Tom Hanks is returning to his acting roots in Cleveland to help out the region’s film and TV industry. On December 2, the two-time Oscar winner will take part in two events in the city: the first to discuss the importance of arts education and the other to benefit northeast Ohio’s film and TV production business. Both are sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.
The commission is a nonprofit that receives no proceeds from the productions it attracts, relying on donations from sponsors and community partners. Since 2009, Ohio has seen more than $400 million in economic impact and created more than 1,700 full-time equivalent jobs thanks to media production.
Last spring, the state doubled its film tax credit to $40 million a year, and Cleveland film commissioner Ivan Schwartz said he’s lobbying the state to double it again.
“The fact that he would take time out of his incredibly busy schedule to come out to Cleveland to help us build the industry here is more than anybody could ask for,” said Schwartz, who co-produced Band of Brothers and was the location manager on From the Earth to the Moon, both of which Hanks executive produced via his Playtone Productions.
Hanks will speak before 600 guests at the Intercontinental Hotel for a fundraiser that will be moderated by WKYC news anchor Russ Mitchell. As part of the trip, he also will speak at Cuyahoga Community College to high school and college students and educators from 38 schools throughout northeast Ohio about his career and how they might pursue their own careers in media.
Hanks got his start in show business in Cleveland. In 1977, he was an acting intern at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival there when he was cast as Soldier #27 in a stage production of Hamlet.