Cleveland Magazine | Cleveland’s Short. Sweet. Film Fest. Features More Than 75 Local Filmmakers










SOURCE: Cleveland Magazine | Kiara Rodriguez
February 28, 2023

The regional fest centers around, you guessed it, short films, from local, national and international directors.
Since 2012, up-and-coming filmmakers have gathered in Cleveland for a night of cinematic brevity.The Short. Sweet. Film Fest showcases “short films in a big way,” as the organization puts it. Hitting town March 1-5, the festival gives filmmakers at local, national and international levels an opportunity to showcase their work.

This year will be the first time the festival is held at the Atlas Theater in Shaker Heights, allowing for two showings at once and more submissions than ever before. More than 75 of the 200 films offered this year are from local filmmakers, including Star Player (made by local students), Secret Honor by Kevin James Hogan and Boss of the Toss by Chris Harboldt.

Suglio and his friend Alex Pavloff started the festival after they went to see a punk performance at Now That’s Class — noticing everyone in the audience was friends with the band.

“They all supported each other because they all were doing the same thing,” Executive Director Michael Suglio says. “That was kind of the inspiration of just like, ‘Well, okay, we’re all making local films. How can we also further support each other?’”

Ahead of the event, Suglio took a few moments to discuss the importance of the festival and local filmmaking.


Valley View is the place to go for Bollywood films

“Pathaan” set the opening weekend box office record last month for Bollywood films in North America. Photo: Yash Raj Films








SOURCE: Axios Cleveland | Sam Allard
February 27, 2023

A couple weeks back, my wife and I ventured to Cinemark Valley View for a movie. We were amazed to find ourselves among throngs of South Asian families and groups.

Driving the news: Many were probably there to see “Pathaan,” which last month recorded the biggest opening weekend of all time for a Bollywood film in North America.

The big picture: In addition to its lineup of mainstream Hollywood fare, Valley View typically has several Indian films on offer every weekend.

  • My personal interest in these films piqued after seeing the Netflix sensation “RRR.”

What they’re saying: “There is such a rich storytelling history in South Asian filmmaking, and we’re proud to offer these spectacular movies on our big screens for their growing fanbase,” a Cinemark representative tells Axios.

  • “We have really seen the excitement for these films continue to build, particularly on social media, which amplified the interest and support for the genre. We are thrilled that as word-of-mouth has spread, the box office growth followed.”

The intrigue: Part of me wondered if the increased number of Bollywood showtimes might have been a response to lagging business during the pandemic — multiple theaters in Northeast Ohio have shuttered in the past two months — but Cinemark says it had been cultivating relationships with global film studios for more than a decade.

Pro tip: If you have a library card, check out the streaming service Kanopy, which has a rich library of foreign-language films that you can stream for free.

Forbes 30 Under 30: Cleveland-Born Animator Chaz Bottoms Illustrating A Diverse Future

Greater Cleveland Partnership








SOURCE: Greater Cleveland Partnership | Laura DeMarco
February 20, 2023

CBA is one of the few Black-founded animation studios in Hollywood

Cleveland-born animator Chaz Bottoms didn’t think he was going to make the cut for Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2023.

“I nominated myself in the summer and then I didn’t hear anything. I remember the day before the full list came out, I was thinking, ‘I must not have gotten in,’ because they would have contacted me beforehand.

“But the next morning I woke up to so many congrats messages. It was a cool way to find out. It felt surreal.”

Bottoms, 27, was honored for founding L.A.-based boutique animation company CBA Studios.

”As one of the few Black-founded animation studios in the world, CBA works with diverse artists connected by the love of Black culture. Built as a completely virtual studio, he’s directed and produced projects for Disney, John Legend, Steve Harvey, Lil Nas X, Lebron James, Hulu, Adult Swim and Sesame Street,” states the Forbes website in the “Hollywood & Entertainment” category.

Bottoms will be in Cleveland for the Forbes Under 30 Summit in October. But he’s certain to visit The Land before that. His hometown has played an important role in his creative development. And, he’s got a lot of family here, including his father, Chris Howse, President and CEO of Howse Solutions and member of GCP’s Board of Directors, who was an inspiration and tireless supporter.

Cleveland casting director extraordinaire: Meet Lillian Pyles

February 14, 2023

CLEVELAND — Lillian Pyles has had a more than 40-year career casting films with some of Hollywood’s biggest names. But her journey and what she’s seen along the way, is just as interesting from behind the camera.

Born and raised in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood, Pyles got her start in the industry when she moved to New York City in her early twenties. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology before taking her first job in the film industry.

“I started out in New York. My best friend was a production coordinator. He hired me as his assistant,” she recalled. “So I learned this job on the job training.”

Pyles worked in film and TV in New York for more than twenty years, but in 1995, Cleveland came calling when Pyles realized she wanted to return home and live closer to family. She didn’t have to worry about keeping up her growing career for long.

“[My parents] were getting older, and I met a woman who was casting a TV movie and needed someone to cast extras. So I took the job. She gave me an office and about five interns, and like they say, the rest is history.”

Her resume grew quickly. Over the years, she was hired to help cast productions from top players in the industry – from Francis Ford Coppola to the Russo brothers, but for her, one experience stands above the rest.

“In New York, I worked with Spike Lee, I worked with Mario Van Peebles. I worked with Gordon Parks, but in Cleveland, Antoine Fisher came here and they hired me to cast the local cast and to work with Denzel was a pleasure.”

Pyles still remembers how that project was a particularly touching experience.

“The last day of shooting, we’re all walking back to our prospective cars and trailers, and [Denzel] taps me on the shoulder and says ‘Come with me. I want to show you what you did.’ And we go to his trailer, me and my assistant, and he shows me the end scene when the twins [in the movie,] open the door and all the seniors are sitting at the table and we’re watching that scene. And I look over at him and he’s welling up,” she said.

The twins cast in that scene were members of Pyles’ church.

Through her decades working in production, Pyles has seen the industry evolve.

“Now we have a big indie market. We have a tremendous group of people who do shorts, who shoot with their phones, and they’re beginning to show their creativity because that’s all Hollywood is. It’s somebody created it,” she said. “I get people to ask me all the time, how do I become a casting director? If you are lucky enough to learn the business the way I did, then I suggest that. The great thing about it is when you’re in that theater and you are watching that movie and you see your name on that screen, [there’s] nothing better than that.”

‘Lost & Found in Cleveland,’ an upcoming movie starring Martin Sheen and Dennis Haysbert, wraps local filming

“Lost & Found in Cleveland” stars Martin Sheen, Dennis Haysbert and Jon Lovitz. (File photos from Getty Images)







SOURCE: | Joey Morona
February 13, 2023

CLEVELAND, Ohio — If you thought you spotted actors Martin Sheen, Dennis Haysbert or Jon Lovitz around town recently, you probably did. The actors are part of the ensemble cast of “Lost & Found in Cleveland,” an independent film that wrapped up a four-week shoot in and around Cleveland last week.

Directed by actor and Cleveland native Keith Gerchak and his producing partner, actress Marisa Guterman, the dramedy follows the stories of five very different people whose lives intersect when “Antiques Roadshow” comes to Cleveland.

June Squibb (“Nebraska”), Stacy Keach (“Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer”), Santino Fontana (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), Yvette Yates Redick (“Inherent Vice”) Dot-Marie Jones (“Glee”), Mark L. Walberg (“Antiques Roadshow”) and Cleveland native Rory O’Malley (Broadway’s “Book of Morman”) also star in the film.

“Dressed in a palette of pastels, nostalgia, and hope, ‘Lost & Found in Cleveland’ is an Americana portrait that will feel both familiar and magical to audiences,” Guterman told Deadline. “It’s a fable that honors small dreams that are big to the everyday heroes who dare to believe.”
“We always say it’s ‘Best in Show’ meets ‘The Wizard of Oz,’” added Gerchak.
With a modest production budget, the movie was filmed entirely in Ohio from Jan. 9 to Feb. 4 at various locations throughout Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, including Playhouse Square. The project was made possible through the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit, which attracts film and television productions to Ohio with a refundable tax credit of up to 30 percent of their in-state spending.

In the works since 2016, the project, aimed at the same crowd that made “80 for Brady” a success, according to Deadline, now enters the post-production and editing phase. The movie has no release date yet as producers of independent films typically begin shopping for a distributor once it’s closer to being finished.

“Lost & Found in Cleveland” is the biggest movie to film in Northeast Ohio since the LeBron James biopic “Shooting Stars” spent parts of three months here last spring, and a film crew from “A Man Called Otto” shot a scene at Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s station in Brecksville around the same time last year, too.

“A Man Called Otto,” starring Tom Hanks, is currently playing in theaters, while “Shooting Stars” is scheduled to be released on Peacock later this year. Marvel’s “Blade” was supposed to shoot second-unit scenes in the area in late 2022 before a new director and writer were brought on board. There’s no word yet if or when that will happen.

Martin Sheen, Dennis Haysbert, Santino Fontana & Others Set For Dramedy ‘Lost & Found In Cleveland’

(Top L-R) Martin Sheen, Dennis Haysbert, June Squibb, (Bottom L-R) Stacy Keach, Yvette Yates Redick and Santino Fontana Getty Images









SOURCE: | Matt Grobar
February 10, 2023

EXCLUSIVE: Impossible Dream Entertainment and Double G Films have set a stacked cast for their dramatic comedy Lost & Found in Cleveland, marking the feature debut of writer-directors Marisa Guterman and Keith Gerchak. Leads for the film, currently in production in Cleveland, include Emmy and Golden Globe winner Martin Sheen (Grace and Frankie), Golden Globe nominee Dennis Haysbert (Far from Heaven), Oscar nominee June Squibb (Nebraska), Golden Globe winner Stacy Keach (Nebraska), Independent Spirit Award winner Yvette Yates Redick (Inherent Vice) and Tony Award winner Santino Fontana (Broadway’s Tootsie).

An adult drama targeted toward the audience that recently made Paramount & Fifth Season’s 80 for Brady a hit, Lost & Found in Cleveland is billed as a new American fable about the post-Industrial American Dream in the Industrial Midwest — a slice-of-life depiction over a 24-hour period that follows the personal odysseys of five very different people, whose lives intertwine when America’s favorite televised antiques appraisal show comes to their city.


Film Commission races to develop film production workforce, attract more movies to Cleveland

On the set of the 2022 film “White Noise” in Cleveland. (Courtesy Angela Boehm Casting)










SOURCE: The Land | Christina Easter
February 7, 2023

Northeast Ohio has a starring role when it comes to choosing a location to make a blockbuster movie, thanks to a growing list of film industry experts who keep their talents in Cleveland. The Greater Cleveland Film Commission, Angela Boehm casting agency, sound engineer and Oscar Academy member Marlowe Taylor, Cleveland State University, and Cuyahoga Community College are among the many entities preparing locals to work on made-in-The-Land movies.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, as Moviemaker Magazine ranked Cleveland 12 out of 25 best places to live and work as a filmmaker in 2022. This was up two places from 2021 when the city was ranked 14th after $106.6 million of the $190 million spent on film production in Ohio was spent in Cleveland.

A few of the films made in the area during the last couple of years include LeBron James’ biopic Shooting Stars” in Cleveland, Akron, and around Northeast Ohio; “White Noise” in Cleveland and around Northeast Ohio; and “Judas and the Black Messiah” in Cleveland and Mansfield. The Greater Cleveland Film Commission says even more production could be brought to Ohio – and Cleveland in particular – if the state’s tax incentive cap were removed.

The Lakeview Cemetery dam appeared in “Captain America: Winter Soldier.” (Photo by Bill Garvey, Greater Cleveland Film Commission)

Advocating for Cleveland filmmaking

Movie producers and studios choose Northeast Ohio due in part to the advocacy work of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission (the Commission), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to attract, educate, and advocate for film production and build an artistic infrastructure in Northeast Ohio. In late September, Cleveland City Council authorized the Director of Economic Development to renew the Commission’s $250,000 annual grant to support economic development in the movie industry here in Cleveland.

“During the year, the film commission sifts through the 4,000 projects that are in development at any one time to find the ones that would be successful here,” Bill Garvey, president of the Commission, told The Land. “We also cultivate relationships with producers and studios by bringing them here, scouting filming locations, and taking pictures – which is a full-time job and expensive.”

Garvey was appointed president of the Commission in October 2021, after years of traveling to scout locations for films as a locations manager. Growing up, Garvey was a movie buff, so while in college at University of Notre Dame he took one of the few film courses offered. This was the same time the movie “Rudy” was being filmed on campus, and the professor got the director to do a lecture for the class.

“Here was a professional movie buff sitting in front of me telling me he made his living working on a career he loved,” said Garvey. “A light bulb went on and I had an epiphany to do something that I loved. So, I haven’t looked back and 26 years later, I have a career in the movie industry.”

Garvey and his four-person staff are making Cleveland a moviemaking destination by showcasing the city’s architecture and chameleon-like features which can be adapted to suit the creative expectations of producers looking for a film home. Garvey also says the Commission is laser-focused on teaching high school and college students every aspect of filmmaking such as  screenwriting, cinematography, special effects, post-production, lighting, and camera.

“There are hundreds of jobs on a movie set but everyone only knows about directors, actors, and maybe the writer,” said Garvey. “We are fortunate to have a very capable crew base in Cleveland with amazing people doing amazing work that have agreed to help us teach. We have filmmakers who have won Emmys and are part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars Academy).”

Native Clevelander and sound editor Marlowe Taylor on set. (Courtesy Marlowe Taylor)

Supporting and growing film production expertise in Cleveland 

A robust local infrastructure of skilled production professionals is key in attracting film projects. Marlowe Taylor says that for more movies to come to Cleveland, studios and producers have to know that we have “A1 people” in key roles like camera, props, set decorations, and sound. Taylor, a Cleveland-based sound engineer, is known for his work on “Alex Cross” (2012), “The Kings of Summer” (2013), “Queen and Slim” (2019), and “The Marksman” (2021).

Taylor was a DJ while in high school but quickly learned about audio engineering after a singer offered to pay him $25 to record her voice on a loop so she could rap over it. He went on to graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in audio and a masters of fine arts from Ohio University. Taylor also started his own music studio, and rappers from across the country came to Cleveland to record their songs. When Taylor began doing sound for movies, he chose to focus on movies as his “Mauly sound” became more in demand.

“I am a person from Cleveland, die-hard Clevelander, been here my whole life, and I made it work all the way through being inducted in the Oscar Academy last year,” Taylor said. “I am proof that it can be done here.”

Training opportunities in film production are now more available in Cleveland than they were when Taylor was starting out. In October 2018, Cleveland State University completed construction of its School of Film & Media Arts funded in part by a $7.5 million grant from the State of Ohio. The facility is located in The Idea Center at Playhouse Square and has adaptable film production studios, digital editing bays, high-tech teaching labs, and smart classrooms, according to the school’s website.

Tri-C’s film academy has a film intensive training course that was developed by the Commission and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE Local 209) to teach students the skills needed to be a film and media technician and crew member.

Taylor believes that more work can be done: boosting film in schools for the arts, and encouraging students to participate in Angela Boehm and Lillian Pyles casting programs, college film programs, and Greater Cleveland Film Commission workshops.

Angela Boehm started Angela Boehm Casting 10 years ago. “Our studio is in Great Northern Mall and people walk past it not knowing that we are casting people to act opposite of Hanks,” Boehm said. “And I don’t think people realize the amount of money a film being produced in Cleveland brings to the city.”

Boehm recalls production companies that rented a shaved ice truck and coffee truck during filming of “Shooting Stars”; the opening of a tab at Starbucks and Quiznos during filming of “Captain America”; the rental of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame by the filmmaker Russo brothers for a party during filming of “Cherry”; and the purchase of Indians tickets for crew members of one film.

“They are supporting our city and this is just a glimpse of the funds coming in from these films,” Boehm said. “This excludes the hotels they are using and costumes they buy for all of their principal and background cast.”

Boehm remembers when one production would come and then it would be a year or two before another would come. She also remembers when local “extras” were not prepared when they arrived for casting sessions and people overall just didn’t get it. “But this has changed,” Boehm said.

This photo of Scranton Road in the Flats is part of the film commission’s portfolio of images of Cleveland that demonstrate the range of settings available here. (Photo by Bill Garvey, Greater Cleveland Film Commission)

Advocating for a change in Ohio tax law to attract even more filming

Although more than 300 productions have been filmed in Ohio since 2007, and passage of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit (OMPTC) in 2009 has resulted in the state receiving $1.2 billion in economic impact and over 7,000 jobs, the Commission is advocating that more be done. The Commission says that to take Ohio’s media industry to the next level, the tax incentive must be increased and rolling application periods be adopted (currently, there are tax credit application windows that close, discouraging some productions on a tight timeline from filming in Ohio).

Although nearly $170 million in movie production costs was spent in the state in 2021, $224.5 million was turned away because of the current $40 million cap, Garvey told city council in the fall, and 2022 was showing a similar trend. Removal of the cap and the resulting increase in filming could also affect other economic prospects, such as construction of a permanent soundstage in Cleveland and full-time, year-round employment for more locals in the film industry, he suggested.

Ward 6 Councilman and council president Blaine Griffin expressed concern that a biopic of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony may be filmed in another state which doesn’t have a cap on its tax incentive. “We believe that the movie of our hometown kids should be done in Cleveland,” Griffin said. “But because of the window and the cap, there is a potential that the movie will be made in another state.”

Last year in May, Senate Bill 341 (SB 341) was introduced to the State Senate, House Ways and Means Committee to request modification of the OMPTC, and removal of the cap in particular. “The bill is currently working its way through the process of being passed but it will take a moment to get there,” said Garvey, who doesn’t know when the process will move forward. “It’s on the agenda, and we will be vocal.”

“It’s hard when you’re on and off of work, but if the incentive passes, we’re just going to be able to do what we love and work full-time,” casting director Boehm said. “Right now, we have to get everyone’s skillset together because there will be an onslaught of work, and we will have to be able to handle the load.” If Cleveland isn’t ready, she says, productions will bring out-of-state professionals to do the work.


CHRISTINA EASTER is a freelance writer in Cleveland who participated in The Land’s community journalism program.

Best Places to Live and Work as a MovieMaker, 2023







SOURCE: MoveMaker Magazine | Tim Molloy
January 18, 2023

If we made a list of the Most Obvious Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker, New York and Los Angeles would lead it every year. They’re the film capitals of the world, unmatched in influence, opportunity and legend. So years ago, we retired them to our Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker Hall of Fame, where they stand alone and unrivaled, except by each other.

They also stand out in expense. The Worldwide Cost of Living Index just released by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that New York tied Singapore for the most expensive city in the world. Tel Aviv was next, and Los Angeles and Hong Kong were tied for fourth.

We don’t believe people should have to be rich or well-connected to make movies. And we know plenty of people who moved to L.A. or New York with filmmaking dreams and ended up working industry-barely-adjacent jobs just to pay the bills. We think the best place to live is one you can afford — a place where you can be happy, inspired, and financially free to pursue your art.

That philosophy factored highly into the creation of this list. We based it on surveys with film officials, discussions with filmmakers, independent research into cost of living and quality of life, and, whenever possible, visits to the cities and towns on this list.



Crain’s Cleveland Business | Film Commission Creates Chief Diversity Officer Position

Lowell W. Perry Jr.










SOURCE: Crain’s Cleveland Business
January 4, 2023

The Greater Cleveland Film Commission enters the new year with a new executive position.

The organization announced it has named Lowell W. Perry Jr. to the new role of chief diversity officer, vice president corporate and community engagement, effective immediately.

In a news release, the film commission said Perry “brings a proven track record of success in nonprofit and for-profit executive management, along with a broad-based organizational development background and significant expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion, community outreach, advocacy, strategic alliances and fundraising.”

Perry most recently was executive director of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area in Yuma, Arizona. In that position, the film commission said, he attracted more than $11.25 million in restoration and preservation commitments for the Yuma Territorial Prison and Colorado River State Historic Park to promote his vision for a “Historic Yuma Experience.”

Prior to that, Perry led the Central Promise Neighborhood, a program of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. He also was chief diversity officer, senior vice president corporate and community engagement for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Film commission president Bill Garvey said in a statement that Perry, a graduate of Yale University, will help the organization “grow the number of local motion picture jobs and develop a more diverse workforce.”

The film commission says that since 2009, it has attracted more than 300 productions to the region, most recently Netflix’s “White Noise” and Universal Pictures’ “Shooting Stars,” a LeBron James biopic.

Ready Steady Cut | Where Was White Noise Filmed?

Gretta Gerwig in WHITE NOISE | Netflix







SOURCE: Ready Steady Cut | Amanda Guarragi
December 30, 2022

Where was the Netflix film White Noise filmed? We discuss the popular film and its locations and settings. It may contain minor plot references.

White Noise directed by Noah Baumbach is a dramatization of an American family attempting to deal with the conflicts of everyday life. Baumbach explores the themes of love, death and the possibility of happiness in an unpredictable world. Many people can relate to the characters in the film because we are all currently living in the same situation. After going through a global trauma simultaneously, it’s hard to find the positivity to live again and find meaning in the world.

Day-to-day activities seem strenuous and have changed the way we view the world. Baumbach, in his own way, added humor to daily events to create that silver lining for his characters and the audience. It’s difficult to get through the day sometimes because it’s so repetitive and bleak, especially during the winter months. And Baumbach wanted to add humor to everything being unpredictable or something going wrong for that reason. Life isn’t perfect at all and Baumbach wanted to show that through this one family. That becomes more relatable to audiences than having a perfect fairytale on the screen to get whisked away in.

White Noise is a film that can be considered a hit or a miss for audiences because of the way the story is told. Baumbach’s scripts sometimes don’t sit well with people, so it’ll be interesting to see where the Netflix viewers land on this one.