1. Film commissions (FCs) and their roles
Film commissions (FCs) are non-profit public organizations that 1) attract movie, TV drama and commercial message film crews to shoot on location in the FCs' respective localities, and 2) offer support so that film crews can accomplish their work smoothly. 307 such organizations are active in 41 countries around the world, mostly in the United States and Europe. Many of them are organized by local government bodies and the like, and serve as the administrative window concerned with attracting and supporting the crews that come to their locality not only from other parts of their own countries but from abroad as well. FCs therefore make significant contributions to the revitalization of local economies and the promotion of tourism.

2. Minimum requirements for FCs
(1) Neutral public organizations
In Japan, FCs are operated under the direct control of local government bodies, as part of local chambers of commerce & industry, convention bureaus or tourism promotion associations, or by NGOs. Services offered by FCs are completely free of charge.

(2) One-stop services are offered
Only when a film crew comes to the chosen area's FC can it expect to take advantage of a full range of services while filming on location.

(3) All productions are eligible for FC services
In principle, FCs will cater to the needs of any production; the type or quality of a production is not an issue.

3. Merits of organizing an FC
(1) Organizing an FC will provide the locality concerned with another means by which to convey local information.
(2) "Direct positive effects to the local economy" can be expected in the form of money spent by film crews.
(3) Productions (movies, TV dramas, etc.) filmed on location will help turn potential tourists into actual tourists, leading to increased "indirect effects" on the local economy in the form of locally purchased goods and services.
(4) The cultural level of residents is likely to be enhanced, stimulated by movies and TV dramas filmed on location in their areas.

4. How FCs came to be established in Japan (The Japan Film Commission Study Group)
The past decade or so has witnessed not a single major American movie being filmed on location in Japan. This is mainly due to Japan's having lacked a location-support organization, a fact that implies Japan is a relatively poor location environment. Concerned about this situation, a group of movie- and mass-media-related people volunteered to establish the "Japan Film Commission Study Group" (Chairman: Mr. Tadao Sato, President of the Japan Academy of Moving Images) in February 2000. In September the same year, it held a "National Symposium on Promoting the Establishment of Film Commissions." Soon after, in November, it held an "International Symposium" to coincide with the Tokyo International Film Festival, signaling to the world that the movement to establish FCs in Japan had begun. These events successfully paved the way for arousing nationwide interest in FCs.
Since the Study Group was founded, these efforts have enjoyed wide and prominent coverage by mass media, serving as a fillip for an increasing number of municipalities (prefectures, cities and the like) around Japan, which have responded by establishing FCs at a faster-than-expected pace.

5. Our Functions
Japanese movies are one aspect of the culture that Japan is proud to offer to the world. Many viewers of "Roman Holiday" have perhaps felt like visiting Rome by themselves to enjoy a gelato on the Spanish Steps and put their hand into "The Mouth of Truth" as Audrey Hepburn did in this famous film. Indeed, movies are an excellent media through which many people can or are motivated to learn about specific countries. Movies are a reflection of their countries, are a culture in their own right, and serve as an effective means for promoting tourism.
Although it's one of the world's leading filmmaking countries, regrettably Japan is somewhat lacking in infrastructure to support movie and TV production. Until recently, there had been a serious lack of support organizations that engage in location promotion activities (i.e. attracting film crews, obtaining permission for filming, and negotiating with the authorities/organizations concerned on behalf film crews). Here is a prime example of the situation at hand: Director Steven Spielberg was moving forward with his plan to film the bestselling novel "Memoir of a Geisha" -- an account of a geisha's life with prewar Kyoto as the setting. Spielberg decided to postpone filming, however, when he discovered that his desired location and other conditions were not fully available.
In Western countries, movies and the like have been duly recognized as an important form of cultural activity. Municipalities in these countries also understand that being selected as the location for a cinematic or television production enhances an area's profile, contributes to the local economy and creates employment opportunities through related industries, and contributes to the promotion of local culture. Accordingly, many municipalities are keen to invite film crews to shoot on location in their respective areas. This positive attitude is reflected in the establishment of numerous public organizations known as "film commissions," each operated by the state/province or municipality concerned.

6. Description of the Activities of the JFCPC
The Japan Film Commission Promotion Council (JFCPC) has been established with one primary aim: that members will make a united effort to support activities of local FCs, thereby contributing to the development of Japan's visual media culture. Mr. Takao Ono, Chairman of the Osaka Film Council, has assumed office as the first president of the JFCPC.
The council's membership consists of regular members (local FCs, municipalities, visual media creators' groups, tourism promotion organizations, etc.), supporting members (related companies) and individual members. Those who agree with the purpose of the JFCPC can apply for membership upon the recommendation of an existing member.
August 8, 2001 saw the JFCPC's inaugural general meeting held at Pacifico Yokohama, and attendance exceeded 200 participants -- 46 regular members including 11 local FCs (as of August 8), supporting members, individual members and those from the press.

The JFCPC's main lines of activity are as follows:
1. Extending support to the establishment of new local FCs
  • Supplying reference materials and information
  • Providing advice and consultations
2. Functional and environmental improvements pertinent to FC activities
  • Cooperating in the creation of Japanese manuals
  • Creating various kinds of guidelines of common interest to FCs
  • Holding training seminars for new talents interested in FC activities
3. Information exchange and coordination regarding FC activities
  • Holding or supporting information exchange meetings and other events
  • Gathering information and issuing newsletters
4. New talent training and extending educational support to those engaged in FC activities
5. Other undertakings deemed necessary for achieving JFCPC objectives

In order to implement the foregoing activities, the following three committees were set up within the JFCPC during fiscal 2008 with the participation of members:

Planning Committee
Chairman: Mr. Tetsuji Maezawa
Themes of discussion:
  • The plan about public relating
  • The plan about enterprises
  • Organization management and examination about another new theme

7. Contact us
National Film Center 5F, 3-7-6, Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0031 Japan
FAX: +81-(0)3-3563-2526
E-mail: jfc@japanfc.org
(Please note: We may not be able to answer all inquiries sent via E-mail.)

8. About AFCNet
AFCNet (Asian Film Commissions Network) was established on October 10, 2004 with the participation of 18 organizations from six countries.

The plan of activities for fiscal year 2005, intended to facilitate shooting in the Asian region and to further promote cooperation, was decided. It covers the four main areas below:
  1. Share and systematize information about production
  2. Share information and work to improve film related laws, systems, etc.
  3. Support local film commissions in Asia, and provide training
  4. Joint-Publicity, marketing
For Details, please see this page.

AFCNet Web site:www.afcnet.org

AFCNet regular members (as of August 2008)
Sapporo Film Commission
Sendai Miyagi Film Commission
Tokyo Location Box
Nagoya Location Navi
Osaka Film Council
Hyogo Film Commission Network
Kobe Film Office
Himeji Film Commision
Hiroshima Film Commission
Shimonoseki Film Commission
Kitakyushu Film Commission
Fukuoka Film Commision
SAGA Prefectural Film Commission
Nagasaki Film & Media Commission
Oita City Location Office
Okinawa Film Office

Busan Film Commission
  TEL: 82-51-743-7531-6  e-mail: bfc@bfc.or.kr
Namdo Film Commission
  TEL: 82-61-744-2271-2  e-mail: indi6mm@empal.com
Seoul Film Commission
  TEL: 82-2-777-7092  e-mail: seoulfc@seoulfc.or.kr
Jeonju Film Commission
  TEL: 82 63 281 2074  e-mail: stark01@kornet.net
Gyeonggi Film Commission
  TEL: 82 32 223 1066  e-mail: bluecinema@ggfc.or.kr

Western Movie Group Corp.
  TEL: 86-29-85528622  e-mail: baiyun326@vip.sina.com
Changchun Film Studio
  TEL: 86-431-5952747  e-mail: humanrights20042002@yahoo.co.jp

Vladivostok Film Commission
  TEL: 7-4232-20-99-93  e-mail: office@viff.ru

Singapore Film Commission
  TEL: +65-6837-9973  FAX: +65-6336-1170  e-mail: seto_lok_yin@mda.gov.sg

Multimedia Development Corporation
  TEL: 603-8315-2000  e-mail: kamil@mdc.com.my

Bali Film Commission
  TEL: 62-361-237-272  e-mail: contact@balifilm.com

Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Cinema and Cultural Diffusion Department
  TEL: +85 5 12 619 012  e-mail: sokunsom@hotmail.com

AFCNet secretariat: Busan film commission (BFC)
TEL: 82-51-743-7535 e-mail: info@afcnet.org

9. About AFCI
The AFCI (Association of Film Commissioners International) is a non-profit educational organization founded in the United States in 1975.
Description of activities is Cineposium education program and Locations Trade Show (trade show for film producers and entertainment industry people).
AFCI members are 310 organizations from 31 countries and regions. Regular member film commissions from Japan are as follows:

Sapporo Film Commission
Tokyo Location Box
Nasu Film Commission
Nagoya Location Navi
Osaka Film Council
Kobe Film Office
Himeji Film Commission
Hiroshima Film Commission
Hagi Film Commission
Kitakyushu Film Commission
Fukuoka Film Commission
Oita City Location Office

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