Jasmine Golphin dreamed of being a filmmaker at 14, filling journals with notes for movies. Still, she didn’t start studying the art until college.
“To have someone to talk and immediately ask questions to is the type of thing I wish I had in high school,” she says.
Now she’ll help make that a reality for a new generation of aspiring filmmakers as the program manager of CIFF2, a Cleveland International Film Festival educational program.
It aims to shine a light on diverse filmmakers and give girls and nonbinary students of color role models in the field.
Created last year, CIFF2 fosters conversations on equity and representation in the film industry. Eighteen local high schoolers team up in groups to interview filmmakers about their work, struggles and inspirations after watching their film during the festival.
“[I hope] they feel that the voice they have has value,” says Golphin. “For the filmmakers, having the opportunity to sit down with people that were like you not that long ago is an important thing to do.”
The student groups film their CIFF experience, chronicling behind-the-scenes moments, the movie they studied and their filmmaker interview. CIFF posts the finished products on its YouTube channel and shares them on social media.
“I never would have applied to a program like this, because I would have assumed I wasn’t right [for it],” says Golphin. “Don’t underestimate yourself.”