In The News

Maine Film Office Awards Olsberg•SPI Contract for Strategic Project 

For Immediate Release  
Contact: Contact: Karen Carberry Warhola

AUGUSTA, Maine – The Maine Film Office (MFO), a division within the Office of Tourism at the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), has selected Olsberg•SPI (SPI) to complete a thorough audit of the state’s current film production capacity, its strengths, weaknesses and constraints, and capacity gaps in key areas of production, as well as opportunities for future growth.

“Maine has seen a welcome increase in filming here since the pandemic. Production companies were seeking a safe place to film, and found excellent crews and film-friendly communities throughout the state,” stated Karen Carberry Warhola, director of MFO. “With the increased interest in Maine as a filming location, we are in a perfect position to enhance the state’s ability to attract and service more – and larger – productions, and to do that effectively, we need to complete a comprehensive audit of what’s working and ways where we can improve to set a course for growth.”

MFO sent out a Request for Proposals in 2022 seeking companies with expertise in the film and television industry sector and a proven track record conducting similar studies. Following a proposal evaluation process, London-based SPI was selected for the contract. SPI works with a variety of global clients including governments, public agencies and institutions, and commercial entities, and specializes in film, television, video games, and digital media. SPI’s services help their clients to plan, design, and deliver sustainable growth, and prove impact while evolving and expanding in a highly competitive and fast-moving industry.

“As an internationally renowned creative consultant in the global screen sector, I think the selection of Olsberg•SPI to do a deep dive into Maine’s film and television business is a good one,” said Devon Platte, an executive film producer who participated in the selection process. “Olsberg•SPI is experienced at analyzing everything from how a state’s increasingly important film tax incentives rank against other states, to the overall economic benefit infused into a state’s economy by visiting big-budget productions. The results of this new creative collaboration between the Maine Film Office and Olsberg•SPI can do nothing but help Maine attract more ‘big league’ film and television projects to work here in the state, while also giving a lift to Maine’s local productions, too.”

Leon Forde, Managing Director of SPI, stated, “We are honored to be selected for this important and timely audit study for the State of Maine. Given the significant economic and strategic opportunities created by film and television production, it is critical for jurisdictions to take stock of their industry’s current capacity to play a competitive role – and plan accordingly. Our company is a leading consultancy in this industry, and I feel that not only are we ideal for the required level of analysis but our results will provide immense value to Maine’s growing film and television industry and be a touchstone for future marketing efforts to attract significant productions to the state.” 

SPI will conduct a thorough analysis of Maine’s current film production capacity, and provide a detailed audit of specific gaps and challenges in current production capacity. They will also identify key opportunities to increase current levels of production, and ways to attract and service more and bigger productions. “Olsberg•SPI will also review our current incentives and provide recommendations that could attract more film companies to choose Maine as their production location,” added Carberry Warhola.

MFO markets Maine as a filming location for all forms of production, including indie films, TV series, commercials, and photo shoots. MFO also aids productions with help finding support services and resources within Maine, offering incentives, and working with communities to prepare them for productions of all types and sizes. The office also works with the Maine Office of Tourism to develop Film Tourism initiatives. “MFO’s strives to promote Maine communities, businesses, and our residents within the film industry, while encouraging productions to hire and buy locally, deepening the economic impact in Maine. Films made in Maine often show the same characteristics of the state that draw tourists here and that is another benefit to a vibrant local film industry,” said Steve Lyons, director of the Maine Office of Tourism.


About the Maine Film Office: A division within the Maine Office of Tourism at the Department of Economic & Community Development, the Maine Film Office markets Maine as a filming location and executes a strategy to increase production in Maine to help grow Maine’s economy. It is the official liaison between the film industry, state agencies, and production companies. For more information, go to

About Olsberg•SPI: SPI is an international creative industries consultancy specializing in the global screen industries. Based in London, SPI’s global client base includes governments, public agencies, and commercial entities. For the last 30 years, the company’s expert services have helped clients to plan, design, and deliver sustainable growth, evidence impact, and evolve and expand in a highly competitive and fast-moving landscape.

Further information on SPI and the company’s work can be found on SPI’s website and company brochure.

Study contact: SPI Consultant, Joshua

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To help keep track of the changing schedule, Screen is keeping this page updated with the latest film festival and market dates, postponements and cancellations.

Festivals taking place online or as hybrid events due to Covid-19 are noted. If not specified, the festival is currently set as a physical event.

To submit details of a change to your festival dates/status, please contact us here with the name, dates, and website for the event, and if it is running online, physically, or both.

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However, I see it that VP needs to be considered as just one component of a suite of tools we can deploy to clean up our act on production.

This article sums up where we are on this journey, and how using virtual production is not only likely to be a greener choice, but also acts as a vanguard to place the responsibility and discussions around sustainable production central to the project in hand.

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National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) GRANTS FOR ARTS PROJECTS: Media Arts

The deadline to apply is July 7, 2022.

Artistic & Professional Development Opportunities should support and advance careers for independent film and media artists, media arts practitioners, and artists exploring traditional or expanded forms of storytelling, visual expression, and performance using film, cinema, audio, broadcast, new media, creative code, and any other forms at the intersection of arts and technology. Proposed projects can include a range of activities, including but not limited to: exhibition, creation, education, distribution, project accelerator labs, workforce development initiatives, artist mentorship and pipeline programs, development of field resources, or artist services to the field, such as convenings, trainings, and summits open to the public.

Opportunities for Public Experience should offer the public with opportunities to deepen appreciation for, and experience, historic or contemporary film and media art works in-person, online, or through television or radio broadcast, internet, digital streaming, or any other emerging formats at the intersection of arts and technology. Proposed projects can include a range of activities, including but not limited to: film and new media festivals, curated events, presentations, exhibition, and screening series, distribution or touring programs, and workshops or educational series led by practitioners that provide opportunities for the public to engage directly with artists and artistic processes.