada and the MPPIA Executive led by Vancouver Film Studios’ Pete Mitchell — Vancouver is going “from film friendly to film focussed” with a newly established advisory committee to lead the way. This model for integrated growth sets a great standard for us to aim for with all of our key municipal partners. With civic elections up ahead this October 20, we’ll have new municipal leaders to get acquainted with alongside our returning friends in local government. We look forward to striving forward on our plans with all of them.

On the same note of welcome and in the spirit of collaboration, I am pleased to announce a newly minted dual membership strategy with our counterpart digital media industry association, DigiBC. The dual membership option between MPPIA and DigiBC enables digital entertainment companies whose interests are served by both associations to join under one membership. It’s an ‘all win’ strategy that enables the associations to expand their memberships and sectoral representation, and for members to increase the value and returns on their support. Many thanks to Sony Imageworks’ Michelle Grady and DigiBC’s Brenda Bailey for helping to piece the joint venture together.

None of the above would be forward thinking if we weren’t paying due attention to important workplace issues in the spotlight worldwide — sexual harrassment, gender parity, diversity. Leading the discussion at the MPPIA table is Kendrie Upton (DGC-BC), Liz Shorten (CMPA-BC) and Prem Gill (Creative BC), all of whom are engaged in sector policy making around these issues. Many thanks to Prem for supporting Respectful Workplace Training across BC’s creative sector.

Heading into the busy final quarter of the calendar year, I look forward to capitalizing on the strategies we’ve been building, working together with established partners as well as newcomers. These are exciting and transformative times in the field of entertainment production and I’m grateful for all the collaboration and sharing that keeps us aligned to ensure a healthy creative sector in BC for generations to come.

Speaking of gratitude — the 6th Annual Reel Thanksgiving Challenge kicks off September 21st — please give generously!

Peter Leitch, MPPIA Chair