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Two Disney films - 'Ella McCay,' 'Eenie Meanie' - and M. Night Shyamalan feature ‘Trap’ among Ohio Film Credit award recipients

Samara Weaving will star in 'Eenie Meanie,' shooting in Cleveland > > >

Two Disney films, Ella McCay and Eenie Meanie, and M. Night Shyamalan’s next feature film, Trap, were among eight recipients of Ohio’s Motion Picture Tax Credit program, announced at the end of July.

Projects selected by Ohio’s Motion Picture Tax Credit program receive a refundable tax credit of 30% on production cast and crew wages, as well as other in-state expenditures. The eligibility criteria encompass a wide spectrum of creative endeavors, including feature-length films, documentaries, pre-Broadway productions, miniseries, video games, and music videos.

Four other projects, encompassing an array of genres and narratives, were awarded production tax credits, as well. The program’s goal is to act as a powerful catalyst, encouraging both in-state and out-of-state filmmakers to choose Ohio as the canvas for their artistic endeavors. All eight awardees include:

Samara Weaving in 'Ready or Not'

Eenie Meanie

Starring Samara Weaving, known for her roles in Babylon and Scream VI, Eenie Meanie tells the tale of a former teenage getaway driver drug back into her unsavory past when a former employer offers her a chance to save the life of her chronically unreliable ex-boyfriend.

The film’s description sounds a lot like the plot of Stickshift, a Disney/Hulu feature set to film in Cleveland before the SAG-AFTRA strike. Could the two be the same? 

Shawn Simmons is the film’s writer/director. He created the YouTube Premium series Wayne and has written a slew of Nickelodeon projects, including the amazing Kirby Buckets.

Emma Mackey as Maeve in 'Sex Education'

Ella McCay

Emma Mackey stars in Ella McCay, reports Cincy Scoop. Mackey, known for her role as Maeve in Netflix’s Sex Education, recently appeared as a Barbie in Barbie. The movie finds Mackey's McCay, an idealistic young politician, juggling family challenges with her pending state governorship, taking over the top spot from her longtime mentor.

The venerable James L. Brooks is set to direct, according to Deadline. The production is wooing Jamie Lee Curtis, Woody Harrelson, Ayo Edibiri, Albert Brooks, Kumail Nanjiani, and Spike Fearn as well.

Trap

The film, a "psychological thriller set at a concert," as described by Shyamalan, was set to film in and around Cincinnati. Warner Bros. has since moved the project elsewhere, we’ve learned, possibly due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. We reached out to Warner Bros to learn more, but didn’t hear back before publication.

NEX

Top the charts

Producers Matt Waldeck and Ben Hecht are keeping plot details for NEX under wraps. Filming will take place in and around Northeast Ohio.

Previous films from Waldeck and Hecht’s production company, Zodiac Features, include I See You, a thriller starring Helen Hunt. It became Netflix’s No. 1 film in the U.S. in late March through early April. It’s Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and you can catch it on several streaming services. 

Waldeck’s documentary feature, Lovely Jackson, is winning awards at film festivals around the globe and will be released in 2024.

Muenster, Ohio

Not much is known about Muenster, Ohio, a TV series from Cleveland-based writer/producer Allen Christopher. Christopher was part of the cult comedy horror hosting duo Frank & Drac on WOIO-TV19 in the late 1980s and later served as Senior VP of Programming and Network Operations for Channel America and as President of Unit with Unitel Video in New York.

Once Upon a Time in Sports

Once Upon a Time in Sports is a television series from producer and filmmaker Mark A. Hamer and Crash Cat Media Group.

A Train Near Magdeburg

The famous picture featured in
'A Train Near Magdeburg'

A Train Near Magdeburg comes from The 5 Stones Group, an 18-time Emmy award-winning content development and production company headquartered in Columbus.

Filmmaker Mike Edwards describes A Train Near Magdeburg as a two-part television event in a video about the documentary. The film’s story centers around a well-known photograph taken by a U.S. WWII veteran of a mother and daughter escaping a train bound for a Nazi death camp.

Edwards explains how a high school history teacher’s 2001 interview with the veteran led to a series of events that reunited many of the people involved in that historical event.

Nightmare Transmissions Season II

Season two of Nightmare Transmissions, a horror series from Good Deed Entertainment, gets a boost from Ohio’s tax credit program. The first two-episode season, created and directed by Mark A. Hamer, included Mother’s Nature and Wormtown.

An economic boost for Ohio

Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development, emphasizes the multifaceted impact of the film industry on Ohio's diverse communities. Beyond its role in providing entertainment, these awarded projects serve as captivating windows into Ohio's distinctive locales. As the cameras roll, the state's scenic landscapes and vibrant cultures are poised to take center stage, inspiring audiences and creating a ripple effect of economic growth.

With an expected creation of 370 full-time jobs, the films are set to inject vitality into Ohio's job market and underscore the importance of nurturing local talent.

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