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For immediate release: February 22, 2016
Contact: Steve Flamisch
Phone: 518-402-3130

New York State Announces First-Of-Its-Kind Program Connecting Film & TV Productions with Volunteer Service Opportunities to Help Fight Poverty Across the State

Empire State Development (ESD) and the New York State Commission on National and Community Service today announced the launch of Film Good / Do Good™, a first-of-its-kind partnership that will connect film and television productions with volunteer service opportunities throughout New York State. The program will encourage cast and crewmembers to volunteer at non-profit organizations that are fighting hunger, homelessness and other root causes of poverty in some of the state’s neediest neighborhoods.

"We attract film and television productions from around the world to shoot in New York State, and today we are launching a program to help them lift up the communities in which they film," ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said. "This initiative will connect costume and set designers, sound technicians, camera operators, and other production workers with service programs that are touching and improving lives every day.”

"This program will bring volunteers with specific skills to communities where those skills are needed,” Hillarie Logan-Dechene, Chair, New York State Commission on National and Community Service, said. “Craft services workers can cook nutritious meals at a soup kitchen and teach the basics of cooking on a budget. Skilled carpenters can train and assist neighborhoods to build safe and inviting playgrounds for their children. Expert programmers can create modern online tools that will help nonprofits reach those needing assistance. The impact will be significant.”

Film Good / Do Good™ is the first and only state government-organized community give back program in the nation that is tailored specifically to the film and television industry. The program will tap the power of New York’s booming, multi-billion-dollar production industry to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. The presence of the entertainment industry at volunteer sites will inspire other New Yorkers to donate their time and talent to the anti-poverty cause.

The New York State Commission on National and Community Service will hire a consultant to help develop and coordinate the program. Film Good / Do Good™ will be part of the Commission’s Volunteer Generation program, which focuses on using volunteers to combat poverty. It is funded in part by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington.

The Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development, a division of ESD, will partner with the Commission to shape Film Good / Do Good™ into a one-stop shop for productions interested in contributing to local communities above and beyond the economic impact of hiring local businesses and vendors, and employing background actors and crewmembers. While New York has the country’s premier production incentive program, any film or television show shooting in New York State may participate in Film Good / Do Good™.

Gigi Semone, Executive Director of the Governor's Office for Motion Picture & Television Development, said, “The film and television industry is thriving in New York State and this record-breaking production volume provides a great opportunity to encourage a new kind of hands-on community engagement. Film Good / Do Good™ will go beyond traditional give-back and act as a service coordinator to tailor individual volunteer events that best meet the needs of both the community and the show. This one-of-a-kind program will change lives, improve neighborhoods, encourage further growth of entertainment altruism in New York and demonstrate the positive footprint productions leave in the areas where they work.”

Linda Cohen, Executive Director of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service, said, “Film Good / Do Good™ will build the capacity of community-based organizations that are dedicated to fighting poverty. This surge in volunteers will have a profound impact on neighborhoods in need, while inspiring other New Yorkers to embrace the spirit of service. The Commission is pleased to welcome this transformative partnership to its growing network of Volunteer Generation programs.”

Peter Saraf, Vice President, Producers Guild of America East, said, "The filmmaking and production community throughout New York is exactly that—a community, and one that’s generous at heart. And just as so many towns and cities throughout the state have made us and our crews part of their communities—even if just for a few weeks—I know that producers are excited about the opportunity to do right by the neighborhoods, businesses and families that have welcomed us with such open arms. I’m proud that the Producers Guild has the opportunity to support Film Good / Do Good™, and hope that other organizations in our industry will do the same."

Jay Roewe, Senior Vice President of Production, HBO, said, “I want to congratulate the Governor for introducing this great new program to help us show our appreciation to the New York communities we film in. Under his leadership, New York State has been so successful at bringing more HBO shows here and creating thousands of jobs. We look forward to partnering with Film Good / Do Good™ on our existing community impact work and creating more opportunities on our sets in the communities where we shoot in New York.”

About the New York State Governor's Office for Motion Picture & Television Development
The New York State Governor's Office for Motion Picture & Television Development (MPTV), a division of Empire State Development (ESD), offers film, television and commercial productions and post-production tax credits for qualified expenditures in New York State. The office also serves as a liaison between production companies and city and local governments, state agencies, a network of statewide contacts, local film offices and professional location scouts and managers. For more information on filming in New York State or the Film Production and Post-Production Tax Credit Programs, please visit The Emipre State Development NYS Film Production Tax Credit page.

About the New York State Commission on National and Community Service
The New York State Commission on National and Community Service - New Yorkers Volunteer seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering in New York State. It was established in 1994 by an Executive Order of the Governor, and administers programs funded by the National Community Service Trust Act of 1993, including AmeriCorps State and AmeriCorps Education Awards programs. For more information, visit, like NYS CNCS on Facebook, and follow @NYersVolunteer on Twitter.