Advisory Council on Film, Television, and Digital Streaming

Next Meeting

July 14, 2021, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., via videoconference


Past Meetings

February 16th, 2021, 10am – 12pm 
Zoom Virtual Meeting [Watch Below]


December 8, 2020


September 15, 2020


June 9, 2020


Members of the council were appointed by Governor Cooper in November 2019

Secretary Susi H. Hamilton of Raleigh as chair. She currently works in the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources as Secretary under Governor Roy Cooper. As a state legislator, Secretary Hamilton served her constituents in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties from 2011 until January 2017. With a background in economic development, regional planning, historic preservation and the arts, she is passionate about stewardship in the state.

Dr. Amy P. Tiemann of Chapel Hill as a member at-large. She is the founder and president of Spark Productions and an owner of Manifold Recording, a production studio in Pittsboro, North Carolina. She was the executive producer for the documentaries American Prejudice and The Rape of Recy Taylor, both of which received a nomination for Best Documentary Film at the NAACP Image Awards.

Beth Petty of Charlotte as a member at-large. Petty is the director of the Charlotte Regional Film Commission. Projects Petty has recruited include American Animals, Paper Towns and The Hunger Games. She has served on the advisory board for Central Piedmont Community College’s film program and on the advisory board for the Art Institute of Charlotte.

Bill Vassar of Wilmington as a member at-large. Vassar has been the executive vice-president of EUE/ Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington for more than 20 years. He began his visual media career in production management at NBC Entertainment New York. Prior to NBC, Bill worked at a number of Northeast radio stations in on-air, programming, marketing, sales, general management and ownership positions.

Mayor Bill Saffo of Wilmington as a member at-large. Saffo has served as the Mayor of Wilmington since 2007. He is a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Seacoast Realty and serves as Chair of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission.

Chris Cooney of New York as a member at-large. Cooney is the Chief Operating Officer of EUE/Screen Gems, Ltd. and the co-owner of EUE/Screen Gems Studios. In 1996, Cooney led the EUE/Screen Gems acquisition of DeLaurentis Carolco Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina. The studio has been used for several blockbuster productions, including Marvel’s Iron Man III.

Dale Williams of Wilmington as a member at-large. Williams is a freelance producer and unit production manager. She has worked on numerous film and television projects, including Swamp Thing and Dawson’s Creek.

Darla McGlamery of Wilmington as a member at-large. McGlamery is a business agent for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. She is passionate about advocating for workers’ rights and livable wages.

David Burris of Raleigh as a member at-large. Burris is a television and film director, producer and writer based in Raleigh and Los Angeles. He worked for nearly a decade on the Emmy Award-winning CBS reality series “Survivor.” Burris currently has two feature film projects in development and is developing several television projects (both unscripted and scripted).

Chip Hackler of Wilmington as a member at-large. Hackler is an associate professor in the Film Studies Department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington where he teaches screenwriting, directing, and film production. He has been in the film industry since 1984 and won several awards for his work, including the Jury Award for Best Short at the Charleston International Film Festival.

Eric Johnson of Raleigh as a member at-large. Johnson is the Senior Vice President of Sound and Engagement at Trailblazer Studios. Johnson is a recent past-President of the Society for Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS), a national organization made up of recording studios and engineers, educational programs, and recording equipment manufacturers. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern Documentary Fund and the Triangle Advisory Board of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Herman A. Stone of Charlotte as a member at-large. Stone is the founder of Stone Theatres Management, LLC, which owns and operates 6 theatres in North Carolina and South Carolina. He previously served as the regional president of the National Association of Theatre Owners. In 2008, Gov. Mike Easley recognized Stone with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for his service to North Carolina’s motion picture industry.

John Bankson of Durham as a member at-large. Bankson is a property master who’s experience includes working on the television program Sleepy Hollow and several blockbuster films, including 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters and The Great Debaters.

Johnny Griffin of Wilmington as a member at-large. Griffin is the Director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, Inc. He worked as a location manager for films and television shows including Matlock and Renaissance Man. He is a Certified Film Commissioner with the Association of Film Commissioners International.

Judy Girard of Wilmington as a member at-large. Girard is a long-time television executive, having worked extensively overseeing programming, production, and operations at both TV stations and Cable networks. She is the former Food Network and HGTV President and most recently founded GLOW Academy, the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington.

Lana Garland of Durham as a member at-large. Garland has worked as a Creative Director, Director, Writer/Producer and educator in television and film in the US, Europe, and Africa. She has created content for HBO, BET, and ESPN in America, and TV2 in Denmark. Garland is a film curator and festival director for the Hayti Heritage Film Festival and a producer and director for Insibah Media for which she was recognized in 2014 and 2018 with the Durham Art Council Emerging Artist award.

Lauren Vilchik of Winston-Salem as a member at-large. Vilchik is a film producer and production attorney, specializing in independent film finance as well as production. She is currently an Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies with the School of Filmmaking at UNC School of the Arts. Additionally, she has served as a juror, mentor, speaker and panelist at several film festivals, including Cannes, SXSW, the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Michael K. McGaha of Hampstead as a member at-large. McGaha is the president of Teamsters Local Union 391 and has served in a variety of roles at Teamsters since beginning of his career in 1984 as a Teamsters UPS feeder driver. He served as an Assistant Director of the UPS Parcel and Small Package division out of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Office in Washington, DC.

Rebecca Clark of Winston-Salem as a member at-large. Clark is the Executive Director of the Piedmont Triad Film Commission. She has also freelanced as a location scout for professional film production companies including HBO and taught Location Scouting and Managing at Piedmont Community College. She has recruited several films to the Piedmont region, including Nicholas Sparks’ The Longest Ride and the Academy Award winning short film Two Soldiers.

Robert Newton of Chapel Hill as a member at-large. His strength and focus for the last several years has been on emerging technologies (virtual reality, augmented reality, game development) and the ultimate fusion of those technologies with traditional television and film narrative. For the last 4 years, he has been a contract producer, writer, and editor for Thunder Mountain Media in Carrboro, North Carolina.

Timothy M. Bourne of Wilmington as a member at-large. Bourne is a film producer and executive producer. He began his career as a filmmaker working on projects like A League of Their Own and Working Girl. He has also served as a producer and executive producer for critically acclaimed films such as The Blind Side and Love, Simon.

Tod Thorne of Charlotte as a member at-large. Thorne works in Commercial Real Estate and is a former member of the Film Council where he served as the co-chair. He also serves on the CPCC President’s Advisory Board and the Digital Film Advisory Board.

New Additions as of March 2020:

Lindsay Bierman joined UNC-TV, one of the nation’s largest PBS affiliates, as chief executive officer in August 2019. In his first six months, he kicked off an organization-wide strategic planning process to align internal goals and priorities with those of the UNC System, PBS, and Corporation for Public Broadcasting; commissioned a feasibility study for the network’s first comprehensive campaign in over 30 years; restructured his senior leadership team; and introduced plans to rebrand, reorganize, and reposition the network in the year ahead.

Jonas Pate has been a writer, producer and director of film and television for over 25 years.  He is currently the creator and executive producer of “Outer Banks” for Netflix, a drama that will premiere on April 15th, 2020.    He is active on the Wilmington Arts Council and is a founding member of the Friends of the Wilmington Rail Trail.

Trey Rabon is President of AT&T North Carolina, a position he has held since January 2019. In this role, he supports AT&T’s content and distribution business in the state, working closely with state leaders to help encourage private investment in next-generation technologies and infrastructure, bring new technology jobs to the state, and improve the quality of life for all North Carolinians.

Hunter Widener - Bio forthcoming 





Press Release Executive Order


NC Film and Entertainment Grant Program 


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