T.O. steps up efforts to enhance film industry

In the face of increasing competition from film offices in New York and Los Angeles, Canadian industry members and the Toronto City Council have made moves to enhance Toronto's competitive position in attracting and maintaining production.Last year, film and tv productions...

In the face of increasing competition from film offices in New York and Los Angeles, Canadian industry members and the Toronto City Council have made moves to enhance Toronto’s competitive position in attracting and maintaining production.

Last year, film and tv productions in Toronto spent nearly $320 million and employed 20,000 people.

On Jan. 17 the Toronto Film Liaison Office – the organization that markets Toronto as a location and provides location services to producers – moved to the Office of the Mayor from the department of planning and economic development.

It is now the Toronto Film and Television Office, and acting director of the Film Liaison Office, David Plant, has been appointed Film Commissioner.

The move, which gives the service a boost in prestige within City Hall – a status that many of North America’s major film offices already enjoy – was the result of an industry initiative led by the Ontario District Council of the Director’s Guild of Canada.

Other steps to enhance the industry were outlined in a brief prepared for the Ontario Directors Guild by Peter Steinmetz of the law firm Cassels Brock & Blackwell.

They include the upgrading of the new Mayor’s Film Services Office computer system.