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First ever Viking Film Festival is a hit!

By: Amanda Hayduk

June 14, 2012

Cleveland State University’s first ever Viking Film Festival debuted on June 8, where 12 short films by COM 411 Film and Digital Media students were viewed and judged by professors and peers.

The festival was put together by Dr. Evan Lieberman, a Media Arts and Technology professor at CSU, along with Jen Poland, who will be starting her Communication Graduate Program in the fall. Well over 100 people crammed into the auditorium of the Music and Communications Building on CSU’s campus to view the free event.

“The turnout was spectacular and the response to the films was strong,” said Dr. Lieberman. “This was the first time we’ve had so many excellent completed films from the class.”

The films, produced almost exclusively by the students, have made the professors proud and the students are expected to go on to do big things in the entertainment world.

“We clearly have some extremely talented students in our Film & Digital Media major,” said Paul Skalski, a CSU professor and judge for the event. “Evan Lieberman, Kim Neuendorf, and the other professors who teach film have brought out their best.”

The films ranged in length and genre, most of them either comedies or dramas. The judging process began with a scoring sheet developed by Dr. Lieberman. Judges were asked to rate each film on a scale of 1-5 based on categories including acting, directing, editing, etc.

The four judges chosen were Alexsandra Sukhoym, who teaches Film Studies at Cuyahoga County Community College, John Vourlis, a talented screenwriter and CSU professor, Robert Banks, an internationally renowned experimental film maker, and the one and only Paul Skalski, CSU’s new Director of Film and Digital Media.

After all the films were done being shown, the judges gathered at Becky’s Bar to discuss scores, make comments and settle on the winners in each category. Below is a list of the winners for each category. There was also an audience award, voted on by the attendees at the festival.

“Picking winners wasn’t easy because of how good all the films were!” said Skalski. “I think this is the start of an annual traditional for the Film and Digital Media major and School of Communication. I look forward to seeing the amazing things our students do in the future!”