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Cleveland International Film Festival

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 to Sunday, April 7, 2019
Tower City Center, 230 W Huron Rd., Cleveland OH 44113

The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community. In other words, we present the newest and best films from around the world, and we do everything in our power to make sure that our audience learns something along the way - about other cultures, about the topic at hand, about the experience from the filmmakers themselves.

Answers to all your questions about the 43rd annual Cleveland International Film Festival can be found here

Special Programs

College Program: The CIFF is offering FREE morning, matinee, and late night screenings for college students who present a valid college I.D. Free films will be screened on each weekday of the CIFF43 between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM. They will also be screened after 11:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. Free tickets will be available one hour before screening start times and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Simply stop by the Film Festival Box Office with a valid college I.D. to obtain your ticket for admittance. One ticket per filmgoer per film. Use code COLLEGE to receive $1 off the ticket price for other Festival screenings. Discounts are also available to students at the Box Office. Don't forget to visit our Updates page for the latest Stand By listings.

Perspectives: CIFF is delighted to present year four of our immersive storytelling exhibition, where we’ll be continuing to showcase interactive media, virtual reality, and more. As technology evolves, so too does the way we tell stories. With a new generation of creators, comes innovative collaboration and the capacity to envision multiple perspectives within a single story. We invite you to navigate this new and exciting terrain with us and experience how immersive storytelling continues to evolve.

Film Forum panel discussions follow the screenings of these films. 

Film SlamCelebrating its 27th anniversary, FilmSlam® is the Cleveland International Film Festival’s media literacy program and mini-festival of films for students.  FilmSlam® aims to educate students about evaluating and critiquing the messages they perceive while viewing films. Film can be less intimidating than many other art forms because of its prominent role in American culture. Therefore, it is a logical conduit through which social messages (such as the importance of the prevention of domestic violence and the eradication of discrimination) can be sent to young audiences.

DReam Catcher: Recognizing LGBTQ filmmakers. In its inaugural year, the CIFF is thrilled to recognize award-winning director and Cleveland native, Jamie Babbit, as its first DReam Catcher program participant and award recipient. Jamie will spend her time in Cleveland meeting with LGTBQ community organizations and students. And the DReam Catcher Award will be presented to Jamie as part of the CIFF43 Closing Night Ceremony.

Director SpotlightIn 2003 at the 27th CIFF we launched our Director Spotlight Award. The purpose of this program is to showcase directors with distinguished careers by featuring a retrospective of their past films and screening their most recent work available. Over the years we have celebrated filmmakers who have had their talent embraced around the country and the world. This year we are proud to present the Director Spotlight Award to Jennifer Baichwal.

Someone to Watch . In 2003 at the 27th CIFF we launched our Someone to Watch Award series. The purpose of this program is to showcase the work of mid-career filmmakers who we believe are rising stars in international filmmaking. Over the years we have celebrated filmmakers whose talent has been embraced at movie theaters across the country and around the world. This year is no different. Rima Das is a self-taught filmmaker, who was born and raised in Chaygaon, a small village in Northeast India. When she was growing up, her father was the head teacher of a girls’ high school, and her mother ran a local bookstore and printing press. As a child, Rima was adventurous and creative, spending her days climbing trees and exploring nature. Her films reflect these experiences. 

Opening NightCIFF43 Opening Night will take place at Playhouse Square on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 and will include the film at 7:00 PM at the Connor Palace, followed by the reception at 9:00 PM at the KeyBank State Theatre. Tickets required. 

Closing Night Everyone in attendance at any of the films showing in the last round is invited to join us for the Closing Night dessert reception and awards presentation program around The Fountain at Tower City Center. The Closing Night Reception will include a brief program announcing the winners of the American Independents Competition, George Gund III Memorial Central and Eastern European Film Competition, Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Film Competition, Nesnadny + Schwartz Portrait Documentary Competition, Local Heroes Competition, the ReelWomenDirect Award, and the Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award.