SOURCE: Movieweb | Steven Thrash
November 21, 2023
Peter Billingsley and many of the cast members from A Christmas Story reunite for the beloved film’s 40th anniversary in Cleveland.
Fans of A Christmas Story received their own real-life version of Ralphie’s Red Ryder BB gun: the perfect gift. That BB gun was by far the best X-mas present Ralph Parker (Peter Billingsley) ever received. And over the weekend of November 10 through 12, 2023, the Greater Cleveland Film Commission (GCFC) presented their own special gift to enthusiasts of the classic movie: A Christmas Story cast reunited to celebrate the holiday film’s 40th anniversary. Billingsley was among those of the original players to make an appearance and meet with all the fans in attendance.
Cleveland, OH –November 21, 2023 – The Greater Cleveland Film Commission (GCFC) transported fans back in time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the timeless holiday classic, A Christmas Story, during an unforgettable gathering entitled Behind the Camera: Ralphie Comes Home.
Drawing over 2,000 fans from across the country, this recent weekend was described as “an enchanting affair dedicated to revisiting the cherished film that has warmed the hearts of countless generations during the holiday season.”
Devotees of the film had the extraordinary opportunity to connect with some of the creative minds behind the movie, including Peter Billingsley, the renowned actor famous for his portrayal of the endearing Ralphie.
“I’m so grateful to the Greater Cleveland Film Commission and the City of Cleveland for hosting such a fun and nostalgic event,” said Peter Billingsley. “It’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years since a small movie crew rolled into the city. From Higbees to downtown, and of course, ‘Good old Cleveland Street,’ the city and the fans have embraced A Christmas Story and made its enduring success possible.”
As attendees gathered, they walked the Cast Expo, an immersive experience where they could savor personal anecdotes from those involved in the film’s creation, obtain coveted autographs, and capture photographs. The event’s highlight was the Behind the Camera Panel held on Friday evening, hosted by TODAY’s Al Roker. This panel offered fans a unique and captivating glimpse into the meticulous craft that birthed this cinematic masterpiece.
This event didn’t stop at the silver screen. It also featured an array of exclusive merchandise, a captivating tour of iconic Cleveland Film locations, the lighthearted charm of the Cleveland Funny Bus Comedy City Tour, and an opportunity for fans to step into the shoes of their beloved characters by recreating iconic scenes from the film using the innovative SetJetters app.
“The Greater Cleveland Film Commission is grateful to the thousands of attendees from 30 states and Canada for their support of Behind the Camera: Ralphie Comes Home, the 40th anniversary cast reunion,” said Bill Garvey, president of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission. “A Christmas Story exemplifies the power of one movie to attract lasting economic investment and job creation for Northeast Ohio. Over the 14-year lifetime of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit, the motion picture industry has generated $1.38 billion in Ohio. This recent fundraiser helps the film commission’s mission to grow the number of local high-paying jobs and investment into local small businesses in the NE Ohio motion picture industry.”
The GCFC, the driving force behind this remarkable celebration, expressed their heartfelt gratitude towards the event’s generous sponsors, whose unwavering support made this enchanting experience possible, showcasing the power of collaboration and community in bringing beloved cinematic treasures back to life.
About the Greater Cleveland Film Commission: The Greater Cleveland Film Commission (GCFC) is the only 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to driving economic development and job creation by cultivating a robust film and television industry in Northeast Ohio. Since 2009, media projects in Ohio have generated over $1.38 billion in economic impact and created 7,092 full-time equivalent jobs. More than 70% of Ohio’s film tax incentive spending occurs in Greater Cleveland, thanks to our work. Please check out www.clevelandfilm.com for more information.
SOURCE: WKYC Channel 3 | Ryan Haidet, Emma Henderson
November 9, 2023
Lights… Camera… Action! Get ready, Northeast Ohio! Big plans are in place for some “major movies” to bring their productions to Cleveland. “People are going to be happy,” teases Cleveland Film Commission President Bill Garvey. “Some iconic, major movies are coming.” Garvey didn’t offer many additional details, but said there’s “a great slate of productions lined up for the next year.” “It’s going to be busy. You’re going to know we’re here because there’s a lot coming.”
Lights… Camera… Action! Get ready, Northeast Ohio! Big plans are in place for some “major movies” to bring their productions to Cleveland. “People are going to be happy,” teases Cleveland Film Commission President Bill Garvey. “Some iconic, major movies are coming.” Garvey didn’t offer many additional details, but said there’s “a great slate of productions lined up for the next year.” “It’s going to be busy. You’re going to know we’re here because there’s a lot coming.” Garvey’s update comes after news surfaced Wednesday night that a tentative deal had been reached to end the actors strike.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter | Katie Kilkenny
September 24, 2023
In a significant development that could bring an end to a historic writers strike, the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced a provisional deal on Sunday.
After several long consecutive days of negotiations, the Writers Guild of America and the labor group representing studios and streamers have reached a tentative deal on a new contract in a major development that could precipitate the end of a historic, 146-day writers strike.
The Writers Guild of America emailed strike captains the news on Sunday night, and shortly after, its negotiating committee informed all members. “We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA, which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language,” the latter message stated. “We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.”
SOURCE: The Morning Journal | Aliah Kimbro
September 9, 2023
A Lorain journalist and producer is highlighting the issues surrounding Black women’s health.
Betty Halliburton, an independent producer and founder of Intentional Content Inc., has produced the docuseries “Black Women: Our Hope, Health and Healing” in collaboration with Ideastream Public Media.
Halliburton also is the media relations personnel for the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival.
The four-part series was birthed out of Halliburton’s other collaboration with Ideastream, “Connecting the Dots Between Racism and Health Disparities.”
Kiyomi and Det Chansamone left their home in Los Angeles to buy a former high school in Burton, Ohio, to convert it as a production studio and venue for his own movie and TV efforts. | Stan Bullard
SOURCE: Crain’s Cleveland Business | Stan Bullard
September 11, 2023
A short walk north of the town square in Burton, which traces its history to 1798 and has managed to remain a village with just over 1,000 people, Det and Kiyomi Chansamone have bought the former Berkshire High School to remake it as a video production center.
The availability of the 96,000-square-foot high school, which was built in three phases beginning in 1930, drew Det Chansamone to Burton. He envisions one of the school’s gyms as a huge soundstage, with other sections, like the old band room, being converted and made available to rent by out-of-state film and TV crews shooting in Northeast Ohio as well as area commercial production companies.
Have you ever been watching a movie and thought to yourself, “this looks familiar”? That’s because it might be! There have been over 145 movies and 160 other projects filmed in the State of Ohio, and over 58 movies filmed in Cleveland since 2009, including The Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier, the Fate of the Furious, and White Noise. This is largely due to the creation of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit, which has attracted productions and generated economic impact to our state since it was first introduced in 2009.
The Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit provides a refundable tax credit that equals 30% of in-state expenditures on eligible productions who spend a minimum of $300,000 in the State of Ohio. Eligible productions may include feature-length films, TV shows, documentaries, music videos, commercials, video games, theatrical stage productions and more. Once productions are approved for the Ohio tax incentive, they can only receive tax incentive reimbursement once they have finished production and submit an audit to the state, after the spending has taken place in Ohio. In the previous two years, Ohio has seen nearly $133.6 million of out-of-state investment flow into northeast Ohio to spend on motion picture productions. From 2009-2020, it attracted over $571.8 million to our state from direct production spending and job creation. This investment generates significant economic impact for our region, as film crews utilize hotels, eat locally, and shop at retail storefronts.
As stewards of Downtown Cleveland’s economic growth, we understand that the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit plays a critical role in attracting investment, jobs, residents, and visitors to our central business district. In the 2024-2025 State Operating Budget, we were proud to successfully advocate for increases to the tax credit to $50 million this year, and an increase to $75M beginning in July of 2024. Due to this increase in state investment, eight projects were approved to be filmed in Ohio, five of which will be filmed in the Cleveland area. These projects will amount to over $96.3 million in combined production budgets set to film in Cleveland.
Downtown Cleveland is home to the second largest performing arts district outside of New York City – Playhouse Square – where Broadway productions are often tested or launched. One such example is The Lion King, which launched its first run after the pandemic in Downtown Cleveland. Playhouse Square attracts over 1 million visitors each year, amounting to over $359 million in economic impact each year. An additional $5M in the State Operating Budget was allocated to Playhouse Square to be used for theatrical productions. This will help us to continue to elevate our stature as a national hub for the performing arts.
Despite these wins in the State Budget, our advocacy work on the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit is not over. There are currently 38 states offering similar incentives, including Georgia whose program is currently uncapped, resulting in $4.4 billion in direct production spending in Georgia in 2022. Furthermore, Texas recently increased its cap to $200 million per year and New Jersey recently introduced legislation to increase its annual cap to $200 million.
As we continue to advocate for greater investment in this incentive program, we are highly anticipating the five exciting projects that will begin filming in the Cleveland area. Downtown Cleveland will be coming soon to a screen near you!
Congratulations to THE MARKSMAN screenwriters Danny Kravitz and Chris Charles for the successful launch of their novelization of the film, and for reaching no. 1 on Amazon’s new release list in Movie Tie-In Fiction!
When THE MARKSMAN filmed in Northeast Ohio in 2019, the production:
The Unit eXperience Project performs July 19 at Wade Oval Wednesday. | Ken Blaze
SOURCE: Crain’s Cleveland Business | Grant Segall
August 28, 2023
Cleveland Shakespeare has sold T-shirts saying “All the CLE’s a stage.”
“Theater can be anywhere, and theater is for everyone,” Artistic Director Dusten Welch told spectators last month of the troupe, which tours from Lorain to Mentor.
And CLE has a world of stages. Parks, plazas, porches, schools, libraries, hospitals, airports, cemeteries, shelters, prisons and repurposed factories all get in the act. City Ballet danced this month on a boardwalk over a marsh at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. Downtown Cleveland Inc. is recruiting buskers to work sidewalks in the footsteps of the late Maurice “Sax Man” Reedus Jr.
But the COVID-19 pandemic particularly hurt the arts and artists.