Georgia’s film and entertainment industry takes center stage at Department of Communication Speaker Series

[caption id="attachment_8604" align="alignright" width="200"] Lee Thomas[/caption]

The economic impact of Georgia’s film industry was $9.5 billion last year, and the state is the No. 1 feature film production location in the world. Where does Georgia’s film and entertainment industry go from here?

Lee Thomas, deputy commissioner of Film, Music and Digital Entertainment for Georgia, answers this question and more as the keynote speaker at the Department of Communication’s speaker series program Tuesday, Oct. 17. The program begins at 7 p.m. in Legacy Hall, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, 900 Broadway. It is free to CSU students and the community.

Last year, Georgia was the site of 320 film and television productions, according to www.georgia.org and www.bizjournals.com. Productions included Marvel movies, Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

Thomas is a native of Atlanta. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in radio, TV and film and earned a master’s degree in film studies from Georgia State University. She also studied cinema at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Thomas returned to Atlanta in 1992 and joined what is now the office of Film, Music and Digital Entertainment in the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

The speaker series began in September 2014. The Department of Communication brings topics of interest and leading public relations, business and media professionals to Columbus to share their knowledge and experiences with students and the community. Past speakers include Dan Amos, Aflac chairman and CEO; former WSB-TV anchor Monica Kaufman; CNN anchor/reporter Martin Savidge; and Jeffrey Stepakoff, executive director of the Georgia Film Academy.

The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau sponsors the fall program. WRBL News 3 is the media sponsor. The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, WLTZ-38 and WTVM News Leader 9 are media partners. PMB Broadcasting provides a $1,000 scholarship to a communication student as part of the speaker series.

More information is available at www.ColumbusState.edu/COMM or by calling 706-507-8614.