Massachusetts Film Commissioner Lisa Strout honored with Crystal Vision Award at AFCI Cineposium

NEW YORK CITY - After serving on the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Board of Directors twice, hosting a Cineposium, chairing committees and teaching AFCI University courses, Lisa Strout felt she could still do more for the organization and its worldwide membership. She took on the task of updating the professional development program and added another to her plate: developing a new course for non-commissioners.

Strout’s outstanding effort and dedication to the organization was recognized this weekend with the Arthur M. Loew Jr. Crystal Vision Award, given to an active or former AFCI film commissioner or staff member for envisioning, developing or helping to implement programs that have significantly furthered the goals of the AFCI.

Strout’s career achievements include a decade in film location management followed by leading first the film office of New Mexico and now the office in her home state of Masachusetts.

Strout received the award at the AFCI Cineposium, held in New York City on October 3-5 at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. The event included a location photography class, tours of famous movie sites provided by On Location Tours, and panel discussions on issues facing both film commissions and the film industry as a whole.

Another highlight of the event was the keynote address by Michael Uslan, executive producer of all of the Batman films. Uslan shared his compelling personal story and discussed how technology is changing the film industry. When asked in Q&A how he felt about Ben Affleck as the new Batman, Uslan expressed confidence, sharing a story about when he was initially against director Tim Burton’s choice of Michael Keaton for the role until Burton explained: “You don’t cast for Batman, you cast for Bruce Wayne."

Several of the panel discussions focused on how recent issues have affected the industry. The ‘Midnight Rider’ tragedy where one person died and several more injured inspired a session on set safety; a panel on film tourism included a look at Norway’s recent experience with Disney’s Frozen; and a panel on drones included James Williams, the manager of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office.

Twenty-two members also completed the AFCI’s professional development program, which includes master classes on marketing, film production, economic development, and management. They received certificates at the close of the event, confirming their status as Certified Film Commissioners (CFCs).

Cineposium is an annual convention for members of the Association of Film Commissioners International. For 38 years, the AFCI has been the official professional organization for film commissioners who assist film, television, and video production. The AFCI is a non-profit educational association whose members serve as city, county, state, regional, provincial, or national film commissioners in their respective governmental jurisdictions. With nearly 300 AFCI Member Film Commissions on six continents, the film industry can almost always find an experienced, knowledgable film office to support their production.