Film COOP, the pioneer film commission office in the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, is proud to announce it will produce a destination weekend event in fall 2021 to bring female film producers, directors and location scouts to the region to tour locations and meet local officials. 

The Women in Film Peak Leaf Weekend Location Tour and Networking Event will take place from Thursday, Sept. 30 to Sunday, Oct. 3. 

The filmmakers will stay in Cooperstown for the weekend and tour sites throughout Otsego County, as well as The Stanley Theater in Utica, which is one of two qualified production facilities on the tour. The other is Foothills Performing Arts and Convention Center in Oneonta. 

The details of the tour are still being worked out, but it will include sites in Cooperstown, Oneonta, Springfield, Middlefield, Maryland, Edmeston, Richfield Springs and more. 

"The people who live in the region know we are the hidden gem of upstate New York," said Film COOP Board President Greg Klein. "So, our job is to let the people in the entertainment industry know that. To do so, we are offering them the chance to visit during one of the prettiest weekends in the fall to see all the filmable locations we have here.

"Our plan is to wine them, dine them and trolley them all over Otsego, but do it at a rate that is heavily subsidized by Film COOP, our donors and a couple of potential grants," Klein said. 

The cost of the trip is estimated to be about $1,500 per person, but the charge for the film makers is only $295 if they register by July 31, or $345 thereafter. 

"I just reserved 13 rooms at four-star hotels in Cooperstown, and $295 would just about pay for a one-night stay," Klein said. "Instead, our film makers will get three nights here, plus lunches and dinners, transportation and entertainment. I think it will be a great deal for them." 

Because of the cost and the possibility of continued social distancing and coronavirus rules, there are only 13 spots available for the weekend. 

One spot on the tour is reserved for a diversity inclusion scholarship and will be paid for by a grant or donor, with no cost to the participant.

The tour and the scholarship were ideas generated by the Film COOP Board of Directors and its destination weekend subcommittee. 

"The idea for the weekend event happened organically," Klein said. "When we formed in 2020, our board just happened to be a majority of women, including two large subgroups, women who lived here that had impressive resumes in the industry and professional women who were experts in other areas of nonprofits and board management. 

"I think the Oscars had announced some initiatives toward helping women filmmakers at about that time," he continued, "so I thought, 'why don't we lean into this and create a Film COOP Women in Film group?' When we got a subcommittee together to discuss an event, the location tour seemed like a good first step. Our goal is to meet a group of active film makers and encourage them to bond with each other, our region and Film COOP. With the leaves traditionally near peak that weekend, I think we have a good shot at achieving the middle goal, in any event."

Film COOP is the official film commission office for Otsego County, the village of Cooperstown, and the town and city of Oneonta.