GREATER PHILADELPHIA FILM OFFICE STAFF

SHARON PINKENSON
SHARON PINKENSONExecutive Director

Over two decades ago, one wardrobe stylist had an ambitious dream to see her beloved hometown become the movie metropolis she always knew it could be. Now, after more than $5 billion of economic impact to the southeastern Pennsylvania region, GPFO Executive Director Sharon Pinkenson has successfully elevated the GPFO from the little-known permit office it once was to one of the most well-respected film commissions in the industry. In doing so, Sharon has cemented Philadelphia’s reputation as one of the best media production centers in the country. Sharon was instrumental in the passage of the Pennsylvania Film Production Tax Credit program that continues to be one of the best and most sustainable incentive programs in the industry.

Sharon Pinkenson has served as the Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office (GPFO) for more than 25 years during the terms of four mayors and six 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 more than five 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 education and growth of Philadelphia’s indigenous film community through the Greater Philadelphia Filmmakers program.  Sharon was also instrumental in the passage of the Pennsylvania Film Production Tax Credit program that continues to be one of the best and most sustainable incentive programs in the industry and has cemented Philadelphia’s reputation as one of the best media production centers in the country.

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 MoveRenegadesChristmas 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.

A resident of Center City Philadelphia since 1964, Sharon has three daughters and three granddaughters and she is passionately in love with life.

List of Awards and Achievements:

  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa from Drexel University (2006)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts and the Philadelphia Eagles, 75 Greatest Living Philadelphians
  • Philadelphia Magazine, 50 most Powerful Philadelphians
  • American Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year
  • Philly Ad Club’s Pinnacle Award
  • PenJerDel Woman of Vision Award.
  • Philadelphia Business Journal’s Women of Distinction
  • And many more…

 Sharon has served on…

  • PNC Bank Regional Presidents’ Advisory Board
  • Kimmel Center for Performing Arts Board of Directors
  • Mayor Michael Nutter’s Cultural Advisory Council
  • Senator Vincent Hughes’ Economic Advisory Group
  • Temple University’s President’s Advisory Board
  • Board of Visitors at Temple University School of Communications and Theater
  • Board of Visitors at Temple University’s Center for the Arts
  • Advisory Board of the Bryn Mawr Film Institute
  • Advisory Board of the Big Picture Alliance
  • Advisory Board of the Philadelphia Film Society
JOAN BRESSLER
JOAN BRESSLERDirector, Greater Philadelphia Filmmakers and Programming
  • On-going creative series of workshops that educate, connect and support the local film & video community.
  • Fiscal Sponsorship
  • “Set in Philadelphia” Screenwriting Competition
  • The Tripod Initiative mentoring program
  • Tracking Economic Impact
  • Derek Freese Documentary Fund
  • Job Hotline
Joan Bressler joined the Film Office staff in 1992. Over the years, her responsibilities have included tracking economic impact, organizing & executing the very successful job hotline, managing the Fiscal Sponsorship program, working in tandem with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, World Meeting of Families, the DNC, Parkway Centennial, Vision 2020 & other large entities to create film programming within their events and developing/facilitating events and programs sponsored by the Film Office & representing GPFO on career panels & other public venues.
When Greater Philadelphia Filmmakers was officially launched in 2001, Joan was a natural choice to helm this program. Under her direction, Filmmakers has pursued innovative partnerships with various companies/individuals in the region and implemented programs such as The Tripod Initiative, where student filmmakers are paired with professionals to produce videos for the community; Presentation of the “SIP” (“Set in Philadelphia”) Screenwriting Competition; Management of the Derek Freese Documentary Fund; Collaboration with the Kimmel Center of the Performing Arts to manage Film@The Kimmel and Greater Philadelphia Filmmakers Presents….on-going workshops and seminars in Business Training, Legal Perspectives, Script to Screen, Packaging and Financing, Wardrobe Styling, Location Scouting, Permits & Permissions and more. She also serves as a Film Office liaison, visiting schools and community groups, helping students navigate the Greater Philadelphia film industry and talking with the public about the process of making movies.
Joan’s objective in this role is to find out what regional filmmakers need and work to provide it. She has served on the Advisory Committee for Entertainment & Arts Management (EAM) at the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University, the Advisory Committee for the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, and the Film/TV Production Occupational Advisory Committee for the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). She has also served as an advisor for Philadelphia Women in Film and Television (PWIFT) and the Philadelphia Free Library’s ‘One Film, One Philadelphia.’
Prior to working at the Film Office, as a free-lancer, she worked with various companies, shooting stills, scouting locations, coordinating events and editing. Joan won a Cine Golden Eagle as the editor on The Art of Learning, She also worked on the Web-Marc Pictures feature film, I Don’t Buy Kisses Anymore, where she first became acquainted with the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. She began her film career at Lopatin Productions, Inc. where she met and married the boss’s son. Joan is married to film producer Michael Lopatin and has three children and four grandchildren.
ERIN JACKSON WAGNER
ERIN JACKSON WAGNERProduction Coordinator

Erin Jackson Wagner is the Production Coordinator at the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. Her main duties includes being the point of contact for productions, securing locations for these projects, arranging City services such as police and street closures and being the link between production and the City of Philadelphia during filming. She is a born, bred and proud Philadelphian. She attended the Philadelphia High School for Girls and graduated from Penn State with a degree in Media Studies in 2001. Ten days after graduating from college, she began interning at the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and never looked back. From Intern to Office Manager to Production Coordinator, her evolution at the “Film Office” was a natural one by blending film and her beloved City that she loves to market to incoming productions. She enjoys speaking to film and media classes and is a Mentor to Drexel University Entertainment and Arts Management students. 

NICOLE SHINER
NICOLE SHINERDirector, Operations and Government Affairs
  • Promotes PA’s Film Tax Credit program to filmmakers worldwide;
  • Works with PA Film Office and incoming producers on PA Film Production Tax Credit Program applications;
  • General operations of the office (HR, Payroll, Bookkeeping, Accounts Payable and Receivable, Audit Preparation, 401k plan administrator, etc);
  • Liaison  for GPFO with state & federal government;
  • Secretary/Treasurer of GPFO- directly responsible for communication with the Film Office’s Board of Directors, organizes/facilitates board meetings;
  • Served as Vice President, Billy Penn Music-GPFO’s  Music in Film initiative.
Nicole Shiner grew up in Harrisburg, PA where she fell in love with all things film via her love for acting. After earning degrees in both English & Communication Arts from Ursinus College she took a slight detour into the political world for 6 years working for both the PA & the US House of Representatives. Nicole started with the Film Office in 2004 as the assistant to the Executive Director and transitioned into the position of Director of Operations & Government Affairs in 2007. She wears many hats every day at GPFO, handling the general operations of the office and working closely with Sharon to promote PA’s Film Production Tax Credit program to the industry worldwide. Nicole represented GPFO at both the American Black Film Festival in 2008 and at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 where she promoted PA’s best job creator and economic development driver: the Film Tax Credits! In her free time, Nicole can usually be found at a concert or music festival.
PARINDA PATEL
PARINDA PATELDirector of Business Development
  • Raises community awareness of all GPFO initiatives as the leading economic generator of local film and media industry activities
  • Collaborates with strategic partners and internal teams to build inclusive and engaging programming
  • Develops and expands sponsorship, fundraising and individual giving opportunities
  • Manages media and publicity requests and outreach

For 10 years as Managing Director of the Philadelphia Film Society, Parinda was focused on overseeing operations, media relations, sponsorship activation, and marketing for the organization, its art house film venues and annual Philadelphia Film Festival – working alongside the Greater Philadelphia Film Office throughout her career.

She pursued new opportunities in 2015 as a Regional Account Manager for the Conair Corporation in Stamford, Connecticut, managing sales goals and marketing initiatives for CPG retail accounts in the Northeast region of the US, until leaving the company in 2018.

A Philadelphia native and graduate of both Temple University (2007; B.A., Journalism, PR & Advertising) and Central High School, Parinda has provided her expertise in non-profit management and a commitment to the arts through many volunteer and consulting positions with organizations such as FringeArts, The Germination Project, the 2016 Democratic National Convention and numerous niche film organizations and festivals. Parinda currently serves as an Advisory Board Member of the Philadelphia Film Society and Media Arts Granting Panelist for the New Jersey Council of the Arts.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Alan L. Zeiger, Chair

Sharon Pinkenson

John Barber III

John Brazer

James R. Burnett

Karen Daroff

Lou Fromm

Sheila Hess

Peggy Kelly

Lori Landew

Henri Moore

Martha McGeary Snider

Ukee Washington

BOARD OF ADVISORS

Nancy Glass, Glass Entertainment Group

David Haas, Wyncote Foundation

Jeffrey Rotwitt, Sun Center Studios

Larry Korman, AKA Hotel Residences & Korman Communities

Joseph Marrone, Marrone Law Firm

Erin Matlack, Enterprise Holdings

FILM INDUSTRY PARTNERS

Heery Loftus Casting

AKA Hotel Residences

Glass Entertainment Group

Sun Center Studios

Enterprise

Stage 3 Productions

Maestro Filmworks