Wednesday, Towson University’s annual Economic Outlook Conference focuses its lens on the booming film industry in Maryland and its impact on the state’s economy. The Division of Innovation and Applied Research has brought together a collection of experts on the subject, including keynote speaker Kevin Kilner, an actor and Baltimore native who most recently appeared in the locally filmed Emmy Award winning series House of Cards.
“When a film comes into town it affects everybody,” says TU Electronic Media & Film Adjunct Professor Wade Tyree, who also serves as president of the I.A.T.S.E. Local 487 union. “[From] the crew working on it to the people living in the neighborhoods to the businesses around the location, everybody gets a piece of the pie. Most people don’t even realize they are being affected by [the film industry], but they are.”
The EOC is the premier annual event produced by DIAR’s Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI). First launched in 1995, the conference focuses specifically on the state of Maryland, discussing potential opportunities and threats to the local and regional economy.
RESI Executive Director Daraius Irani believes the conference is important for TU’s entire community, including its students. “The EOC will provide a map of where the state’s economy is going and the threats and opportunities that it may encounter along the way,” he says. “We undertake the EOC as a service to the state of Maryland as we believe that better data enables better decisions.”
As part of the conference, a panel of experts will discuss the nuts and bolts of the film production tax credit and the growth of the film industry across the state.
Panelists include Maryland Film Office Director Jack Gerbes; Baltimore Film Office Director Debbie Dorsey; Vice President for State Tax Policy at the Motion Picture Associations of America, Inc. Angela Miele; Towson University Electronic Media & Film Adjunct Professor and I.A.T.S.E. Local 487 President Wade Tyree; and Hagerstonw-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau President & CEO Thomas B. Riford. Jeff Salkin of Maryland Public Television’s Direct Connections will moderate.
The event will be held in the West Village Commons on the campus of Towson University on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.