CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville); State Representative Kirk Schuring (R-Canton); State Senator Tom Patton (R-Strongsville); President & CEO of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, Ivan Schwarz; and President of Cleveland State University, Ronald Berkman, today held a press conference to discuss the recent announcement that Cleveland State University is expected to receive $7.5 million through the state’s Capital Budget for Cleveland State’s School of Film, Television, and Interactive Media.
Following the passage of Ohio’s Film Tax Credit legislation in 2009, the state’s movie industry has continued to grow and diversify. According to a study by CSU’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, media production has brought in over $400 million in economic impact for the state, and in the last two years of the study, 71 percent of all Ohio production dollars were spent in Northeast Ohio. More than 65 projects have been filmed in the state since 2009, including The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Draft Day, as well as several Nike commercials.
In order to capitalize on the film industry’s strong momentum in Ohio, further work is being accomplished to create an environment within the field that encourages job growth and increases workforce development through nurturing relationships with the higher education community. Work is also being done to develop new media, such as video games, and grow infrastructure, such as the creation of sound stages.
“I strongly believe that the film industry in Ohio has unlimited potential and one that we are just beginning to really tap into,” Speaker Rosenberger said. “Our goal as elected officials is to continue to help diversify our economy, and this is an industry where we can really see growth and success. With job creation and workforce development being our main priorities, it is projects like this one at CSU that can support these efforts.”
Cleveland State University is expected to receive $7.5 million to go towards the film school through funding appropriated by the State Capital Budget (Senate Bill 310), which was introduced this week. The project includes the construction of a new facility on CSU’s campus to allow the growing population of film students to continue to learn about the industry and gain hands-on experience. The proposal also includes the construction of a motion picture production sound stage to be built in Northeast Ohio, which will provide additional space and more realistic interactions between industry professionals and students.
“We would like to thank Speaker Rosenberger and the State of Ohio for this significant investment in CSU,” said Ronald M. Berkman, President of Cleveland State University. “This new school will provide a unique opportunity for students to receive first-rate instruction in a growing industry, while furthering the development of Cleveland as a center of film and TV production.”
During the press conference, Rep. Schuring also discussed legislation he recently introduced that increases the state’s annual film project cap from $20 million a year to $75 million, while also eliminating the $5 million per project cap. This aims to encourage more movie projects to be made in Ohio, making the industry stronger and allowing for more growth.
“Increasing opportunities for the film industry, particularly in Northeast Ohio, will be a boon to our local economy,” Rep. Schuring said. “The legislation I’ve introduced will work to build upon the progress we’ve already made and I look forward to continuing to collaborate on more projects that can make this industry stronger in the state.”
Senator Patton has also been an advocate for the growth of the film industry in Northeast Ohio, and as a resident of Strongsville, supports the project slated to be funded at CSU.
“In Northeast Ohio alone, there have been 16 projects that have filmed exclusively in the region,” Senator Patton said. “These projects are estimated to have accounted for 901 jobs, $27.3 million in household income, $87.1 million in output, and $49.3 million in value‐added impact. Not only has this film tax credit benefited the City of Cleveland, but its impact has been felt across the state. Cleveland State University continues to do exciting things and our hope is that the Senate’s Capital budget can help them continue to grow and benefit our community.”
Ivan Schwarz spoke about the film industry in Ohio. As President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, he has been on the forefront of collaborating with state legislators and universities to grow the film industry in this region of the state.
“We are very excited to see the State of Ohio embracing this new industry, and for our partnership with Cleveland State University,” Schwarz said. “Education has always been the bedrock of our workforce development efforts, and we will continue to work with CSU and other local institutions to ensure that we maintain a media production workforce on par with any other in the industry. We are very thankful to Speaker Rosenberger, Rep. Schuring and Sen. Patton for their continued support in building a thriving media industry in Ohio by working toward the passage of Ohio House Bill 475.”
Editor’s note: Photos available upon request.