Councilmember Nelson celebrates appointment of first members of the Seattle Film Commission

The Seattle City Council unanimously confirmed the appointment of the first 10 members of the Seattle Film Commission today.  

The Seattle Film Commission was a key recommendation of the 2020 Film Taskforce and was established through legislation spearheaded by Councilmember Sara Nelson (Position 9–Citywide) in partnership with the Office of Economic Development. Commissioners will advise the City on policies and programs to strengthen our regional film industry, create more living wage jobs in the creative economy, and attract more film and television production to Seattle.  

Councilmember Sara Nelson standing with the first 10 members of the Seattle Film Commission.

“Today’s confirmations mark a transformational moment in the future of film in Seattle. The inaugural members of Washington state’s first codified film commission were selected among 170 applicants for their professional track record, lived experience, and commitment to lifting up workers across all disciplines in the industry. It’s time to get beyond the wide shot of the Space Needle and showcase more of our town — from the waterfront to southeast Seattle and everything in between. These are the right people to help put Seattle back on the map as a premier filmmaking city and I appreciate their motivation to serve,said Nelson. 

About the Commission 

The 11-member Film Commission will advance the City’s economic development priorities in the creative economy by serving as a conduit between the City and the film industry and community to:  

  • Advise on the development of efforts that reinforce and grow the role of film in the region’s content and creative industries. 
  • Build inclusive career pathways into the film industry 
  • Drive economic growth by attracting and retaining local, regional, national, and global business 

The confirmed Commissioners are:  

  • Position 1: Lowell Deo (On-screen talent or their representatives)
  • Position 2: Melissa Purcell (Film industry labor unions)
  • Position 3: Michael Huang (Advertising and creative agencies)
  • Position 4: Tom Florino (Commercial producers or production companies)
  • Position 5: Laura Cronin (Film schools, film programs, or film educators)
  • Position 6: Champ Ensminger (Post-production companies and personnel, such as editors, composers, and post-supervisors)
  • Position 7: Kat Ogden (Film production crew, including but not limited to props, sets, wardrobe, make-up, hair, camera, grip, and electric)
  • Position 8: Beth Barrett (Film festivals or film content distribution companies )
  • Position 9: Mark Freid (Film location managers )
  • Position 10: Anthony Tackett (Film organizations belonging to and advocating for communities underrepresented in the film industry)
  • Position 11: Appointed by Commission (Immersive technology such as augmented, extended, mixed, and virtual 20 reality, and emerging technology businesses) 

The Film Commission will build on work by the Washington State Legislature to raise the state’s filmmaking incentive from $3.5 million a year to $15 million, making Washington more competitive and allocating more funds towards underrepresented communities. In addition,  King County unveiled the 117,000 square-foot Harbor Island Studios nearly two years ago, which has two soundstages and has already hosted production of shows like Three Busy Debras and Love Is Blind. 


“Creative leaders are a key component of our plan to revitalize and reinvigorate Seattle’s economy. This new Film Commission is a chance to tap into the knowledge of our industry professionals to attract new TV and film productions and build opportunities for local creatives and visionaries. I’m excited to see the innovative ideas the commission puts forward to put Seattle back on the big screen where it belongs,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. 

“We love our creatives here in Seattle, so I’m excited that we are creating this new film commission to help grow Seattle’s film industry. Alongside the state’s bigger film incentive program and King County’s investment in the Harbor Island Studios we have serious mojo going. To make the most of that momentum, we sought industry representatives with diverse backgrounds and professional expertise to form this new advisory body. We have all the pieces we need for a thriving film industry, and this talented group will help us capitalize on the opportunities in front of us,” said Markham McIntyre, Director for the Seattle Office of Economic Development.   

“Film community members have been advocating for a commission for many years and today it’s finally official,” concluded Nelson. “I thank Mayor Harrell and key OED staff for their support in realizing the film community’s long-held vision.