Film Commission Specific Education & Training

AFCI University

Today’s film commissioners play many roles including producer, director, photographer, writer, and publicist. They are called upon to market their jurisdictions, prove the value of their industry through economic reporting, and manage financial incentive programs all while juggling the demands of production in an increasingly high-tech, fast-moving world.

The AFCI is committed to providing film commission staff members with the educational tools they need to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace. We have developed a three-tiered education program that provides valuable information and training opportunities tailored to interest everyone from industry newbie to seasoned veteran. Professionals who need a basic overview of film commission work will benefit from Film Commission Fundamentals, while others may require the targeted training found in the Master Classes or choose to enroll in the Certified Film Commissioner Program.

The production industry has come to expect that an AFCI Member Film Commission will possess a high level of competence and expertise. In response, the AFCI is committed to providing educational opportunities for its members that will continue this tradition of excellence.

To register for the courses AFCI provides, please visit:

Required Courses

Film Commission Fundamentals

Film Commission Fundamentals (FCF) is an online course providing valuable information and training to individuals involved with film commissions in any capacity. Paid participants will be tested and, if successful, will be deemed graduates of the course. Only FCF graduates can register for Film Commission Professional or any AFCI University course. This course is now available in English and Spanish.

Who Should Take It?

This course is an introduction and orientation to film commission work and is required of anyone who plans to take advanced AFCI courses. It should be taken by every staff member employed in a film commission. Government officials, local film liaisons, and others associated with on-location filming are encouraged to take our community course, Film Liaison. Film Commission Fundamentals and Film Commission Professional must be completed by at least one employee of each AFCI Member Commission seeking Full Membership with AFCI.

What will you learn?

Film Commission Fundamentals will give the participant an overview of all aspects of film commission work. Topics of study include film commission operations, marketing your jurisdiction, an overview of economic development, film incentives programs, scouting, location photography, plus working with production and clients and within the local jurisdiction. Graduates of the course will gain an understanding of the skills required of every film commission staff member, and the way in which film commissions can successfully interact with the production community and their jurisdictions.

What’s Involved?

You can register for this course on the AFCI website at any time.  The online course is self-directed: you may work on it at your own pace and on your own time.

Each chapter of the course is followed by a short quiz which you must pass before you can proceed to the next chapter. When you have completed the course, you will be awarded a certificate of completion for the course and will be eligible to take Film Commission Professional if you would like additional training or your office is seeking Full Membership with the AFCI.

Film Commission Professional

Film Commission Professional is an online course building on the information presented in Film Commission Fundamentals course.  It provides more in-depth information on several of the most important elements involved in film commission work.  Similar to the Film Commission Fundamentals course, the Film Commission Professional class is self-directed; it is broken into multiple chapters.  Each chapter has a quiz that must be passed in order to successfully complete the course.

Who should take it?

This course must be taken by a member of a commission seeking full membership in the AFCI. The course is also designed for those interested in acquiring more knowledge about film commission work, particularly those who aspire to a career as a film commission staff member. Finally, anyone who wishes to enroll in the AFCI Certified Film Commissioner Program must first complete Film Commission Professional unless he/she can demonstrate successful completion of Film Commission Fundamentals prior to 2007.

What will you learn?

Course participants will explore important topics in greater depth including the business aspects of film production, effective marketing techniques, economic development impact and reporting, and the importance of alliances and partnerships such as working with crew, guilds, unions, and economic development officials.

Master Classes

Master Classes

Master Classes were created in direct response to feedback from the AFCI membership. In developing the program, the AFCI staff surveyed member commissions and worked with an education committee and the AFCI Board of Directors to determine what film commissioners wanted to study. Frequently requested topics included marketing principles, economic impact and reporting, business and leadership training, and in-depth study of the production industry.

Who should take Master Classes?

Master Classes are designed for professionals who have worked extensively in the industry and are interested in advanced educational opportunities. Although it is permissible to take one or more of these classes, Certified Film Commissioner Program graduates must complete all four Master Classes. The courses are written and taught by experts in these and other subject areas.

Master Class - Management

When most people think of management they think of dealing with the day-to-day issues of employees, managing workflow in an office and generally doing day to day office work. While a film commissioner does all of these things, they also have some unique factors that play into the management of their office and their program. This course discusses the structure of a film commission, the various stakeholders involved, the budget challenges, and the specific skills needed to succeed.

Master Class - Economic Development

The Film Commissioner as Economic Developer takes a professional look at established economic development techniques, including ways to assess and develop key business relationships to create community value and maximize economic development tools and resources to achieve better results. Group activities will demonstrate how to handle economic impact data, create effective reports, and apply economic information for grant and proposal writing. Participants will also discuss and evaluate incentive programs and strategize what’s right for a jurisdiction.

Master Class - Filmmaking

Understanding how films are envisioned, made, and distributed is an important aspect of being a successful film commissioner. This course will examine topics such as finding and using material, working with writers, raising financing, getting a green light, shooting a movie, post production, distribution and marketing, and the future of the industry as it relates to technology — all from the perspective of the producer.

Master Class - Marketing

Just like any business, the principles of marketing are essential for a film commission to gain recognition by its desired clientele: producers and film makers.  This course covers principles including: Direct Marketing, Personal Selling, Production Specific Objectives, Prospecting and Qualifying, and much more.

CFC Program

Certified Film Commissioner Program

Any member of the production community is invited and encouraged to take AFCI University courses.  For our Film Commission members we offer a special certificate to illustrate the special engagement they have participated in to enrich their role, and thus the role their commission plays in their community.

The designation of Certified Film Commissioner (CFC) will be awarded to members who have completed the AFCI training program, signifying achievement of the highest level of accomplishment in the profession.

There are two major components required to obtain the CFC certification.  The first component consists of a series of six classes found on

The courses include two Fundamental Cources:

  • Film Commission Fundamentals (FCF)
  • Film Commission Professional (FCP)

Followed by the completion of four master classes:

  • Master Class – Economic Development
  • Master Class – Marketing
  • Master Class = Filmmaking
  • Master Class – Management

After all the online coursework is complete, members are required to complete one of the following options:

And one of the following options:

A) Attendance at an AFCI multi-day conference (AFCI Week or Cineposium)  Attendance to the event must take place at the conclusion of all coursework listed above.

B) The completion of a thesis paper. entitled: A Film Commission’s Marketing Strategy.  

The thesis paper has a minimum requirement of five pages in length and should focus on essentials that any sized office with any amount of marketing budget should put in place.

The thesis paper should include the following topics:

  • Branding
  • Mission Statement
  • Logo Design
  • Website Design
  • Social Media Strategy
  • Ad Campaigns
  • Press Releases
  • Events: Attending and Creating
  • Establishing a Budget

If you have any questions regarding the CFC certification or the requirements necessary to obtain the certification, please contact Marj Galas as

Please note: While individual courses are available to anyone for their own educational purposes, only active AFCI members may achieve Certified Film Commissioner status.

Pictured are the most recent AFCI Certified Film Commissioners Since 2019

© 2023 AFCI. All Rights Reserved

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