After two years of going virtual, the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) kicked off its 46th season last Wednesday, March 30 in its new home at Playhouse Square—the second largest performing arts district in the country after Lincoln Center in New York City..
Opening Night of CIFF 46“Over the course of 11 days, over 300 screenings are taking place in the Connor Palace, KeyBank State Theatre, Mimi Ohio Theatre, Allen Theatre, Upper Allen, and the Westfield Studio Theatre,” says CIFF associate director Patrick Shepherd. “Our festival remains under one roof, a huge competitive advantage for our Festival.”
The festival has a run at its first home—the Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland Heights from 1997 to 1990—followed by the former Tower City Cinemas from 1991 to 2019. The festival went virtual in 2020 and 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The evening was filled with guest speakers, two film screenings, and a dessert reception. The evening began in the Connor Palace with a surprise screening of the short film “The Big Comeback,” which examines the business, personal, and artistic challenges faced and overcome by the performing arts community due to the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by comments from CIFF Executive director Marcie Goodman, Playhouse Square CEO Gina Vernaci, CIFF board president Chris Blake, and Mayor Justin M. Bibb.
“Peace by Chocolate” director Jonathan Keijser then introduced his spotlight film screening, followed by a Q&A session.
A dessert Reception was held in on KeyBank State Theatre stage, auditorium, and in the lobby.
Nealy one week into the festival, Shepherd says the theatergoers are happy to have the festival back with in-person screenings. “We have been very pleased with the Festival run thus far,” he says. “Turnout has been strong. “War on the Diamond” and “The Erie Situation” have been buzz films.
Both “War on the Diamond” and “The Erie Situation” stream on Sunday, April 10 at 11 a.m. and Sunday, April 17 11:59 p.m.
Shepherd says a lot of people are looking forward to CIFF46 Streams, which will run between April 10 and 17.
All CIFF46 films have Playhouse Square screenings, and all short films will be part of CIFF46 Streams. Most feature films will also be on the streaming platform.
The CIFF46 Film Guide and schedule is also available as a printable PDF. The schedule alone is also available as a PDF.
In-person film tickets are $16 and $14 for CIFF members. CIFF46 STREAMS are $10 and $8. Buy tickets online and use the code MEDIA46 to save $1 on your purchase Tickets are available online, by calling 1-877-304-FILM, or at the Film Festival box office in the KeyBank State Theatre Lobby.
Pro tip: When selecting films, check to see if the film has one or two Playhouse Square screenings, check to see if the film will be part of CIFF46 Streams, and check any geo-restrictions for streaming if you will not be in Ohio when participating.