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Greater Columbus Arts Council Wants More Film Produced in Columbus

Walker Evans Walker Evans Greater Columbus Arts Council Wants More Film Produced in ColumbusGCAC President Tom Katzenmeyer addresses arts administrators at the Gateway Film Center — Photo by Walker Evans.
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The Greater Columbus Arts Council is tasked with promoting the patronage and support of a very wide spectrum of visual and performing arts groups, ranging from dance to music to theatre to sculpture. Film has always fallen under that umbrella, though the organization is now placing a larger emphasis on the growth of the film industry in Central Ohio. A public forum was held last night at the Gateway Film Center to showcase what this initiative can mean for both an increase in creative jobs as well as an improved appreciation for film as an art form.

“Columbus has a huge legacy of filmmaking and animation talent in Southern California that very few people are aware of,” explained Leonard Hartman, President and CEO of Hartland Entertainment. “We’ve been thinking about how we can stop some of that brain drain on the region and keep the talent pool here in Ohio.”

To that end, Hartman helped to co-found the Ohio Film Group, a collection of local filmmakers, animators and post-production professionals who are working collaboratively to bring more film projects to the region. Hartman noted that the outsourcing of film production from Southern California to other parts of the US has grown rapidly in recent years, with Louisiana surpassing both New York and Los Angeles in 2013 for total number of on-site film production projects.

 GCAC President Tom Katzenmeyer echoed this importance, and introduced multiple short films and trailers films interspersed throughout the forum, created by local filmmakers including Nicolette Swift, Nora Alsharif, Jennifer Reeder, Alexis McCrimmon and Gabrielle Burton.

“We believe that when you see film production starting to come into a region, that there’s enough of it that we can invest in infrastructure like sound stages and post production facilities,” added Hartman. “The thing that most people aren’t aware of is that Columbus already has a great support system in the Columbus Film Council, the Wexner Center and other groups.”

City Council President Andrew Ginther confirmed the importance of investing in the arts, noting that every dollar invested matches 34 dollars in earned and contributed income.

“This is investment we an all get behind,” he stated. “It’s about more than dollars, it’s about sparking creativity.”

For more information, visit www.gcac.org and www.facebook.com/ohiofilmgroup.

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