News & Announcements

CIFF 2023 Features CSU School of Film and Media Arts Panels, Films

CIFF 2023 Features CSU School of Film and Media Arts PanelsIt's that time again! The Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) graces the city every year, celebrating the silver screen medium and those who make it magic.

This Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25, the 47th edition of the CIFF will feature five unique filmmaker panels at the School of Film & Media Arts, Idea Center, 1375 Euclid Avenue, Suite 600.

The filmmakers' all have work included in the festival and will be moderated by members of the CSU faculty; panels will focus on the art, craft, business, and impact of film production for both narrative and documentary forms. As is customary, the panel will include an audience Q&A component. All panels are no cost, open to the public.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Panel 1: The Craft: The Creative Team and Their Decisions | Friday 10:00 - 11:15 

Moderator: Maria Gigante, Assistant Professor of Practice, School of Film & Media Arts 


  • Balbinka Korzeniowska, Director, Playing Through     
  • Brenton Gieser, Director, The 50         
  • Christalyn Hampton, Producer, Rise and Rebuild: A Tale of Three Cities        
  • Leslie Asako Gladsjo, Director, Rise and Rebuild: A Tale of Three Cities          
Panel 2: The Story: The Journey from Page to Screen | Friday 11:30 - 12:45 

Moderator: Matt Rager, Instructor, School of Film & Media Arts 


  • Christopher Kasick, Director/Producer, Citizen Sleuth 
  • Thomas Burke, Producer, I'm On Fire 
  • Maria Gigante, Writer/Director, M I L K 
Panel 3: The Business: Follow the Money | Friday 1:00 - 2:15 

Moderator: Evan Lieberman, Associate Professor, School of Film & Media Arts 


  • Ian Huw Puleston-Davies, Writer/Director, Bolan's Shoes 
  • Todd Thompson, Director and Producer, PRE FAB! 
  • Doug Schwab, Producer, PRE FAB! 
  • Colin O'Malley,  Composer, PRE FAB! 
  • Jeremy Prusso, Director of Photography, Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out 

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Panel 4: Documentary: Real People, Reel Stories | Saturday 11:30 - 12:45 

Moderator: James Joyce, Assistant Professor, School of Film & Media Arts 


  • Lagueria Leisha Davis, Writer/Director/Producer, Black Barbie, A Documentary 
  • Alaudin Ullah, Co-Director, Producer, In Search of Bengali Harlem 
  • Vivek Bald, Director, In Search of Bengali Harlem 
  • Peter Daniel Davis, Producer and Director, Join or Die 
  • Rebecca Davis, Director, Join or Die 
Panel 5: Social Justice: Making a Difference, One Camera at a Time | Saturday 1:00 - 2:15 

Moderator: Eric Siler, Instructor, School of Film & Media Arts 


  • Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Director, King Coal 
  • Curren Sheldon, Director of Photography, King Coal  
  • Shawn Bannon, Director/Producer, Smell of Money 
  • Michael McDermit, Co-Director, We Will Speak 
  • Jacob Koestler Cinematographer, Editor, We Will Speak 

Other notable CSU highlights of this year's CIFF

M I L K, a short film written and directed by Maria Gigante, and produced by Anita Gabrosek, both FMA faculty. This is a true FMA production with lots of students who served as cast and crew. M I LK will be making its world premiere on March 29th at The Allen Theater.

Film student Calvin Brown's short animation, "The LEGO Justice League vs Starro the Conqueror," is part of the FilmSlam education program (not open to the pubic, unfortunately).

FMA alum Josh Lawhorn's documentary: "Olympic Oaks, Continuing Jesse Owen's Legacy."