Humboldt County Film Commissioner Cassandra Hesseltine, right, stands next to Tasha Day of the Long Beach Film Commission while holding the Hollywood star she was given by the Film Liaisons in California Statewide (FLICS). Day replaces Hesseltine as president of FLICS. (Cassandra Hesseltine — Contributed)
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The Humboldt County Film Commissioner Cassandra Hesseltine was awarded a Hollywood star by the Films Liaison in California Statewide (FLICS), a professional association of film commissioners and offices in California, Friday night in Los Angeles.

“Finally got my star! Thank you @flicsca for fulfilling my childhood dream!,” wrote Hesseltine in a Facebook post after receiving the star. Hesseltine was quick to point out that her star isn’t one you’ll see on the sidewalk; it’s in a frame instead, but it’s the real deal.

“Honestly, I just posted about it generally, like, ‘I got a star’ and then I put my phone down and went to a soirée and then I went to bed,” Hesseltine said on Tuesday. “I wake up in the morning and it’s blown up at that point and people were already commenting. It’s a real star, it’s a legitimate star, mine is just in a frame.”

(Contributed)

There were dozens of comments congratulating her for being awesome and for being deserving of the award and Hesseltine wanted to make sure they knew she didn’t intend to mislead anyone.

“The whole thing just cracks me up,” Hesseltine said. She just finished up a three-year term as president of FLICS and it was for her hard work the association decided to honor her with the star. “I wasn’t trying to trick anybody I just didn’t realize people would misinterpret it, I was just so jazzed about it.”

As well she should. Hesseltine has headed up the film commission for the past nine years and the work she and the commission do to assist production companies in filming locally, whether it’s for TV, movies or advertising, is an ongoing boon for the local economy.

“It’s not just the movies she’s bringing in it’s the people,” said Eureka Mayor Susan Seaman. “The film commission runs on a very short string budget and the work they do is mightily impressive and often unsung.”

The impact the film commission has economically is buried in the details of hotel rentals, car rentals and restaurant visits but it surely adds up.

“I have long been a supporter of the film commission and they bring in a ton of money,” Seaman said. “When they do big films and when they do small films they bring people to the area and then they bring in the tourism folks. She is very good at her job.”

Hesseltine is proud of the part she played in the most downloaded film in Netflix history, Birdbox. It’s just one of the highlights in her career as film commissioner in addition to being the only film commissioner in the state who represents two counties.

It was through some raucous laughter that Hesseltine spoke about receiving the star and she is tickled pink that others have enjoyed it as well.

“I had a good day,” she said. “I appreciate that everybody would believe I would be given a star and it’s really sweet that so many people honestly believed it. It was in no way done maliciously and it’s an amazing honor to receive. I couldn’t believe it.”

Dan Squier can be reached at 707-441-0528. 

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