Last month, Josh Miller began his job as the first CEO of the new Edmonton Screen Industries Office — a rethink and update of the city’s film commission. Absorb the organization’s name to sense its new mandate beyond TV and film into the digital future. The call for the inaugural screen industries office boss went out across North America, yet Edmonton-born Miller won its board over with his encourage-local vision and resume, which includes degrees in English and drama, film production and a fellowship at the American Film Institute. This led to writing for TV in Hollywood, being director of development at Super Channel, a partnership at Minds Eye Entertainment and running his own indie production company, Panacea Entertainment. With a laugh, 62-year-old Miller notes that before all that he was a keyboard player in an R&B band. “I used to play in the Grand downtown and the Klondiker in the basement.” Although, he admits, “I plateaued. So I got interested in film. I was always pretty good at writing. And, this is such a nepotistic story,” he said, “but my dad’s secretary was Arthur Hiller’s sister.” Hiller, also born in Edmonton, directed the 1970 international hit Love Story, and was shooting Silver Streak in southern Alberta, starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor — their first film together. Miller asked if he could hang out on set.

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A chat with first CEO of Edmonton Screen Industries Office, filmmaker Josh Miller