Finally. After years of wrangling, the state has passed a film-production incentive that sets aside $10 million in tax credits for film companies making movies in Ohio in 2010. That allocation goes up for $20 million in 2011. Films with budgets of at least $300,000 qualify to receive a 25 percent tax credit, with a maximum credit of $5 million per production. While it hardly rivals Michigan's 40 percent credit, it's a start. Spend-happy film-production companies dump so much money on lodging, food and supplies that they generate $1.50 in economic activity for every dollar spent. "This is a program we can work with to begin building a much stronger film industry in Ohio," said Greater Cleveland Film Commission executive director Ivan Schwarz in a press release. "With film-production jobs paying between 20 percent to 30 percent above the statewide average, this is a great investment in Ohio jobs." It's guesstimated that five $8-million films would generate approximately 400 jobs. Because film production companies spend so much dough, most states have tax incentives to lure them. Without the tax credit that other states offer, Ohio had a hard time getting companies to film here. That's reportedly why the forthcoming Danny Greene: The Rise and Fall of the Irishman filmed in Michigan instead of Cleveland, where the mobster story is based. With the passing of the incentive, the state's film commissions will hopefully have some leverage to bring film productions to town. In addition, the Ohio Film Office has launched discoverohiofilm.com, a new website that allows businesses and individuals to list their contact information for prospective film production companies.
The 48 Hour Film Project kicks off at 6-7 p.m. Friday, July 31, at Anatomy Nightclub (1229 W. 9th St., 216.363.1113, anatomycleveland.com). Filmmakers have two days to make a short film and drop the finished product off at Anatomy between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Registration is limited to a first-come, first-serve basis, and the finished films will show in four different programs taking place at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, and Thursday, August 6, at the Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Rd., 216.321.5411, clevelandcinemas.com). The winning Cleveland film will be entered into an international competition, where it could snag the grand prize (a nifty Panasonic HPX170 camera that lists for more than $5K). The top 10 films will show as part of Cannes' short films program in 2010. Go to 48hourfilm.com for more information.