Lights, camera, Cleveland! Ohio is ready for its close-up | News 5 Cleveland

More motion picture production business is coming to Ohio than ever before.

SOURCE: News 5 Cleveland | Tiffany Tarpley
March 7, 2024

CLEVELAND — The 96th Academy Awards is fast approaching and it’s one of the most anticipated ceremonies during awards season in Hollywood. While Los Angeles is the capital of film-making, other cities are also hot spots for creatives.

Ohio is growing its share of the entertainment industry pie.

“Part of the reason we exist as a standalone film school is to help grow the creative industry and the film industry here in Cleveland,” Director of the School of Film and Media Arts at Cleveland State University, Cigdem Slankard said.

“In a way this medium-sized city gives us more advantages because we’re so connected with all our partners, getting on the big set for a major motion picture might be more challenging if you go to school in L.A. and New York because simply there’s so many schools there and so many students but here you might have that advantage.”

In a statement to News 5, the President of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, Bill Garvey, said this year the organization has attracted more motion picture production business than ever before to choose Northeast Ohio as a filming destination.

“In combination with motion picture production applicants from recent previous rounds, GCFC has secured a total combined production budgets of $152,385,587.65 to spend and create jobs in NE Ohio in 2024.”

According to, “the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit provides a refundable tax credit of 30% on production cast and crew wages plus other eligible in-state spending. It was created in 2009 to encourage and develop a strong film industry in Ohio.”

The latest productions to be awarded $44 million in tax credits include:

TV Series

  • An Interesting Life Season 2, Southwest Ohio, $432,300
  • WWE 2024Ohio, $1,675,986
  • Nightmare Transmission Season 2Ashland/Columbus, $265,247.40
  • Heartland Horror Chronicles Season 1Crestline, $129,444
  • Christmas on MainAshland, $148,842
  • Kings of VegasCleveland, $105,878.25

Feature Films

  • GenesisCleveland/Cincinnati, $11,091,686.70
  • SuperthiefNortheast Ohio, $5,296,260.30
  • AlarumCincinnati, $5,863,392.30
  • EpiphanyCincinnati, $6,052,988.40
  • Stained GlassSouthwest Ohio, $3,026,255
  • The MarshalSouthwest Ohio, $2,380,988.40
  • Nutcracker’s Mustache, Dayton/Cincinnati, $2,008,106.70
  • The Last of the Big-time PromotersSouthwest Ohio, $985,500
  • Never Quit, The Todd Crandell Story, Toledo, $1,256,153.40
  • Harbor Master, Northeast Ohio, $1,113,364.80
  • Down to the Felt, Columbus, $385,853.70
  • Oscar’s Options, Cincinnati, $823,269.60
  • Slay, Columbus, $519,603.60
  • The Forgotten Chord, Columbus, $115,651.50
  • Heavenly Wickedness, Ashtabula, $110,625
  • Cannonballer, Summit, $148,371
  • Aimless, Columbus, $93,313.50

Garvey said the program will expand by 50% in its next round which is between April 15 and June 1. Applications will be approved in July.

“It’s a very exciting time to be a part of this industry in Ohio right now, not only are we coming out of the most successful round we’ve ever had in attracting business to choose to invest and create jobs in the state of Ohio, we’re about double the program to increase our capacity to attract business, to attract jobs starting July 1 this year,” said Harvey to News 5 Anchor Tiffany Tarpley.

Garvey said it brings more opportunity for the veteran crew already working in the state. “Now we need to grow that area and so we’ve developed a lot of resources, a lot of programming, a lot of workforce development training programs to help with that, to arm local Clevelanders, local Northeast Ohioans with the skill set to take these jobs and these are lucrative jobs.”

Slankard said students in the standalone film school at CSU are well-trained to be prepared for the job market.

“We make sure that everyone leaves the school with employable skills, and those might range from producing, which is very similar to project management, writing, which will get you a job and then more technical skills like lighting [and] editing.”