Photos by Carissa Woytach

Senator Tom Patton and President Ronald M. Berkman address the public at Mather Mansion about funding for new film school.

April 19, 2016

State plans to fund CSU film school

Proposed legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives will provide funding for Cleveland State University to create a new School of Film, Television and Interactive Media.

Announced to the public at Mather Mansion, Friday, April 15 by President Ronald M. Berkman and a delegation from Columbus — including Speaker of the House Clifford A. Rosenberger, Representative Kirk Schuring, Senator Tom Patton — and President and CEO of the Cleveland Film Commission Ivan Schwarz, House Bill 475 will bestow $7.5 million to the university to build a facility on campus, funded by Senate Bill 310, the appropriations bill.

While seeking ways to diversify Ohio’s economy, legislators noted the film industry has brought more than $400 million to the state since 2009, according to Rosenberger. The bill would continue to create jobs in the industry, allowing Ohioans to compete in a global economy.

The bill is supported by the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, which brought 1,729 full-time-equivalent jobs since 2009. Berkman said bringing in Schwarz was ideal because of his vision for Ohio as a key part of the film industry.

Schwarz said Ohio is a “slam dunk,” because of its locations and personnel pool.

“We‘ve come a long way, we have a long way to go, having this film institute at Cleveland State is the way to do this,” Schwarz said. “What I’d like to see is partnerships with other schools, forming articulation agreements with [Cuyahoga County Community College] and the other schools so those kids have an opportunity to come here and take advantage of this and be the best filmmakers we have.”

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Dean Gregory M. Sadlek, agreed with the sentiments expressed by Berkman and others that the proposed school will be a strong addition to Northeast Ohio.

“I think it’s an incredible opportunity for us to build on a solid foundation, [to] make a leading, world-class program, not only known regionally but known nationally,” he said. “So I think this is a very important step for us.”


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