Lead poisoning is a complex issue, which requires a multi-faceted and collaborative approach to any potential solution. In order to capture this complexity, the film weaves together three perspectives as it relays an inclusive and thorough narrative, including (1) health- care provider perspective, (2) policy-maker perspective, (3) children/family perspective. The film sheds light on our current urban realities, such as an aging housing stock, potential lead- contamination in our soil, as well as the ways in which lower-income communities are disproportionally affected, while presenting a solution-oriented approach, which includes collaboration between the city, health-care institutions, and the public.





Lead in the Land is a documentary film, which examines lead poisoning in Cleveland. The film tells a poignant story that resonates with contemporary audiences focusing on the harsh reality and far-reaching effects of lead poisoning, an invisible and insidious threat afflicting thousands of children in Cleveland, which has rates of lead poisoning that are almost four times the national average. Because over 90% of the housing in Cleveland was built prior to 1978, the year lead-based paint was banned, the risk of lead exposure remains a particularly high and significant threat. This project will shed light on the circumstances around lead poisoning in Cleveland, examining its causes, effects and potential solutions. The film combines expository and observational approaches, including interviews with families, children, subject matter experts, and community stakeholders. 

Director                            Cigdem Slankard

Together with students of CSU School of Film & Media Arts


Cigdem Slankard is a filmmaker based in Cleveland, OH. She was born and raised in Turkey and received her BA in translation and interpreting from Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey) in 1999. She first came to the United States in 1998 to study film and video at State University of New York in Binghamton. In 2002, she received a Master of Fine Arts in filmmaking from Ohio University. Her creative work dwells on popular culture and identity issues. Recent works include short documentaries, virtual reality cinema and video art pieces.

Lead in the Land is supported by the Urgent Art Fund administered by SPACES and supported by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.