The Cleveland International Film Festival is back!
For me, a lover of the arts, it’s a great time to hail from Northeast Ohio. Once again, Cleveland is buzzing with life, surrounding the much anticipated annual International Film Festival. With thousands in attendance each year, the film festival has a way of bringing the community together. The people of the Lorain County area enjoy the week long event, taking in films from a plethora of different artists and styles. They have a chance to partake in an educational and entertaining experience all in one.
According to their mission statement at, http://www.clevelandfilm.org/, the festival has been bringing young filmmakers’ ideas to the screen since 1977. They strive to present films from all over the world in such a way that the audience will learn something about the diverse cultures, the array of topics at hand, and the unique experiences of the filmmakers themselves.
The scene is alive with action!
The CIFF is held at Tower City Cinemas in downtown Cleveland. The theater features a whopping 11 screens and has a spacious interior for festival guests to roam. With over 90,000 in attendance last year, expect to see a bustling crowd and full seats if you visit the festival this year. Several volunteer workers will eagerly approach you to share their knowledge of the films and a diverse array of fellow festival goers will be doing the same. In my experience, everyone is willing and ready to discuss, debate, or proclaim their opinion about the film they just saw. Be prepared for artist talk.
Most guests will be of the adult variety, however, there is no ratings on the films so anyone over the age of 10 is welcome with parental discretion with the exception of “family” movie screenings. I can say that the crowd was well mannered for the most part. I did encounter the occasional group of loud teenagers and an episode of crying kids, traumatized by material too mature for their eyes, but nothing bad enough to spoil my experience. Overall, I felt comfortable in the atmosphere and enjoyed talking with so many new and interesting people.
So many films to see!
There are so many films to take in that it is near impossible for any one person to accomplish seeing them all. Even though the event lasts throughout the week, there are close to 200 feature films beings shown and over 160 short subjects. According to the program guide featured at, http://www.glpublishing.com/digitaleditions/ciff38/index.html, if you start very early in the morning, you can see about 7 films during one visit.
The films are from a multitude of filmmakers from several different countries and cultures. Each film touches on a different subject. If you live near the area, the Cleveland International Film Festival is an excellent way to enrich yourself in something new and learn about topics you may have otherwise overlooked.
To learn more about Tower City Cinemas and other cinemas around Cleveland, visit https://www.clevelandcinemas.com/promo.asp?ID=11