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36th Cleveland Film Festival

What’s It All About

The vision of the 36th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) is to be a pioneer and leader in helping the world discover the power and creativity of cinema to educate, entertain and celebrate the human experience through celluloid.

The CIFF was first held in 1977 and is the largest film festival in Ohio. The 2010 festival featured over 300 films. Since 1991 the festival has been held at Tower City Cinemas in downtown Cleveland.

For the past 36 years, the CIFF has been the premier film event in Ohio. This year the CIFF has lined up a full survey of contemporary international and American Independent filmmaking, with more than 150 features and 130 short subjects from approximately 60 countries.

In addition to the main World Tour program, there are sidebars that add interest and diversity to the overall Festival and help attendees navigate the offerings. These include 10 per cent Cinema films (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender), American Independents, Cinema en Español, Family Films, Film Is Art, Global Health, Easy Being Green (films dealing with environmental issues), Jewish and Israeli Visions, Local Heroes (highlights films made about Cleveland, in Cleveland, or by Ohioans), Pacific Pearls, Pan-African Images and Women of The World (films about or directed by women).

Dozens of filmmakers and other special guests attend the CIFF where they introduce their screenings, discuss their work, and participate in FilmForums (which are panel discussions that give the audience members a chance to talk about the films they’ve seen at the Festival).
Watch Out For!

Opening Night Film – Nesting

Nesting is directed by John Chuldenko, is a story of what happens when a  couple in their 30s set aside the home furnishings catalogue and decide to rekindle their relationship and when they return to their old neighbourhood end up squatting illegally in their twenty-something lives. The film stars Todd Grinnell and Ali Hillis.

The CIFF also announced their line-up for this year’s festival and among their selections some prominent short films from this and last year include:

Curfew (written and directed by and stars Shawn Christensen)

Incident In New Baghdad (directed by James Spione)

Dik (directed by Christopher Stollery)

The Palace (directed by Anthony Maras)


• Best International Short Film Award: Drop Dead!

• Best LGBT Short Film: Same Difference

• Best Student Short Film Award: 11 Weeks

• Best Women’s Short Film Award: The Secret Friend

• Best Ohio Short Film Award: Girlfriends Club

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