Katie Couric’s “Cities Rising” Spotlights #FilmInCLE

Katie Couric’s “Cities Rising” series on Yahoo! has put Cleveland back in the spotlight with a series of videos about all the amazing things that make up our city’s comeback story.

The first series of videos covered our improving schools, burgeoning VR scene, and entrepeneurship in the city. This series finishes up with a look at our amazing food, city pride, Lebron James, and of course #FilmInCLE!

Matthew McConaughey was interviewed for the piece while he was in town filming “White Boy Rick,” along with our own GCFC President Ivan Schwarz, about what an amazing city Cleveland is for the arts.

Click image for full video.

“American Ninja Warrior” Cleveland Qualifier Airs

 Cleveland, did you catch your beautiful city on “American Ninja Warrior” on NBC Monday night? If you did, you saw not only the daring feats of strength and agility of the Ninjas who took on the most intense obstacle course yet, but also the gorgeously lit landmarks of your hometown!

Whether it was the perfectly lit Terminal Tower, or the Goodyear Blimp shots of our new Public Square, every shot made our city look as special as we know it to be.

We’re proud to have brought this fun experience and spotlight to Cleveland!

Summer Media Mixer

Well over 200 people attended our Summer Media Mixer last month, one of our best turnouts ever.

Special thanks to Ricky Volante for speaking about our local Entertainment Law scene, and Music Box Supper Club for hosting us again at their beautiful venue.

These events are part of our workforce development efforts, always working to make sure our local professionals can network and share ideas about growing this industry in Northeast Ohio.

GCFC at Laurelive

We had an amazing time at Laurelive 2017!

It was such a great event, and as you can see, our GCFC beachballs were a big hit. They even got on stage!

GCFC Hosts Boys Hope Girls Hope for Career Day

Last month we had the privilege of hosting rising sophomores in the Boys Hope Girls Hope program for a presentation on what GCFC does, and of what all our individual jobs consist.

It was a lot of fun talking about our different journeys to get where we are today, and help illuminate the path that lies ahead of these kids. We really hope we’re able to do it again next year!


PA Workshop with…Ivan Schwarz?

Our Production Assistant (PA) Workshop did not go as planned.

Our special guest Mikki Ziska had her flight cancelled not once, but twice, and we feared that we would have to ultimately cancel the event.

However, GCFC President Ivan Schwarz stepped in at the last minute to deliver the workshop for 80 people who wanted to learn more about taking their first steps into the media production industry!

When all was said and done, it was a good day for everyone involved, and an even better one for our local industry.

Cleveland Screenings of Cleveland Stories

In a city filled with talented filmmakers, from time to time we are invited to screenings of new films that tell Cleveland stories. Here are a few we’ve had the privilege of viewing over the last month:

EXACT CHANGE, Directed by Scott Plate, Written by and Starring Christine Howey

Based on her moving one-woman play about finding your voice and championing your identity, “Exact Change” is the powerful and personal story of noted Cleveland actor, journalist and critic Christine Howey, who transitioned in 1990. This film adaptation was both as powerful and as poignant as the play, and it premiered to two sold out theaters at the historic Capitol Theatre in June.

UNDEREXPOSED, a collaboration between Shooting Without Bullets and Cleveland Institute of Art

“Underexposed” brings visibility to Black youth culture in Cleveland in the wake of Black Lives Matter. The film chronicles the lives of ten teen artists as they find solace in art, making and performing as members of Shooting Without Bullets, Cleveland’s revolutionary youth advocacy program.  This coming of age story illuminates the beautiful struggle in their discovery of self in the midst of extreme economic depression and stark racial segregation. To see these young people expressing themselves through their talent and their art was an amazing experience.


Multimedia artist, writer, poet and Cleveland native Chris Webb’s current project animates blighted homes in Cleveland’s abandoned neighborhoods and uses them as narrators to speak on neighborhood problems and city history. Having gone to school on the west coast and returned to his hometown, Chris’ talents as an artist, storyteller and agent for change are all on display in this film that highlights a pressing issue in our city.

THE NEW ERA by Grant Heineman

Grant Heineman, a rising senior at Heights High, was given a project by his American Government teacher: create a 20 minute documentary that is unique and relevant to what they’re learning in class. With the 2016 election fresh in everyone’s mind, and having become an issue that had penetrated the “high school bubble,” Grant got to work and put together a stylish and certainly unique look at the election through the eyes of his fellow students. The result is nothing short of A+ work.

“White Boy Rick” Wraps in Cleveland

Congratulations to the film formerly known as “Untitled Detroit City Project,” which wrapped its Cleveland shoot last week. Thank you to all the local cast and crew that worked so hard on this film, and continue to set an example for what production professionals should be. Also, thanks to every business and location that worked with the production for ensuring such a smooth process.

Clevelanders will have to wait a little while to see the fruits of all of this hard work, however, as “White Boy Rick” is currently slated for a January 2018 release.

As was the case his entire time in Cleveland, star Matthew McConaughey made his way sightseeing throughout Northeast Ohio and beyond, even stopping to take in some of this sports-crazed city’s finest:

Matthew McConaughey attends Game 4 at The Q

Matthew McConaughey stops by Cavs team dinner at Kevin Love’s house

Matthew McConaughey, sons catch Cleveland Indians game at Progressive Field

Here’s where Matthew McConaughey has been spotted while filming “White Boy Rick” in Northeast Ohio

“American Ninja Warrior” is a Hit in Public Square

Thank you, Cleveland! The Greater Cleveland Film Commission brought you “American Ninja Warrior”, and you turned out in droves to support the taping in Public Square and experience the NBC FanFest!

For several days, Public Square turned into Ninja Central as the most intense obstacle course yet was constructed on the Superior Avenue portion of the square. The tapings were filled with hundreds of excited fans, who screamed their hearts out supporting these daring men and women who took on the insane physical challenge.

Most importantly, the city of Cleveland looked beautiful. Whether it was the perfectly lit Terminal Tower, or the Goodyear Blimp shots of our new Public Square, every shot made our city look as special as we know it to be.

We’re proud to have been a part of bringing this fun experience and spotlight to Cleveland!



CSU Film School Chooses Frederic Lahey as Director

The Greater Cleveland Film Commission (GCFC) congratulates Frederic Lahey on his selection as the inaugural Director of the Cleveland State University (CSU) School of Film, Television and Interactive Media. The process to choose the Director was long and thorough, involving officials from CSU as well as GCFC President Ivan Schwarz.

“Director Lahey is the right person for the job,” said President Schwarz. “Having worked extensively in production, while also leading the Colorado Film School to a position of prominence, he possesses the right mix of academic and industry experience that will start CSU’s program on the right track. We look forward to having a close relationship with Director Lahey and the school as we continue to grow this industry in Cleveland.”

GCFC’s advocacy efforts led to the state of Ohio awarding $7.5 million to CSU last spring to build the first standalone film school in Ohio history. GCFC will continue its efforts to increase the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Incentive, which will not only attract more and larger productions, but bring more jobs and economic impact to the region, and allow for critical production infrastructure like sound stages and production offices