Fledgling marketing initiative Film Indy has appointed the first film commissioner of Indianapolis.
The hiring of Teresa Sabatine was announced Wednesday by Film Indy organizers Visit Indy, the Central Indiana Community Foundation and the City of Indianapolis.
Sabatine’s role will be to position Indianapolis as a production-friendly city for TV commercials, TV shows, corporate training videos and movies. Part of her focus will be increasing local production work in order to improve the job market for the city’s film community.
Film Indy is a two-year pilot initiative with a $300,000 budget that was announced in December.
Sabatine is a former producer and production coordinator for several Hollywood studios who most recently was director of business development for community-service not-for-profit People for Urban Progress, or PUP, in Indianapolis.
The 2008 graduate of Ball State University’s theater program has worked in video production for Nike at its world headquarters; assisted producer Michael Bay with production for “Transformers 4;” served as a page on the set of “The Late Show with David Letterman;” produced projects for Sony Pictures, Lionsgate and 20th Century Fox in New York and Los Angeles; and worked with the city of Chicago and its film office.
“Indy is a vibrant destination that deserves to be shown through the lens of film production,” Sabatine said in a written statement. “I am delighted to be a part of the growth of our production industry, which already includes more than 600 local film production companies in central Indiana. I’m confident through this initiative that producers will find Indy to be an affordable destination to film, offering a wide variety of locations within a close drive.”
Tourism office Visit Indy spent three years researching the viability of starting a film office before the launch of Film Indy. Its findings showed the initiative could generate more than $6 million in incremental economic impact on an annual basis, while engaging the local workforce and sparking tourism.
Film Indy recently helped the city host a visit from NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior." A Los Angeles-based production crew of 200 people spent 10 days filming in the city, generating more than $500,000 in estimated economic impact.