20 Questions with Sharon Pinkenson of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office

Sharon Pinkenson is the executive director for the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, a nonprofit organization that strives to grow the local film and video industry, and to attract film and video production to the region. We get to know Sharon in 20 questions!


  1.  What’s the first thing you read in the morning?

My email.


  1.  What was your first job?

Working at the Tie Corner at 3rd and Market as a teenager every holiday. And I turned ties in my grandfather’s factory at 12 N. 3rd Street, where I earned the right to sell my Girl Scout cookies to the factory workers.


  1.  Who has influenced your career?

So many people! Ed Rendell, Jonathan Demme, Sheila Nevins, Gloria Steinem, Sherry Lansing, and my husband, Joe Weiss, to name a few.  



  1.  If you weren’t a film commissioner, what would you be?

An entrepreneur. I have new business ideas all the time.


  1.  3 qualities that have helped you in my career?

Ambition, creativity and optimism.  


  1.  Favorite perk of the job?

Being around talented, collaborative and creative people all the time is thrilling.


  1.  Worst part of the job?

I hate asking people for money but unfortunately, it’s a necessity. GPFO (Greater Philadelphia Film Office) is a nonprofit and we educate, train, support, every aspect of filmmakers’ needs while making dreams come true. Sadly, state government support has dried up.   


  1.  Change you’d like to see in your industry?

Elected officials need to recognize the importance of supporting the film industry, the jobs we create, and the value we provide. Our industry creates the magic that makes Philadelphia so cool and so popular. #UncapPA!


  1.  How do you unwind after a bad day?

By having a Pinky, my favorite cocktail.


  1. When do you feel the freest?

I love being on the water in a boat with with the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair, and a tropical island destination in sight.  


  1. How much risk do you like taking?

Sometimes a lot; sometimes not so much.


  1. Who’d you invite to a fantasy dinner party? Anyone dead or alive.

Nobody dead!


  1. When do you get nervous?

When I’m asked to sing. If you really know me, you won’t ask me to sing.


  1. What do you think about Love?

I love LOVE. Who doesn’t!


  1. What are you most grateful for, right now, in this moment?

That’s a secret.


  1. I am proud to have _____

Three beautiful granddaughters.


  1. What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Trust your instincts. Say no.


  1. What would you like to leave behind once you’re gone?

Wonderful memories and a secret diary.


  1. What’s something that makes you hopeful?

The 46th President.


  1. What was a defining moment in your career?

There have been so many, but the first and everlasting one was when [director] Jonathan Demme told me that they were going to name the movie “Philadelphia.”