confirmation from Ken Silliman that three Nehst Studios films have definitely been greenlit and will start production by Spring of 2011. The funding for Nehst Studios apparently is fully in place, and Mr. Silliman stated that the only remaining obstacle for the projects is Larry Meistrich trying to work out a schedule for the lead actors.
Ken Silliman is the Chief of Staff for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. He was one of the forces behind the loan guarantees and bond issue provided for Nehst Studios. The information we received directly from Mr. Silliman confirms a statement sent to us from Garth Woodson, a Port Authority official, last month. Port Authority is serving as a conduit issuer for a $5.2 bond issue to provide partial funding for these films.
Mr. Silliman and Tracey Nichols, the Director of Economic Development for the City of Cleveland, were instrumental in the establishment of these loans that are guaranteed by the local government. Apparently, their efforts have resulted in these three films being shot in Cleveland next year:
- Directed by and starring Dee Snider
- Starring Vivica A. Fox and directed by Sidra Smith
The Kid Who Only Hits Homers
- Directed by Wayne Chesler
We have sent inquiries to Mr. Silliman, Ms. Nichols, Mr. Woodson, and the representatives for Mr. Snider, Mr. Chesler, Ms. Fox and Ms. Smith. We also contacted Ivan Schwarz, the Director of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission and Jeremy Henthorn, the Director of the Ohio Film Office. We have asked each of them them to provide any corrections and any additional information that pertains to the confrrmation of the greenlit status of these three film projects.
Numerous sources had reported to us earlier that Nehst Studios did NOT have the necessary funding to start these films, but, according to these comments from city officials, this information may have been erroneous. We were also told earlier that Larry Meistrich had asked all three directors to take major salary cuts due to his severe funding issues. This must have been resolved since these projects are now officially moving forward.
We are certainly taking Mr. Silliman (and Mr. Woodson) at his word. We have no reason to believe that this information is either false or purposely misleading. We trust that these officials are truthful in providing these updates. They are here to serve the best interest of Cleveland and its citizens, so we will presume that they wouldn't make a concerted effort to deceive their own people.