Student Filmmakers Compete in International Documentary Film Competition

by Public Relations

A team of eight Cedarville University film students competed against 110 film teams from around the world in the International Documentary Challenge in March.

Assistant professor of communications Mischelle McIntosh guided the team in researching, writing, shooting and editing its short documentary film. The student filmmakers included Aaron Alford from Cincinnati, Ohio; Ben Campbell from Saxonburg, Pa.; Rachel Clevenger from Rittman, Ohio; Levi Curby from Fairview, Okla.; Joshua Dancer from Metuchen, N.J.; Cierra Klatt from Davenport, Iowa; Tina Neely from Batavia, Ohio; and Jacob Townsend from Mingo Junction, Ohio.

The International Documentary Challenge is a timed filmmaking competition where student filmmakers have five days to make a short nonfiction film. Students must choose between two assigned documentary genres and are given a specific theme that will dictate the content and direction of their film. A panel of judges will determine the top 12 films to premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival in Toronto.

While the Cedarville team’s documentary film didn’t win the competition, the experience alone was beneficial for the budding filmmakers. According to McIntosh, her goal was to give her students a film production experience that would teach them how to work as a team and meet deadlines, all while learning the streamlined production process.

For Klatt, the documentary challenge gave her the opportunity to learn networking skills. “Working on the documentary challenge encouraged me in my passion for film,” said Klatt. “It also allowed me to be mentored by upperclassmen and develop better relationships with them, which is very important in the film industry.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Inspiring greatness for over 125 years, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at