Message From the Chair: The Next 20 Years — It’s On.

September 29, 2022
Posted by: Leslie Wootton

Welcome to fall 2022 — I’m delighted to be addressing industry colleagues and partners for the first time in my capacity as the newly elected Chair of the Board for BC’s Motion Picture Production Industry Association (MPPIA). It’s an honour to be taking over from my predecessor Peter Leitch, who was a founding member of MPPIA (in 2002) and served as Board Chair since 2004. Peter leaves a legacy of unparalleled volunteerism, community building and leadership for BC’s motion picture production industry, and I think I can speak broadly for all of us when I say that we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for steering our Association and our industry through an incredible journey of opportunities, challenges and growth over the past two decades. These are not small shoes to fill, but the good news is that Peter leaves us at the helm of an industry that continues to diversify, thrive and grow — and in an excellent position to act together on a vison for our collective future.

2022 also marks MPPIA’s 20th birthday, and a turning point in the Association’s evolution. Like anyone soon turning 21, our organization is poised to grow more fully into the $4 billion+ industry it represents in BC today, and on that note we are exploring new ways to broaden our representation, membership and operational bandwidth.

That ball got rolling earlier this year, when MPPIA took some key steps towards broader and more equitable representation within our Board leadership. Those steps led to our ability to increase MPPIA’s Board seats and broaden access to these seats with a revised Governance model. I’m proud to sit with and lead our 2022-23 MPPIA Board elected this past June, including a number of new representatives at the table. As we move forward together to act on MPPIA’s mandate, we will also roll out a more fulsome introduction to the Association leadership, and the sectors and companies that they lead.

Together, MPPIA’s leadership will be working on a renewed foundation that supports the next two decades of industry growth, and that means redoubling our efforts in key areas like equity, diversity & inclusion, environmental sustainability and workforce development, all of which are central to a healthy and progressive future for our industry.

At the same time, we continue to be exceptionally busy running BC’s production landscape and engaging on all levels with our partners across industry, government, and BC regions and communities — all are vital to the unique collaboration that makes BC as success.

Just into the fall season, we’ve already capped off our 2022 summer season of Motion Picture Community Initiative (MPCI) community appreciation screenings and the 3rd edition of our industry stewardship collaboration with the Directors Guild of Canada BC (DGC BC) and Location Managers Guild International (LMGI) on the Leadership on Location series. We’ve had wonderful uptake on all fronts across industry and community partners, and these are the ways that the we connect with one another to keep moving together in the same direction. Sincere thanks to the Film Commission team at Creative BC, who work side by side with us on all of our objectives and activities to ensure their success.

In the final quarter of 2022, there is equal promise of busy weeks and months ahead as live meetings, festivals and events return, and production continues to buzz. I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Peter Leitch for being an exemplary leader for the BC industry — we can all aspire to the quality of Peter’s leadership and participation, but we’ll truly reap the benefits of his investment by taking our industry to the next level in the years ahead. Challenge accepted.

Gemma Martini, Chair, Motion Picture Production Industry Assn. of BC