Empire State Development has announced that Gigi Semone has been named executive director of the Governor's Office of Motion Picture and Television Development.
"Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership, productions and post-productions are flocking to New York, creating new jobs and pumping billions into our economy," said ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams. "I am pleased to welcome Gigi Semone to our team, and look forward to working with her as we continue to make the Empire State the place to be for the film and television industry."
"This is an exciting time to join the Governor's Office of Motion Picture and Television Development," Semone said. "The office is on a record-breaking path, bringing new productions - and jobs - to all parts of the state. I am honored to take on this new role, and am committed to fostering the growth of this critical economic development engine."
As executive director, Semone will be responsible for marketing New York state as a location for film and television production, and will also oversee new initiatives championed by Cuomo to grow the industry - especially upstate. Semone will report to Rhoda Glickman, senior vice president for arts, culture and film development.
Semone comes to ESD with extensive industry experience. Most recently, she was the executive vice president of national publicity for Sony Pictures Entertainment, where she crafted and executed national broadcast, digital, print and radio publicity strategies. Prior to joining Sony, Semone was the vice president of Walt Disney Company's East Coast publicity division, where she successfully managed all aspects of magazine publicity for live action and animated films, and executed east coast events and press coverage.
Semone received her B.A. from Colgate University. A native New Yorker, she resides in New York City with her husband.
Since Cuomo took office, New York state's film and television tax credit program has taken off - experiencing a surge in program applications. It is estimated that the 349 projects that have filmed or applied to the program during the Cuomo administration will result in more than $5.5 billion in direct spending in New York. Many major television and film productions have cited the program as a leading factor in their decision to film and produce in New York.
For more information, visit http://www.nylovesfilm.com/index.asp.
Empire State Development is New York chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy by supporting private sector investment and job growth. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of assistance, ESD enables businesses to grow and create jobs throughout New York. ESD is also the lead agency for Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Councils, the Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, Minority and Women-Owned Business Services, Small Business Assistance, and Tourism, which manages "I Love NY," the state's iconic brand. For more information, visit www.esd.ny.gov.