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Colleen Bell Replaces Amy Lemisch as California Film Commission Director

Dave McNary

Veteran entertainment executive and ambassador Colleen Bell will replace Amy Lemisch as director of the California Film Commission.

Bell, who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, has worked as a consultant since 2017. She was the U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 2014 to 2017. She held several positions at Bell-Phillip Television Productions, including producer from 2012 to 2014, director of special projects from 2006 to 2012, and associate producer and script supervisor from 1991 to 2003.

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Bell was also a producer on “The Bold and the Beautiful” from 1991 and 2015.

The position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $170,004. Bell is a Democrat.

Lemisch left the state agency on May 10. She had been appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004 and re-appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Prior to the appointment, Lemisch worked as a producer with Penny Marshall’s Parkway Productions.

During the latter years of Schwarzenegger’s tenure, which ended in 2011, Lemisch was part of the campaign to boost tax credits in California to combat runaway production, resulting in an annual allocation of $100 million. The California program was more than tripled in size in 2014, to $330 million annually, to compete effectively with incentives in New York and Georgia.

The program is overseen by the state’s film commission, which selects the TV and movie projects to qualify partly based on the number of jobs created. In 2018, Brown signed an extension of California’s production tax credit program for five years beyond its 2020 expiration, with $1.6 billion in credits.

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