Cleveland International Film Festival set to launch

March 21st, 2013

Calling all patrons of the arts and college students looking for something to fill their spare time. A film fanatic’s fantasy is fast-approaching. The 37th Cleveland International Film Festival, sponsored in part by Dollar Bank and a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, is set to launch its 12-day screening on April 3.

The Cleveland International Film festival began as an eight-week film premier in 1977 at Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland Heights. After its initial success, the festival was condensed into a shorter time span, serving as the chance to premier internationally acclaimed films in between New York and Chicago’s festivals.

The Cleveland International Film Festival is set to unveil around 150 feature films and 130 short subject films from over 60 countries in eight different theaters at Tower City Cinemas from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The films range from comedies to dramas, some grappling with global issues, others providing lighthearted entertainment. Many of the films were produced on low budgets by locally known talent, while others hail from countries such as Nepal, Germany and Japan.

In recent years, CIFF has promoted films that bring social justice issues to light. Topics have included feminist activism, environmental issues, Jewish and Israeli visions, local heroes and LGBTQA rights. The festival also highlights family-friendly films, providing a light-hearted option for film-goers.

“The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community,” according to its website. “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.”

Last year, CIFF racked in 85,018 attendees and hopes to surpass this number during the upcoming festival by offering promotional days targeting specific audiences.

On Tuesday, April 9, college students with a current ID will be able to attend the festival for free. On other days, students will be able to receive a $2 discount on admission. John Carroll students can use the code “JCU” when purchasing tickets online.

CIFF will also be offering satellite screenings during the evening at the Capitol Theatre, Shaker Square Cinemas, The Apollo Theatre and The Cedar Lee Theatre.

Tickets will go on sale March 22 and can be purchased online; by calling (877) 304-3456; or in person at Ulmer & Berne Film Festival Box Office, located in the lobby of Tower City Cinemas.

More information about CIFF can be found at