Documentary filmmaker Cynthia López has been tapped to become the city’s next film commissioner, according to sources and other media reports.
Mr. de Blasio’s is expected to make the announcement official tomorrow at noon at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn. News of Ms. López’s hire was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Ms. López is currently the executive vice president of POV, a documentary series on PBS.
The surprise choice, which comes more than three-and-a-half months after the mayor took office, has been closely watched by industry insiders eager to make sure the city maintains its edge drawing film and television projection, as Los Angeles ramps up its efforts to recapture its status as the production king.
The race for the post also drew unprecedented jockeying, with many in the industry pushing Patricia Kaufman, the former executive director of the New York State Office for Motion Picture and Television Development. Backers of Ms. Kaufman had tried to woo the administration, writing dozens of letters, making calls and even creating a Facebook page touting her candidacy. The efforts did not work.
Others thought to be in the running were Julie Menin, the former chair of Lower Manhattan’s local Community Board 1, Michelle Byrd, who spent 12 years as the executive director of the Independent Filmmaker Project, and Roberta Reardon, the former co-president of SAG-AFTRA.
Ms. López’s name began to emerge in industry circles last week, and her selection drew early, but tentative, applause from some.
“This is a progressive choice that puts fresh eyes onto our industry,” said independent producer and assistant director Brian Papworth. “I know the TV and Film community is looking forward to working with the next commissioner and hearing how the administration sees our business moving forward in this, the greatest city and location in the world.”
Mr. de Blasio’s office did not respond to requests for comment on the appointment.