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Diversity Behind the 16mm Camera

Sterling Hurst
September 23, 2021

The Ohio University School of Film welcomes a new group of filmmakers coming from all over the world. Jinyang Li, traveled from Chongqing, China and only a month into the semester, she’s busy exploring stories about social responsibility - no better place to be accountable than your own set and screen! Two up-and-coming filmmakers from Tehran, Mahsa Talebiani and Soheil Goharipour join her and the first year MFAs. Mahsa, reveals that she’s inspired by the works of David Lynch and Henri Matisse, and is currently generating ideas about human fantasy, fear, and oddity. Soheil is a tech savvy cinematographer with an eye for breathtaking framing and composition. Talisa Lemke joins them from Berlin, Germany, and brings with her a substantial experience as an actress, and a competitive diver!

Jinyang Li (left), Sterling Hurst (right).

The motley international crew is paired with exciting American filmmakers, coming from near and far. Jordan Spayd, from Texas, comes with an experience of directing music videos. He just completed writing his first television pilot. Max Kaplan is an Ohioan, a cinephile who’s seen anything and everything released in the last few decades. Max just completed his new short, surfing the festivals and is joining the graduate class as an HTC sophomore.


Soheil getting the shot.
Soheil Goharipour getting the shot.
Crew adjusting camera settings.
Crew adjusting camera settings.
Linyang and crew working through plan.
Jinyang and crew working through plan.



It’s an exciting time to be in school. It’s an exciting time for the film industry. With safety protocols in place, there was more on-location shooting happening over the summer in Los Angeles than before the pandemic. The School of Film has adapted the industry standards and safety protocols – our productions are in full tilt.

The call time for Jinyang’s first year film is yet to be announced, but I do know that my Film Studies class starts promptly at 10am on Monday morning because - you guessed it - it’s back to school!


The crew working through the shot.
The crew working through blocking.