News & Announcements

2023 Filmmakers Panels

Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25

Cleveland International Film Festival


at the School of Film & Media Arts

CSU Arts Campus, School of Film & Media Arts, Idea Center, 1375 Euclid Avenue, Suite 600

Featuring filmmakers whose work is included in the 47th Cleveland International Film Festival and moderated by members of the CSU faculty, the panels will focus on the art, craft, business, and impact of film production for both narrative and documentary forms.  Each panel will include an audience Q&A component. All panels are free and 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 
  • Shawn Bannon, Director/Producer, Smell of Money 
  • Michael McDermit, Co-Director, We Will Speak 
  • Jacob Koestler Cinematographer, Editor, We Will Speak