Sharon Pinkenson: Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Film Office
Philadelphia is a city that everyone wants to visit and where young people want to live and innovate. But that wasn’t always the case—even in the late ’90s. Then, in 1999, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense was released, and things were on a roll! The future was bright, and I wasn’t seeing any dead people. What an honor it’s been for me to help create a robust film industry in Philadelphia and the region. I could not be more proud of the films, TV shows, documentaries, shorts and student films that have come out of our region. I’m very proud to say that I had an instrumental role in getting Pennsylvania to enact its first film tax incentive program in 2004. We were one of the first states to have such a program, and this allowed us to be very competitive in attracting productions and jobs to the region. But, more importantly, I am proud of the way that Philadelphia and Philadelphians have benefited from the growth of the film industry. And, for me personally, it’s thrilling to have accomplished so much. But I couldn’t have achieved any of it without the tremendous support from friends, family and the government.