School of Communication

Filmmakers on Filmmaking
A series of interactive panel discussions with visiting filmmakers from the 37th Cleveland International Film Festival

Cleveland State University’s School of Communication, in conjunction with the Cleveland International Film Festival, is proud to host this two-day event featuring visiting filmmakers whose works are being shown at the festival and members of the Cleveland State University faculty discussing the art, craft and business of moving image production, for both narrative and documentary forms.  The panels give festival-goers, students, and all who are interested in the art and commerce of cinema an opportunity to meet the filmmakers, hear them talk about their films, and ask questions about their work or moviemaking in general.  The panels will be held at the CSU School of Communication, 2001 Euclid Avenue, in auditorium MU 107.  All are free and open to the public though early arrival is recommended as seating is not guaranteed.

All panels will be held at:
Cleveland State University’s School of Communication
MU 107 Auditorium, Music and Communication Building
2001 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115

Parking is available on the streets around the Music and Communication Building and in lot “CG” behind the building, at E. 19th Street and Chester Avenue.  For further information and updates, check or contact the CSU organizers, Dr. Evan Lieberman (216.687.4637; and Dr. Kim Neuendorf (216.687.3994;

The State of Independent Film Criticism

This panel examines the role of critical review in the world of independent filmmaking, distribution, and marketing. Whether and how professional critics champion obscure filmmakers, encourage audiences to see films that might not normally register on their radar, and give coverage to independent festivals will be explored. So, too, will the impact of internet criticism–including blogs, forums, and sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic--on the independent film culture. Filmmaker panelists will be joined by Clint O’Connor, film critic for Cleveland’s Plain Dealer. The panel will be hosted by Dr. Bob Abelman, Cleveland State University Professor of Communication and the theatre critic for Cleveland’s News-Herald.

Saturday, April 13

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Clint O'Connor, film critic, Cleveland PD
Nic Balthazar, Time of my Life, Ben X
Joel Potrykus, Ape
Michael Rabehl, Central and Eastern European Jury member
Rosie Wong, Documentary Jury member

Dr. Bob Abelman



Screenplays and Documentary Writing: Where the Road Forks

This panel explores the differing approaches to writing about the real world and writing for the reel world.  Documentarians and screenwriters discuss what they have in common and what differing approaches are needed in their styles of writing.  The panel was moderated by Michael Rand, Associate Professor at Cleveland State University and documentary writer/producer/director, whose current work focuses on untold stories of the Civil War.

Saturday, April 13

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Alfred Thomas Catalfo, Rocketship
Erica Ginsberg, Documentary Jury member
Tim Cawley, From Nothing, Something
Amy Finkel, Furever
Ben Popik, The Exquisite Corpse Project

Michael Rand


Shooting the Independent Film

This panel looks at the process of independent film production from the always difficult task of raising money through the possibilities and challenges of shooting on a limited budget. The focus of the discussion is on the respective roles and collaboration of the producer and director in taking a project from being words on paper to images on screen, including issues of casting, crew, running a set, meshing individual visions into a coherent work, and the complex logistics of making the film. The panel was moderated by Dr. Evan Lieberman, Associate Professor of Film in the School of Communication at Cleveland State University, who has worked alternately as a writer, producer, director, and director of photography on five independent feature films and dozens of shorts, commercials, and music videos.

Saturday, April 13

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Ruben Thorkildsen, The Almost Man
Martin Lund, The Almost Man/Twigson Ties the Knot
Joey Dedio, Tio Papi
Sarah Gurfield, Thumb
Marielle Nitoslawaska, Breaking the Frame

Dr. Evan Lieberman


Post-Production and All the Options
The complexity and options for post-production have opened doors in many fields for collaboration in film making. The post-production process is so important, it can make or break a film. Editing is considered the back-bone of filmmaking, and the current climate of special effects and the expectation of musical scores among other recent developments have made the post-production climate more complicated. Issues in workflow techniques, tools, and platforms make the collaboration process even more dynamic. Topics such as editing, musical composition, animation, and visual effects are explored. The panel's moderator was John Ban, Lecturer in Digital Media Production at CSU. Professor Ban has over 30 years of professional experience in the broadcast, cable, and corporate communication industries.

Sunday, April 14

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Ron Fleischer, A Tooth Tale
Silas Hite, The Record Breaker
Katie Damien, Second Parent
Travis Pollert, Fusion: The Art of Collaboration
Joe Jurecki, Fusion: The Art of Collaboration

John Ban

Intercultural and International Filmmaking

Movies provide a window through which to view different cultures.  Because its scope is international, the CIFF provides an extraordinary opportunity to experience films from an incredibly wide range of cultures, regions and nations, not to mention the different languages.  The panel features visiting filmmakers discussing the varied approaches to filmmaking that can be found across America and internationally. Issues of cross-cultural communication and trends in domestic and international production are addressed in this panel which presents a broad look at multicultural cinematic storytelling.  This panel is co-presented by CSU's Department of Modern Languages, which with the School of Communication, has recently unveiled a new International Film Minor at CSU.  The panel was moderated by Dr. Antonio Medina-Rivera, Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages at CSU.  Dr. Medina-Rivera is a sociolinguist who also specializes in Latin American Literature.  He regularly integrates films into his courses, including a course for Spanish educators on teaching culture through film.

Sunday, April 14

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Luca Elmi, Do No Harm
Jorge Hinojosa, Iceberg Slim
Naomi Kazama, Do You Know What My Name Is?
Dr. Anup Kumar, Cleveland State University

Dr. Antonio Medina-Rivera








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Mailing Address
School of Communication
College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, MU 233
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
1st & 2nd Floors
Music & Communication Building
2001 Euclid Ave.
Phone: 216.687.4630
Fax: 216.687.5435
Web Contact
Rick Pitchford
Phone: 216.687.5077

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