Sharon Pinkenson has served as the Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office for more than 22 years during the terms of three mayors and five governors. She is responsible for all aspects of the office, founded in 1985. On July 1, 1992, she successfully spun off the municipal film office as a multi-county driving force for economic development, a non-profit corporation that has generated nearly four billion dollars during her tenure. Ms. Pinkenson markets the City of Philadelphia and the surrounding region to the film, video, and television industry, and coordinates every aspect of production from cast and crew, support businesses and locations to community relations, and government services and incentives, while enhancing the region’s reputation internationally on both the big and small screen. She also directs local goods and services to productions; publishes the astoundingly popular website www.film.org; and advocates for the growth of Philadelphia’s indigenous film community through the Greater Philadelphia Filmmakers program. She also shepherds an exciting partnership with the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts featuring state of the art screenings at the Perelman Theater, a first for the Kimmel Center.
A lifelong Philadelphian, Ms. Pinkenson graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls and Temple University. Her business career began with the successful launching of Plage Tahiti, a trend-setting boutique in Center City. She designed and manufactured a women’s apparel collection under the Plage Tahiti label for several years. Her clothes were sold nationally in stores like Bloomingdale’s and Strawbridge & Clothier, and she was the recipient of several design awards.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Pinkenson worked as a costume designer and wardrobe stylist in the film industry. Among her feature credits are Mannequin II: On the Move, Renegades, Christmas on Division Street, and Confessions of a Suburban Girl. She is the first Film Office director to come to the post directly from film production. Her complete filmography as Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office can be found on IMDB.
Throughout her career Sharon has remained an important and recognizable figure in the Philadelphia community. In addition to her numerous memberships in professional organizations, she serves on Mayor Michael Nutter’s Cultural Advisory Council and Senator Vincent Hughes’ Economic Advisory Group as well as Temple University’s President’s Advisory Board and the Board of Visitors at Temple University School of Communications and Theater. Sharon also serves on the advisory boards of the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, the Big Picture Alliance and the Philadelphia Film Society, as well as the President’s Advisory Board for PNC Bank. She has served on the search committee for the President of Kimmel Center and served on Mayor Nutter’s search committee to appoint the Chief Cultural Officer of the newly created Office of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy for the City of Philadelphia. In 2006 she received a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa from Drexel University. She was also named by Dunkin’ Donuts and the Philadelphia Eagles as one of the 75 Greatest Living Philadelphians and Philadelphia Magazine as one of the 50 most Powerful Philadelphians. In 2012 she was the recipient of the American Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year, Philly Ad Club’s Pinnacle Award and the PenJerDel Woman of Vision Award.
Married to businessman Joseph Weiss, she has (drum roll please) three married daughters, three granddaughters and has been a resident of Center City Philadelphia since 1964.