Last Saturday, we invited over 50 film industry leaders and influencers from across the state to the Cloud Room in Seattle for Washington Filmworks’ first-ever “Film Summit.” The purpose was to celebrate and engage the energy and commitment of Washington State’s creative professionals in strengthening our filmmaking eco-system and seeking incentive funding from Olympia in 2017.

Hearing from a variety of creative professionals – from casting directors, to educators, actors, directors, and more – it was clear that the incentive is vital to the industry, as well as people’s career growth and financial success. At one point, participants were asked “Raise your hand if you can afford to have this incentive go away.” Not one hand in the room went up.

“I would not have been able to call myself a director without the incentive,” says Megan Griffiths, whose productions Lucky Them and Eden (which were financially supported by Washington Filmworks’ incentive program) have brought millions into the state.

George Riddell from Big House Productions also offered that while he does not currently work on projects that receive financial assistance through Filmworks, that the work generated by the program helps to support the infrastructure and crew base locally that make his business possible.

For the rest of the day, participants shared their perspectives on benefits of the statewide film industry, the future of film, and how to make an impact during the 2017 legislative session.

Check out some photos from the Film Summit below.