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Crystal Palmer is out of her longtime job at the D.C. Film Office. Palmer has taken a position in the office of Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins, where she will serve as senior adviser for special projects. Palmer will be succeeded, at least temporarily, by film office staffer Herbert Niles. Hoskins’ office announced the change Friday.
Palmer’s tenure at the film office attracted its share of criticism; she led the department for 22 years, from 1986 to 2008, when she was canned by then-Mayor Adrian Fenty. Kathy Hollinger was appointed film office director in 2008. When Fenty was voted out of office in 2010, incoming Mayor Vince Gray brought Palmer back into the fold.
As Ben Freed reported for Washington City Paper at the time, Palmer’s return to the film office was met by groans from members of the local film community who said Palmer seemed aloof and unsupportive of D.C.’s homegrown film establishment. Under Palmer, the film office has also struggled to take advantage of the boom in television programs set in D.C., many of which film a small number of exterior shots in the District but otherwise shoot in places that offer more attractive financial incentives.
Herbert Niles previously worked as the film office’s senior adviser for business development and strategic partnerships. His biography says he’s worked in the entertainment industry for 20 years, including stints at BET and Orion Pictures.
Neither Niles nor Palmer immediately returned requests for comment.