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Thursday, January 19, 2017
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Panelist Bio


Mark Smith
Legislative / Congressional Liaison

Mark Smith brings over 10 years of public sector expertise to the Department of Economic Development. Mark previously held the positions of General Counsel, Deputy Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the former Office of Film and Video for the department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. In addition to his extensive work within the Department of Economic Development, Mark has also served as General Counsel for Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu.

As Director of the state film office and later as the Entertainment Industry Director, Mark's vision was to treat the emerging entertainment industry as just that -a business with tremendous growth potential. In practice, Mark considers himself more like an entrepreneur than a public employee.

Since 1997, Mark has changed the direction of the film office in order to pay greater attention to the *business* side of the film industry. Mark based this strategic change on the following:



Louisiana has experienced an unprecedented increase in production activity since the inception of the Motion Picture Incentive Act of 2002. Some of the films that have been enticed by the incentive program include: Ray (formerly titled Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story), Disney's Mr. 3000 starring Bernie Mac, Fox's Because of Winn Dixie, Skeleton Key featuring Kate Hudson, A Love Song for Bobby Long with John Travolta, and Disney's Glory Road.

Not only has there been an increase in feature productions, but several movies of the week have chosen Louisiana because of its incentive program. These tele-films include Infidelity (Lifetime), Stuck in the Suburbs and Pop Rocks (Disney TV), and a Growing Pains Reunion, as well as two television pilots, Nikki & Nora (UPN) and Dean Koontzs Frankenstein (USA Networks). Other television projects filming in Louisiana in 2004 include Brooke Ellison, Dead Will Tell and Miracle Run and Thief.

The following activities have occurred or are in the process of occurring during Mark's tenure in Louisiana Economic Development :


As Entertainment Director, Mark spearheaded the drive to incentivize other areas of the entertainment industry, specifically sound recording and digital media. Through his tireless efforts, there are now programs in effect in Louisiana to further enhance the state's position in the entertainment industry.

Current Topic


01/17 - Healthy New Year!

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

PARTICIPATE BY TAKING THE SURVEY HERE!

January heralds the beginning of a New Year and for many, a resolution to practice a healthier lifestyle. According to the 13th annual State of Obesity report, Louisiana now has the highest rate of adult obesity in the country. So, what is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture? Which diet is the most effective for losing weight? What weight loss surgeries are available and how safe are they? And what role does exercise play in the health equation? Louisiana Public Square searches for answers on “Healthy New Year!” Wednesday, January 25 at 7pm on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Tuesday, January 24)

Do you have a story of weight loss challenges and success that you want to share? Be a part of our audience when we record “Healthy New Year!” on Tuesday, January 24 at 7 p.m. at LPB. Email your contact information to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Seating is limited, so reply soon!

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Thursday, January 19, 2017
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