Lead image: Last year's CIFF closing ceremony. PHOTO | Cleveland International Film Festival

The Cleveland International Film Festival hosts more than 100,000 filmgoers during its 42nd festival

By Michael C. Butz

The Cleveland International Film Festival recently wrapped up yet another successful season.

During the 12-day event, CIFF42 welcomed 105,656 attendees to its 615 screenings at Tower City Cinemas in downtown Cleveland and four additional neighborhood locations. Also, in partnership with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, CIFF42 raised $160,963 in Challenge Match donations, according to a news release.

The festival showcased 216 feature films, 253 short films, 14 virtual reality films and six interactive media projects – all of which represented 72 countries. It also hosted more than 400 filmmakers from around the world who engaged with audiences in post-film Q&As and moderated panel discussions.

A record-breaking 10,677 students from 105 schools attended FilmSlam, CIFF’s media literacy program and mini-festival of films for middle, junior high and high school students.

Winners of the competitions and awards were announced at the Closing Night Ceremony on April 15:

  • Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award for Best Film: “The Drummer and the Keeper,” directed by Nick Kelly
  • ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman: Dana Nachman for “Pick of the Litter”
  • George Gund III Memorial Central and Eastern European Competition: “Men Don’t Cry,” directed by Alen Drljević
  • Nesnadny + Schwartz Portrait Documentary Competition – May the Schwartz Be with You Director’s Award: “Love Means Zero,” directed by Jason Kohn
  • New Direction Competition: “Quality Time,” directed by Daan Bakker
  • Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition: “6 Weeks to Mother’s Day,” directed by Marvin Blunte
  • Global Health Competition: “Burden of Genius,” directed by Tjardus Greidanus
  • American Independents Competition: “Life Hack,” directed by Sloan Copeland
  • Local Heroes Competition: “Manry at Sea – In the Wake of a Dream,” directed by Steve Wystrach
  • Music Movies Competition: “If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd,” directed by Stephen Kijak
  • Ad Hoc Docs Competition: “Breaking the Bee,” directed by Sam Rega
  • International Narrative Competition: “Edie,” directed by Simon Hunter
  • FilmSlam Student Choice Award for Best Feature Film: “Science Fair,” directed by Cristina Maria Costantini and Darren Foster
  • Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film Overall: “Bagheera,” directed by Christopher Watson
  • Best Animated Short Award: “The Driver is Red,” directed by Randall Christopher
  • Best Documentary Short Award: “Period. End of Sentence.,” directed by Rayka Zehtabchi
  • Best Live Action Short Award: “Sacred Hair,” directed by Mario Morin
  • FilmSlam Student Choice Award for Best Short Film: “Joint Custody,” directed by Carlus Fábrega

For a full list of short subject film award winners, visit clevelandfilm.org.

The 43rd Cleveland International Film Festival will take place March 27 through April 7, 2019 at Tower City Cinemas.

Lead image: Last year’s CIFF closing ceremony. PHOTO | Cleveland International Film Festival