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
2. Minimum requirements
(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
(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
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
In order to implement the foregoing activities, the
following three committees were set up within the
JFCPC during fiscal 2008 with the participation of
Chairman: Mr. Tetsuji Maezawa
Themes of discussion:
7. Contact us
- The plan about public relating
- The plan about enterprises
- Organization management and examination about
another new theme
National Film Center 5F, 3-7-6, Kyobashi, Chuo-ku,
Tokyo 104-0031 Japan
(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:
- Share and systematize information about production
- Share information and work to improve film related
laws, systems, etc.
- Support local film commissions in Asia, and
- Joint-Publicity, marketing
For Details, please see this
AFCNet Web site:www.afcnet.org
AFCNet regular members
(as of August 2008)
Miyagi Film Commission
Hyogo Film Commission Network
SAGA Prefectural Film Commission
Film & Media Commission
Oita City Location Office
TEL: 82-51-743-7531-6 e-mail:
TEL: 82-61-744-2271-2 e-mail:
TEL: 82-2-777-7092 e-mail:
Jeonju Film Commission
TEL: 82 63 281 2074 e-mail:
Gyeonggi Film Commission
TEL: 82 32 223 1066 e-mail:
Movie Group Corp.
TEL: 86-29-85528622 e-mail:
TEL: 86-431-5952747 e-mail:
TEL: 7-4232-20-99-93 e-mail:
Singapore Film Commission
TEL: +65-6837-9973 FAX: +65-6336-1170 e-mail:
TEL: 603-8315-2000 e-mail:
TEL: 62-361-237-272 e-mail:
Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Cinema and Cultural
TEL: +85 5 12 619 012 e-mail:
AFCNet secretariat: Busan film commission (BFC)
TEL: 82-51-743-7535 e-mail: email@example.com
9. About AFCI
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
Nagoya Location Navi
Hiroshima Film Commission
Hagi Film Commission
Fukuoka Film Commission
Oita City Location Office