Group seated at panel

Filmmaker Panels

Cleveland State University's School of Communications Presents: A series of interactive panel discussions with visiting filmmakers from the 39th Cleveland International Film Festival

Cleveland State University's School of Communication, in conjunction with the Cleveland International Film Festival, is proud to host a day-long event featuring visiting filmmakers whose works are being shown in the Festival. Members of the CSU faculty will also participate by moderating discussions on the art, craft, and business of moving image production for both narrative and documentary films.

All panels are free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary.
They 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, please check this page for updates or contact the CSU organizers, Dr. Evan Lieberman (216.687.4637; and Dr. Kim Neuendorf (216.687.3994;

For further information about additional free educational programming at CSU during the 39th CIFF, see the School of Communication website at

Saturday, March 28, 2015 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

The Documentary Filmmaking Process

The documentary form has emerged as one of the most vital and exciting branches of filmmaking. The development of high-quality yet low-cost HD cameras and equipment has put this form of production into the hands of many more filmmakers than even a decade ago and the resulting surge in documentary cinema has been accompanied by expanding creativity and audience interest. This panel will explore how documentary production occurs in terms of scripting, financing, budgeting, editing, and particularly in terms of identifying a compelling story to tell. The distinctive marketplace for documentary funding, distribution and exhibition will also be discussed. And, this panel will consider the growing presence of “hybrid” films that are a fusion of documentary and narrative forms.

Saturday, March 28, 2015 1:45 PM - 3:15 PM

Independent Film Production: Sound and Image

What are the most important steps in the arduous process of film production? How do sound and cinematography work together to bring a filmmaker’s concept to completion? These questions will be covered by this panel dedicated to the complex process of production, including the challenges of financing, budgeting, and story development, through the logistics of casting, crew, locations, and scheduling, to the variety of techniques used to direct the actors, the camera, other technologies, the set, and the project itself. The roles of the director, producer, director of photography, sound crew, and editor will be discussed, as well as aspects of post-production, which includes the manipulation and collation of sound and image to create an integrated whole.

Saturday, March 28, 2015 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Global Film Production and Distribution

Not so long ago, the film industry meant filmmaking in Hollywood. Although Hollywood films still dominate the global marketplace, the majority of feature films made are produced outside of the U.S. There is also a marked increase in the global reach of American films, including independents, which are being marketed digitally to be viewed by audiences throughout the world. This global film perspective brings into play questions of the challenges of working, communicating, and marketing across cultures, while often showcasing aspects of cultures that audiences are not used to seeing represented on film. This panel will cover the ways films are financed, produced and distributed around the world. Special attention will be devoted to the role film festivals play in the globalization of this multi-billion dollar international art-and-entertainment business.

Saturday, March 28, 2015 11:45 PM - 1:15 PM

Film Authorship, Accuracy, and Artistic Freedom

How does a filmmaker determine which story is worth devoting years to bringing to life? And how much of a screenwriter’s or director’s original vision makes it to the screen? There are both philosophical and logistical elements that can intervene in defining the “authorship” of a film and in the guarantee of artistic freedom. In this panel, these issues will be explored for both documentary and narrative filmmaking. Further, in films based at least in part on actual events, persons, or socio-political worlds, we see a particular tension between historical accuracy and artistic expression, which has recently been the focus of some public controversy (e.g., Lincoln, American Sniper, The Theory of Everything, Selma). The panel will include a discussion of how filmmakers deal with this tension in their own projects, and how they view the notion of accuracy within the artist’s medium of film.

Tickets On Sale to the General Public Friday, March 6th >

Tickets On Sale to the General Public Friday, March 6th

CIFF39 tickets will go on sale to the general public Friday, March 6th at 11:00 a.m.

Tickets on Sale to Members Friday, February 27th >

Tickets on Sale to Members Friday, February 27th

CIFF39 tickets go on sale to MEMBERS ONLY February 27th at 11:00 a.m. Join or renew today!

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