Faculty Premiere Film at 2021 Cleveland International Film Festival
Kent State University's School of Media and Journalism faculty filmmakers Dana White and Christopher Knoblock will be honored this year with their short film, Turning Blue, being featured at the prestigious 45th annual Cleveland International Film Festival. This appearance marks the premier of the film which the pair worked on over the course of 2020.
Turning Blue is part of the Shorts Program 6 and is available to stream as part of CIFF Streaming which runs from April 7 to April 20, 2021. Members of CIFF can purchase tickets now and tickets sales to the general public will open on Friday, March 26, 2021, at 11 a.m.
White said of this most recent collaboration, "Making the film was such a difficult and extraordinary process for me. I wrote it out of the need to deal with the grief from losing my mom. It's not a documentary. So, you have room to change and construct and build your story to fit the space that you want to fill. My husband, creative partner, and fellow professor had my back on that. He had a perspective that, at times, was hard for me since it is so personal."
Based on the true story of White's mother's passing shortly after moving to Northeast Ohio, Turning Blue tells the story of the final hours of 75-year-old Clara (played by veteran stage and screen actor Kathleen Chalfant), whose nurse Val (Lisa Langford) must break the news to her daughter Violet (White) that her feet are turning blue — a sign that her pulmonary disease has reached its terminal final stages.
Connie Schultz, the Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist, as well as colleague of White's in the School of Media and Journalism, says of the film, "Turning Blue is what happens when our heartbreak, too big for words, becomes a film that tells our story. Gratitude is the word that comes to mind."
White and Knoblock will continue to collaborate on their films. Their next two projects, Involuntary and the feature The Red Suitcase are both currently in development. White reflects, "It's always hard to let go and move on to the next project. This one will be tough for me. But it is so nice to know that the film is now out into the world. It will find its audience and its audience will find it. They need each other. That is when the true conversation begins."
Dana White is an Assistant Professor in the School of Media and Journalism where she teaches Scriptwriting, Directing and Producing. She also the founder of FFI (Female Filmmakers Initiative) at Kent State. Christopher Knoblock is a lecturer in the School and teaches Production Safety and Set Protocol, Directing, Cinematography and more.