This weekend in Cleveland: CIFF, Fashion Week and more

This weekend, spend the day at the Cleveland International Film Festival, express your style at Cleveland Fashion Week, sip a glass of bubbly at the Week of Wine, and party at Near West Theatre’s annual benefit gala.
Cleveland Film Festival
Wednesday, March 18th - 29th
Tower City Cinemas
$13 (members) $15 (non-members)
Use code FRESH for a $2 discount!

The element of unpredictability helps to make indie cinema thrilling. Indulge in the power of the film in celebrating the human experiences from around the world. Over the course of two weeks beginning on Wednesday, CIFF will showcase 193 films and 234 short films representing 60 countries.

CIFF will also be featuring a film with many of its scenes filmed close to home at the Cleveland Clinic. Semicolon; The Adventures of Ostomy Girl tells the true story of Dana, a 25-year-old girl diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at the young age of four. The film transports you into the immense challenges and even larger amount of bravery displayed by Dana as she travels from Las Vegas with her mother to their “second home” at the Cleveland Clinic.
“SEMICOLON; THE ADVENTURES OF OSTOMY GIRL is not a story of disease and decay. This is a story of defiance and determination. Prepare to lose your heart as well as your inhibitions about not laughing at “certain things.” Dana will teach you the meaning of courage, along with the value of a really good poop joke!” states the CIFF website.

"Dana has shown resilience -- she never wants to quit," says Dr. Feza Remzi, Chair of the Department of Colorectal Surgery and colorectal surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic. "That's why she decided to make a documentary -- to say to world, 'This is a disease we need to be fighting all together.'"

The documentary displays the healthcare infrastructure available at the Cleveland Clinic and the complex, coordinated care that Dana is able to receive here. A Las Vegas native, Dana is currently spending much of her time in Cleveland. 

Although the festival guides circulating around town are just shy of 200 pages, there’s no reason to be overwhelmed. Avoid the hassle of parking by taking the RTA down to Tower City and for helpful tips on how to maximize your film festival experience read Fresh Water's Guide to surviving and thriving at the film fest.
Cleveland Fashion Week
Wednesday, March 18th - Saturday, March 21st
Prices & locations vary by event

Get inspired to elevate your personal style to new heights this week at Cleveland’s regional fashion week. Fashion Week Cleveland is celebrating 10 years and it is bigger and more powerful than ever.
This year, a production team will be filming the show to be aired on the Style Network. Ohio-born fashion designer Althea Harper of Project Runway will also be showing her new collection.

The event exists with a vision of reviving Cleveland’s shopping district. It aims to build awareness and support for the city’s retail development and to motivate people and retailers to come downtown.

On Wednesday, receive free admission (and popcorn) to the critically acclaimed documentary Valentino; The Last Emperor. This intimate non-fiction film is a look into the life of legendary couture fashion designer Valentino. It was made over the course of two years and explores the unique relationship between Valentino and his business partner and lifelong companion, Giancarlo Giammetti. Friday is the media meet and greet party and Saturday is the black-tie Designer Runway Show from 7 to 11 pm at the Arcade/ Hyatt Regency (420 Superior Avenue). There is also balcony seating available where black-tie attire is optional. Click here for event tickets.
Cleveland Week of Wine
Friday, March 20th - Thursday, March 26th
Prices & location vary by event
If you’ve ever glanced upward at Playhouse Square’s shiny crystal chandelier and thought to yourself “damn, I wish I had a glass of champagne in hand,” here’s your big chance. In a city overflowing with craft beer events, this week is one for the wine drinkers. Attendees will even have an opportunity to have their photo taken under the chandelier next to a 7-foot bottle of Moet and Chandon.
Week of Wine kicks off on Friday with grand tastings and seminars at the Cleveland Convention Center featuring 36 wines from around the world. On Wednesday, there will also be a barrel tasting at the new Heinen’s downtown. The event wraps up with Champagne Under the Chandelier on Friday March, 27th. Attendees will truly be treated like royalty, they will have the opportunity to taste the vintage served at Kate Middleton’s wedding reception and to sample foods donated by 11 area wine bars.
Cleveland Week of Wine is a new nonprofit organization that aims to celebrate wine and wine-making through education and entertainment. Net proceeds from Cleveland Week of Wine’s signature events benefit WVIZ/PBS ideastream programming and public service in Northeast Ohio. Proceeds from featured events benefit the restaurant’s charity of choice.
No Place Like Home: Near West Theatre’s Benefit & Gala
Saturday, March 21st 7 - 11 pm
Near West Theatre
Near West Theatre is thriving at its new permanent home in Detroit Shoreway. In celebration of the wonderful new theatre space, the annual benefit’s theme will be “No Place Like Home.” The theatre officially opened at the end of February and if you haven’t visited, this event will be a lively introduction sure to make an impression.
Near West Theatre’s upcoming production of “Shrek the Musical” will open on April 24th and run for a month and later in the summer they will be performing the musical “Hair.” Your ticket helps to ensure that the theatre can continue to produce enriching theatre. Buy tickets online or call the box office at (216) 961-6391. 

Read more articles by Jacqueline Bon.

Jacqueline Bon is a freelance writer that has been contributing to Fresh Water Cleveland since 2014. As a journalist by trade and self-taught photographer, she has a lot of curiosity in people and their stories. She is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and has pursued film and digital photography for a decade. She is likely to be the first person on the dance floor, especially if you put on Prince.
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