Lights, Camera, Action!

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By Bronson Peshlakai, contributing author

Tri-C Students to Interview Filmmakers at CIFF


For the second year in a row The Voice and Tri-C’s Media Arts and Studies (MARS) department are collaborating to offer the latest news and interviews with filmmakers at the 38th Cleveland International Film Festival.


Former Tri-C student Daniel Carberry interviewed by Voice reporter Lauren Mangan about his movie "The Sandbox," featured at 2013's CIFF.  (Photo by Bronson Peshlakai.)
Former Tri-C student Daniel Carberry interviewed by Voice reporter Lauren Mangan about his movie “The Sandbox,” featured at 2013’s CIFF. (Photo by Bronson Peshlakai.)

This unique partnership allows film and recording arts students an opportunity to utilize their training in a real-world environment, as well as The Voice newspaper’s reporters and students taking journalism and mass communication classes a chance to record interviews with moviemakers.


“This is a great opportunity for our students to interact with filmmakers who are showcasing their films at the festival,” said Jack Hagan, a JMC instructor at the Metro Campus, and senior advisor to The Voice.


Students are involved in recording interviews with filmmakers, editing the raw footage and writing up a summary that will go along with the finished interview posted on the Web.


Hagan said the experience is a great way to engage Tri-C students in a meaningful experience.


“They’ll have to prepare for the interviews – sometimes without much time – and work efficiently to edit and post the interviews in a timely manner,” Hagan said. “Nothing beats hands-on experiences like this to prepare students for real-world journalism.”


Former Tri-C student Sara Liptak was a reporter with The Voice and interviewed several movie directors and producers at last year’s festival.


“I never once thought I’d be sitting down with movie directors talking to them about their films,” Liptak said. “It was a great experience and I would love to do it again. Their stories and past experiences really put it into perspective on why they decided to take their films and share them at the CIFF.”


This collaboration builds a bridge between the festival and Tri-C, said Cigdem Slankard, MARS program director who has been the driving force behind the partnership since last year in its infancy.


“Each student who is studying to become a filmmaker at Tri-C is presented with an opportunity to talk to successful filmmakers from all over the world,” Slankard said. “They get to ask questions about each filmmaker’s education, experience and creative process. Students also become an important part of this wonderful festival and grow in many different ways.”

Slankard and her team are ramping up efforts once again to provide the stories behind CIFF on a new set at Tower City, and The Voice plans on helping out and provide additional content as well.


The Voice will feature some interviews and exclusive stories from CIFF at, and the MARS site will host all its interviews at

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