Intern Update: Margot Reid

Congratulations to former GCFC intern Margot Reid for joining the NBCUniversal Media Page Program as an East Coast Page this summer!

The Page Program is a 12-15 month rotational learning and development program that gives early career talent a well-rounded experience and exposure to the media industry. Margot previously was a Script, Research, and General Production intern for NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, a Remote General Production Intern for The Public Theatre, and a Business Development & Digital Intern for NBC’s Peacock streaming service and Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Intern Update: Lindsay O’Keefe

GCFC Summer 2020 intern Lindsay O’Keefe was accepted into NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts for Film. Her documentary, Alive Day, won the Best Local Documentary Award at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, Outstanding Non-Fiction Award at the Short. Sweet. Film. Festival, and was accepted into the Seattle International Film Festival. Alive Day also appeared at a dozen other festivals. Check out her interview featured on USA Today , her interview with Spectrum News 1, and her interview with

Intern Update: Ben Kemper

Former intern Ben Kemper graduated May 2020 from Kent State University’s Digital Media Production program. Check out his Senior Project BENDING below ,directed by Ben and written by Willow Campbell.





Luce feels trapped inside himself; unable to connect to the people around him. His family doesn’t see who he truly is; they see his female body. But, when Luce visits his grandfather, Dan, their identities become entangled. Present moments remind Dan of past events and he slips in and out of time, seeing Luce as the man with whom he once had a love affair. The social detachment that Luce and Dan share brings a moment of latent connection, allowing Luce to reveal the person he wants to be.

Intern Update: Margot Reid

We are so proud of intern Margot Reid!

After her internship with us in summer 2019, intern Margot Reid went on to land multiple internships. She was a Script, Research, and General Production intern for NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and a Remote General Production Intern for The Public Theatre. Currently, Margot is a a Business Development & Digital Intern for NBC’s Peacock streaming service and Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Way to go, Margot!


Intern Update: Madison Van Buren

Former GCFC Intern Madison Van Buren, currently a senior at Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD), recently updated us on what she’s doing now, including the progress on her senior thesis film, a narrative short titled Portrait of My Midwest: a Thesis Film.

Madison will receive her BFA in Film and Video this coming December (2020).

For my senior thesis, I wanted to make a love letter to everything I’ve ever known. For context, I grew up with my 2 cousins. We became best friends in the way cousins in close-knit families often do. One of them is still my best friend, the person I trust the most. The other is addicted to heroin. This story isn’t an ending or a beginning – it is a middle. It’s about where we are now. I try to put myself in my best friend’s shoes some days and think about what it’s like to lose touch with your only sister.  My best friend lives in grey space – there’s no telling where we as a family are going to end up. Addiction isn’t linear, recover isn’t guaranteed. Seeing the ones you can’t live without deteriorate, with no way to stop it, changes you. Changes us. I’m making this film to let you know how it feels.

I am still currently accepting donations. For post-production audio services, I am in need of $1,350 to compensate the engineer I’d like to hire. Post-production audio services will need to be paid by April 24th. 

If anyone would be interested in donating to my film, they can contact me directly through by THIS email, or through my website at

Since I’d like to enter the short into the festival circuit, it will not be publicly available online. However, those who donate $20 or more have the option of a private access Vimeo link to the project when completed.

A CCAD public premiere is slotted for September.

Meet the Intern: Brielle Trussa

Hello! My name is Brielle Trussa, and I am a current senior Film Studies student at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, OH. I live on campus during the school year, but originally am from Brunswick, OH. The idea of being able to intern at an organization focused on film and development, located so close to where I grew up and now attend school, is a dream! I feel so fortunate to be even a small part of the amazing work the GCFC is doing for film in Cleveland.

Following my graduation in May of 2020, I have plans to attend a graduate film program to further my education in the industry and gain new skills for my future career as a producer. I am especially interested in producing films/television shows that highlight underrepresented issues and voices, projects that are “socially conscious,” and helping to make productions more sustainable, as well as producing works created by women. My mom is a public high school art educator, which I have come to realize has greatly influenced my values and interest in social justice.

Apart from my studies in film, I am an avid reader and active musician, performing in various concerts at my school as a vocalist and guitarist. My largest responsibility on campus is the work I do as the Producer of PRISM, a student-led non-profit performance organization that encourages collaboration among the five art forms (music, visual art, theatre, film, and dance) while promoting inclusivity between our liberal arts and conservatory students. As Producer, I lead an executive board, consisting of twelve members, along with upwards of 100 students at a time for our three large events per year. PRISM’s final event is a showcase of performances that revolve around an issue of social importance; this year’s theme has to do with protest songs and being active in making positive change in our democracy (which is especially relevant with the upcoming presidential election!)

As a film studies student, I feel a certain responsibility to stay up to date with new films and shows, however, I find myself going back to my tried and true favorites from the past quite often, including Billy Elliot, Never Been Kissed, and Lady Bird. If you’re reading this, Greta Gerwig, call me! I am also a big fan of shows like The West Wing, New Girl, and The Good Place. Some of my favorite films and shows that have recently come out are Little Women, Knives Out, Parasite, Fleabag, and Unbelievable. Since music plays such a large role in my life, I think it’s important to highlight some of my favorites here as well, including Maggie Rogers, Brandi Carlile, Elton John, Sara Bareilles, and Lawrence.

I have wanted to intern at the GCFC since my freshman year of college, and now in my last semester at Baldwin Wallace, I finally get the opportunity to be a part of it! I am especially excited to gain more hands-on experience working in a production office, learning from the valuable expertise of the GCFC team, and learning new skills that will lend to my interest in the pre-production process. Simply being in this film environment directly helps to make me a better filmmaker and producer, as well as refining my skills being a part of a team! I’ve been looking forward to this experience for quite some time, and I can’t wait to get started!

If you’re ever interested in attending a PRISM event on BW’s campus, feel free to contact our organization on social media @bwuprism or me directly @brielletrussa for more information.

Meet the Intern: David Dolansky

Hello, my name is David Dolansky and I am a lively, active person with a strong zest for life and new experiences! Growing up in Cleveland, I have always had a passion for our sports teams and bringing business to our wonderful city.

Wanting to stay close to home, I decided to study at Case Western Reserve University where I am currently a Junior studying Marketing and Theatre. I like to spend my time acting in productions at Case or in the community, working on my motorcycle, running or lifting, and planning events for student government. I spent a semester abroad in London and I hope to eventually go back and live there one day. Some of my favorite movies include Whiplash, Saving Private Ryan, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, and I am currently watching The Politician and The Witcher on Netflix!

My love of film and acting has been evident all my life and I’m happy to be an intern at a place that fosters growth, positivity, and creativity. I am hoping to make some good friends, learn more about the many different parts of the industry and how to navigate them properly, and aid the staff in bringing more films to Cleveland! I’m most excited to go out on location scouting trips and to help out in any way possible.

After graduation, I hope to pursue a career in film. Whether its production, acting, marketing, or directing, I believe the film industry is an environment where I can apply both my creative psyche and explore my business interests.

Meet the Intern: Mark Stoffer

Hi, my name is Mark T. Stoffer and I was born and raised right here in the great state of Ohio. I graduated from Cambridge High School in Cambridge Ohio, twenty-four years ago and since then I have served my country in the United States Army (82nd Airborne Division Combat Veteran). I have also served my community as a police officer for several years, and also attained three collegiate degrees; an associate in Criminal Justice, Bachelors in Forensic Psychology, as well as a Bachelors in Religion.

I have a strong passion for film but more importantly, combining my educational background with film and investigative journalism and reporting in the form of documentary films. When needing to educate and boost my career in the film industry, I turned to the Greater Cleveland Film Commission. Being an intern here at GCFC afforded me the best opportunity to learn from those who know the film industry the best so that I can strengthen my skills as a documentary filmmaker. My goals and aspirations are to make short and documentary feature films that reveal truth to the viewer. Truth in regards to the many things that mainstream news media either totally falsifies or skews to fit some agenda.

What I appreciate watching on television and in theaters now are of course documentaries, but I also like the History Channel “Project Blue Book.” I believe this is a great example of finding truth shown in a fiction format based on non-fiction events. Plus the acting is spot on. I also enjoy watching movies and television directed by Taika Waititi. In my most humble opinion, he combines comedy and story with great cinematography in a way that has not really been captured before.

I have many favorite films and television shows, too many to list here. What I can say is this: It would be an honor and a privilege to be talked about in the same breath with elite directors and actors such as Werner Herzog, Taika Waititi, Tom Hardy, Aiden Gillen, The Russo Brothers; this would be a dream come true. Should it not, however, it is still an honor to say that I have been an intern at GCFC.

Meet the Intern: Patrick Connolly

I first found out about the Greater Cleveland Film Commission two years ago when I was working at the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op. Mike Wendt, the production coordinator here at GCFC, came to shoot a promo video about a cycling team, and he needed an appropriate backdrop for interviews. The bike co-op, with all its miscellaneous bicycles and parts hanging around the place, was the perfect place, and before he left he gave me his business card. That summer a number of other films came through the bike co-op looking for props or to consider using the space as a set. I called Mike to ask him for advice about what was the going rate to rent our space or what it might cost to buy or rent props. Mike was a really helpful resource, and I thought it was awesome that there was so much activity based around movies in the Cleveland area.

I’ve always loved movies, especially going to see them at the movie theater. There is something magical about the ritual—the popcorn, trailers, hushing, darkness, strangers—all of it coming together for the common purpose of another world unveiling itself on a screen the size of the wall. One of my first movie experiences was seeing Falling Down when I was six. That was probably an inappropriately violent movie to see as a kid, but I loved it! I also remember seeing Mighty Ducks, and how it made me want to go play hockey on a pond.

My most recent favorite movies have been Good Time and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. I love to see what’s new at the Capitol Theatre and the Cinematheque. I’ve been volunteering for the Cleveland International Film Festival every year for the last five years, and before that, I volunteered at the Independent Film Festival and Irish Film Festival in Boston. On TV, I really liked Downton Abbey, and recently, Fleabag. I also am a huge fan of The Kids in the Hall.

Currently, I take classes part-time at Tri-C Metro in the media arts and filmmaking department, and I worked there in the Student Production Office, which was an awesome experience. I also take other classes that interest me, including music production, culinary arts, and currently ceramics, and not to brag, but I make a very nice coffee mug! Before this, I studied journalism at St. Bonaventure University and creative writing at Boston University.

I moved to Cleveland five years ago from outside of Boston, Mass. I live in Cleveland, in the West Park neighborhood. I love to garden, cook, listen to music, write and see poetry read out loud, hike, and ride my bicycle around the city, sometimes like Lance Armstrong and sometimes like Pee-wee Herman.

I love learning, and I hope to learn as much as possible while at GCFC. I would like to grow any skills related to video production, fundraising, and I’m really looking forward to scouting sets. My background is in writing, so I hope to learn more about writing for movies and non-profit administration. My dream is to make the strangest documentaries and drama movies with the least amount of money possible.