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Film Cincinnati Wants 30 Big Donations For 30th Anniversary

John Kiesewetter
Kristen Schlotman announces new Film Cincinnati name in August 2016.

To celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, nonprofit Film Cincinnati (formerly the film commission) is seeking 30 donors willing to give $30,000 each.

"Most people think that we get paid to produce films here. (Not true!) Film Cincinnati is completely reliant on generous donations from our sponsors and people like you to sustain economic development and job creation in Greater Cincinnati," says a post on the FilmCincinnati website.

The new "30/30 Partnership Program" is a "bold new way for Cincinnati film lovers to help us reach our 30th anniversary fund-raising goal of $900,000… (to) continue to make Cincinnati a prime location for motion picture production,” says Kristen Schlotman, Film Cincinnati executive director.

Credit The Weinstein Company
Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett (right) and Rooney Mara filmed "Carol" here in 2014.

Each $30,000 donor to the 501c 3 non-profit corporation receives access to "first class film premieres, mentions in the Film Cincinnati trailer shown in local theaters, inclusion in social media, public relations and client testimonials, invitations to the Beyond the Screen speaker series and brand activations at film festivals and industry events," according to the Film Cincinnati announcement.

Additional benefits may include invitations to Film Cincinnati events such as kickoff and wrap parties, set visits as a guest of Film Cincinnati, newsletter mentions, preferred partner status with listings on, promotional events and guest speaker opportunities.

The 30/30 Partnership campaign comes as Emilio Estevez is in town directing "The Public," his indie movie with Alex Baldwin, Christian Slater and Gabrielle Union, and while at least one other production company is scouting locations here.

Producers shot a record 10 movies here last year, taking advantage of Ohio’s Film Production Tax Incentives.  Schlotmantold WVXU-FM listeners in October that "we're lined up with productions well into next year."

The Cincinnati Film Commission was established by Lori Holladay, who scouted locations for John Sayles’ “Eight Men Out” in 1987 and the Oscar-winning Tom Cruise-Dustin Hoffman “Rain Man” in 1988. Local production companies joined forces to help those films, which led to the creation of the film commission with Holladay as the first executive.  

Scholtman joined the commission as a volunteer in 1997. As executive director, she lured Hollywood movie and TV companies here to produce numerous reality shows ("Undercover Boss," "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives") and an impressive list of films (George Clooney's "Ides of March," Michael Douglas' "Traffic," Don Cheadle's "Miles Ahead," Cate Blanchett's "Carol," Brue Willis' "Marauders," Nicholas Cage's "Inconceivable," Mariah Carey's "A Christmas Melody" and Nick Jonas' "Goat").

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.