It’s that time of year again folks – the time for the return of the Cleveland International Film Festival! This is one of my absolute favorite events in Cleveland. Not only are there 193 feature films and 234 short films to choose from, but people from all over the world come to celebrate each March. This year the film festival turns 39, and you have only 10 days left to get your butt to one of the films featured.
Last year I was lucky enough to have the time to volunteer at this great event. This year I’ll only be able to attend as a guest, so I won’t be able to get all the behind-the-scenes buzz. What I can do is share some of the films I’ve researched and hope to see. I’ve also poached the helpful tips from my post last year as they remain useful!
Helpful tips for CIFF 39:
- Buy your tickets in advance. Don’t wait until the day of the show because the majority of shows sell out and you’ll be placed on stand-by.
- Arrive 15-20 minutes early for your film to ensure that you get a decent seat in the theater. It’s first come, first serve.
- If you do choose to wait until the day of to buy tickets, you’ll most likely be placed in the stand-by line. Many times there will be seats available, but it is never guaranteed.
- If you live downtown, walk. If you don’t live downtown, try and take the RTA buses or rapid. Parking is limit at Tower City so you’ll save yourself some hassle!
- Be ready to get addicted. The energy and buzz at CIFF is unreal. People take off the entire 12 day festival and go on a movie watching frenzy. Once you go, you’ll understand why!
Films I’m looking forward to:
This film is about Parisian model Anna Kruglova and the return to her hometown in a remote Russian town. Acting as a goodwill ambassador for a cosmetics company, Anna has high hopes for influencing the town’s children toward greatness. What she finds instead are the suppressed memories of her childhood and a town desperate for her help.
Discover the colorful country of Afghanistan through the camera lenses of its photojournalists. Follow four photographers who have risked their lives to show the world what has happened in their country. These individuals capture crisis zones in Afghanistan, while their only weapons are their cameras.
The story of Brenda, former prostitute whose Chicago charity helps women leave the sex industry. Hear the powerful stories of prostitutes and at-risk teenage girls, as this former prostitute gives hope to forgotten women. You’ll also learn Brenda’s personal story and how it has impacted how she helps others.
This film digs into the life of three people living in Iceland prior to the country’s financial collapse in 2008. Their stories are wound together as is typical in small town life, as everyone knows everyone else’s business. As the story progresses, these small town folks will realize that life is easier when everyone in the fishbowl swims together.
Head back in time as you learn the story of eight activists who broke into a small FBI office outside of Philadelphia in 1971 and walked out with hundreds of intelligence documents. These documents were released to the public, showing the FBI’s program of spying on citizens. Congress launched an investigation against the FBI, for the first time ever. The story is told from the viewpoint of the burglars themselves.