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Mayor de Blasio Appoints Cynthia López as Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment

April 18, 2014

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NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today appointed Cynthia López as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. A native New Yorker, López brings more than two decades of experience in New York City’s film and television industries and a commitment to nurturing talented, up-and-coming filmmakers and forging partnerships with top national media companies. As commissioner, López will build upon the city’s legacy as a film and television hub, with a focus on investing in new projects to diversify and build a more inclusive entertainment industry, and expand educational and training opportunities for the film and television industries.

López currently serves as executive vice president and co-executive producer of American Documentary and the critically acclaimed documentary series, POV, where she is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s development, including programming, community engagement communications, marketing and digital strategies. Over the course of her career, López has made it a priority to promote the work of filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented groups, and mentor first-time filmmakers. 

“The film and television industries are central to New York City’s cultural vitality and to economic strength,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Cynthia has the experience and understands how the industry works in the city, and as commissioner, she will lead the administration’s efforts to continue keeping New York City a top filming destination – while opening up the industry to New Yorkers from all five boroughs.”

“Having spent my entire career working in the television and film industries in New York, I’m honored to join the de Blasio administration,” said incoming Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Cynthia López. “New York City is a thriving center of production and home to thousands of creative professionals who contribute to the film and television industries—and I look forward to leading the administration’s efforts to drive more film production to New York.”

“It’s incredibly challenging to produce television shows and feature films. It’s exponentially more difficult to make documentaries. Cynthia López has had a stellar career in the documentary field,” said Steiner Studios Chairman, Douglas C. Steiner. “We’re thrilled with her selection as the commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment—her experience in the trenches will help make New York City even more attractive to the exploding industry of content creation, which is vital to the city’s future.”

“Under Mayor de Blasio’s leadership, New York City is poised to become the go-to destination for filming blockbuster movies and award-winning TV shows – and Cynthia López is just the woman to deliver on his vision,” said Broadway Stages President Gina Argento. “The industry has played a vital role in driving the city’s economic resurgence—creating tens of thousands of good, middle-class jobs, and supporting mom-and-pop shops in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. With Cynthia López as our new commissioner, we’ll build on that success, and cement New York City’s reputation as Hollywood East.”

“As a producer and the co-founder of Tribeca Film Festival, we have always worked closely with the New York City and state film offices,” said Co-Founder and CEO of Tribeca Film Festival Jane Rosenthal. “I look forward to continuing that work with our new media and entertainment commissioner, Cynthia López. There is no better place than New York City!”

“Cynthia López is a wonderful choice for New York City’s film commissioner. She is a long-time member of New York Women in Film & Television and has been involved in the production industry in various capacities for many years,” said Terry Lawler, Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television and Executive Vice President at the New York Production Alliance Board of Directors. “She is keenly aware of the issues that are important to maintaining and growing a robust film, television and digital media community here. She is a visionary leader—intelligent, thoughtful and inclusive. We in the production community look forward to a successful working relationship with her in the coming years.”

About Cynthia López

Cynthia López has served as executive vice president and co-executive producer of American Documentary and the award-winning documentary series POV (Point of View) since 2006. At POV, she has successfully implemented outreach strategies that increase public awareness about issues vital to the American public. Her ability to forge strategic partnerships among corporate and public interest media has been a signature of her work. The impact of the documentaries POV presents is palpable, and López has worked with key stakeholders in education, public policy and community development. López has been at American Documentary and POV since 2000, previously holding the positions of vice president and communications director.

During López’s tenure, POV has earned numerous awards. In 2013 alone, it was one of only 13 nonprofit organizations worldwide to receive a $1 million MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Among its other honors are a Special News & Documentary Emmy Award for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking, two IDA Awards for Best Continuing Series, 32 additional Emmy Awards, 15 George Foster Peabody Awards, 11 duPont-Columbia Broadcast Journalism Awards, three Academy Awards®, the Prix Italia and the Webby. López is the recipient of eight News & Documentary Emmy Awards.

Prior to joining POV, she served as acting executive director of the Deep Dish Satellite TV Network and executive producer of Hunter College’s Satellite TV Network, which included university, municipal, and public access channels that distributed Latino public interest programming. López is the founding chair of the board of directors and a trustee of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP). She also serves on the board of directors for Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB).

The daughter of Puerto Rican parents, López grew up in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and currently lives in Jackson Heights, Queens. She received her B.A. from Hunter College.

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