The District of Columbia Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) is pleased to recognize Brendan Kownacki as the September 2019 Filmmaker of the Month.
Brendan Kownacki is an experienced and innovative producer who is working daily to push the boundaries of content utilization in public communication. Brendan leverages his background producing network news, and connections in the entertainment industry to combine informational and public affairs messaging with high-profile spokespeople, and a visually significant approach, to make sure viewers won't look away.
Brendan shares his expertise broadly, both to serve clients and to educate groups on the power of communication. His clients include media outlets, global brands, municipal governments, food policy initiatives, key players in the music industry, and numerous veterans groups; including work on Prince Harry's Invictus Games where he worked as part of the team to spearhead the celebrity ambassador program and produce content throughout the weeklong event. Brendan has contributed to several documentaries, produced TV segments, corporate videos, and was among the production team responsible for the long running PBS political roundtable show Think Tank. In 2009, Brendan worked with national television networks including ABC News, MSNBC, FOX Business Network, and MTV to simultaneously deliver coverage of the 2009 Inaugural events to national and international audiences.
“It's great to be acknowledged as the Filmmaker of the Month. I moved here 16 years ago and I went to school at American University. And since then, I've been working in different layers of the creative field here,” said Brendan. “My business (Kownacki Media Holdings) turned 10 years old in March. So we're very proud of everything we've been able to add to the film and music and creative outlets here in Washington, DC.”
In 2019, Brendan was appointed Chief Creative Officer for Brigadoon, a global network where entrepreneurs and thought leaders gather to make better connections and to discuss emerging issues shaping commerce and culture. He also serves as an advisory board member of the DC-based Artists and Athletes Alliance. “Film, television and music has meant so much to me in the 16 years I’ve lived in DC. A passion of mine has been helping Hollywood organizations and individuals to navigate DC, and then when I am in California, to help try and bring context about policy and politics to entertainment folks,” said Brendan. “Working with Hollywood on the Potomac and the Artists & Athletes Alliance, as well as numerous clients, I am regularly interfacing with the Hollywood presence in DC; whether it is musicians performing, actors who are advocating on the Hill, or studios bringing their new films to premiere here. Some of the top issues we work with, and have brought Hollywood supporters on board for include, Veterans issues and military family support, Food policy and global sustainability, mental health and wellness programs, criminal justice reform, and ocean conservancy.”
Since 2011, Brendan has served as the Senior Contributor for Hollywood on the Potomac, a Washington DC lifestyle website that looks at the intersection of power, politics, advocacy, and celebrity culture in the Nation’s Capital and all over the world. Brendan has contributed written and video pieces to the site on topics including the Kennedy Center Honors, the Olympics, George Clooney's efforts to stop Genocide in the Sudan, and President Barack Obama's arts programs.
“At Kownacki Media Holdings, we look at helping to get other creative individuals in the city to meet their full potential and give them opportunities that maybe bigger companies might not be able to offer. But we also work on a lot of issues,” stated Brendan. He continued, “And so that's everything from criminal justice reform, food policy, working with veterans here in Washington and making sure we're bringing a spotlight to the issues that are important to them. And the best way that I see to do that is to put them on film and let them tell their stories.”
Brendan is an annual guest lecturer in the School of Communication at American University, his Alma Mater.
The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic Comes to the White House https://vimeo.com/bkownacki/review/175697287/27e4379733
The West Wing Cast Reunites for Justice for Vets https://vimeo.com/bkownacki/review/168399219/73f7c6987f
A SOULful Reunion: https://youtu.be/nGM5HxRfKXQ
W Hotel Insider Explores Washington: https://vimeo.com/bkownacki/review/174369921/822971afba
OCTFME launched the “Filmmaker of the Month” initiative as a vehicle for highlighting the talents and creative contributions of filmmakers that make the District of Columbia their home. The “Filmmaker of the Month” initiative is part of OCTFME’s mission to elevate the national and international profile of the District’s talented filmmakers.
***If you know of a filmmaker that would make a great future “Filmmaker of the Month,” you can send OCTFME your recommendations using this nomination form.
The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment (OCTFME) produces and broadcasts programming for the District of Columbia’s public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable television channels and digital radio station; regulates the District of Columbia’s cable television service providers; provides customer service for cable subscribers; and supports a sustainable film, music, and entertainment creative economy and labor market in the District of Columbia.
OCTFME operates and manages the District’s government television access channels: the District Council Channel (DCC), the District of Columbia Network (DCN), and the District Knowledge Network (DKN). OCTFME’s award-winning content provides resourceful information on government activity, education, current events, history, music, arts and entertainment. OCTFME manages and programs DC Radio 96.3 HD4 digital radio station, the District of Columbia’s first government radio station in partnership with Howard University’s WHUR.
OCTFME provides production support services that advance film, television, video, entertainment, interactive, multimedia, and digital media content creators. These services include: permitting; location scouting; production support; job placement assistance; workforce development; and the DC Film, Television and Entertainment Rebate Fund.
OCTFME supports the creative economy through the Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents: 202Creates initiative, administering programs supporting the growth and sustainability of the creative industries in all 8 Wards of the District.
For more information, contact the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment at (202) 671-0066, visit us online at: entertainment.dc.gov, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.