Cynthia Lopez leaves PBS to become NYC film czar

Top 'POV' exec Cynthia López (pictured) is leaving U.S. pubcaster PBS to serve under New York City mayor Bill de Blasio as the Big Apple's new film czar.
April 21, 2014

Top ‘POV’ exec Cynthia López (pictured) is leaving U.S. pubcaster PBS to serve under New York City mayor Bill de Blasio as the Big Apple’s new film czar.

López, who currently serves as exec VP and co-executive producer of American Documentary and ‘POV,’ will take on the title of commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and will be tasked with building upon New York’s “legacy as a film and television hub, with a focus on investing in new projects to diversify and build a more inclusive entertainment industry, and expand educational and training opportunities for the film and television industries,” according to the mayor’s office.

She takes on the role effective immediately, and replaces Katherine Oliver, who stepped down from the role in January, in tandem with outgoing mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

In a statement, López said: “New York City is a thriving center of production and home to thousands of creative professionals who contribute to the film and television industries – and I look forward to leading the administration’s efforts to drive more film production to New York.”

Mayor de Blasio added: “The film and television industries are central to New York City’s cultural vitality and to economic strength. Cynthia has the experience and understands how the industry works in the city, and as commissioner, she will lead the administration’s efforts to continue keeping New York City a top filming destination – while opening up the industry to New Yorkers from all five boroughs.”

Among those welcoming the appointment were Terry Lawler, executive director of New York Women in Film & Television, and Jane Rosenthal, co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Film Festival.

“Cynthia López is a wonderful choice for New York City’s film commissioner,” said Lawler. “She is keenly aware of the issues that are important to maintaining and growing a robust film, television and digital media community here. She is a visionary leader – intelligent, thoughtful and inclusive. We in the production community look forward to a successful working relationship with her in the coming years.”


About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.