Ivan Schwarz Leaves Greater Cleveland Film Commission

Jul 25, 2019

The president of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission announced he's stepping down July 31. Ivan Schwarz has led the film commission since 2006. 

He helped steer big-budget Hollywood movies like "The Avengers" and "White Boy Rick" to film in Northeast Ohio through the state’s Motion Picture Tax Credit.

Schwarz is leaving to focus on a film production company he started with his wife.

"I feel like I’ve been able to lay a nice foundation for where the industry’s headed. But I feel like I’ve one career left in me, and if I didn’t make that change now, I probably never would have made the change," he said.

He said he's most proud of helping to secure funding for the state's first stand-alone film school, the School of Film, Television and Interactive Media at Cleveland State University

But as for regrets, Schwarz laments the fact the Film Commission wasn't able to convince lawmakers to boost the state's film tax credit from $40 million annually to $100 million. 

"The last two 'Avengers' movies really wanted to shoot in Ohio. And we didn’t have the infrastructure, nor the incentive in place, and they went to (shoot in) Georgia," he said. 

Schwarz’s successor, longtime Hollywood agent and Cleveland area native, Evan Miller, will try to reverse that trend when he takes over in August.