For the past 34 years, the CIFF has been the premier film event in Ohio. Today the CIFF presents a full survey of contemporary international and American Independent filmmaking, with more than 150 features and 150 short subjects from over 80 countries
In addition to the main World Tour program, there are sidebars that add interest and diversity to the overall Festival and help attendees navigate the offerings. These include Standing Up (films with a conscience), American Independents, Documentaries, Eastern European films, 10% Cinema films (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender), Pan-African Images, Family Films, Jewish and Israeli Visions, Music! Movies!, Midnight Movies, Pacific Pearls (Asia and Pacific Islands Films), Women of The World (films about or directed by women), It’s Easy Being Green (films dealing with environmental issues), Film is Art, Illuminating Hope, and Cinema En Español. And once again the CIFF will include a Local Heroes section, which spotlights works by local filmmakers.
Dozens of filmmakers and other special guests attend the CIFF where they introduce their screenings, discuss their work, and participate in FilmForums (which are panel discussions that give audience members a chance to talk about the films they’ve seen at the Festival). Other Festival components include:
Someone To Watch: the CIFF focuses on an early or mid-career filmmaker by screening their latest work with an earlier film.
FilmSlam: a mini-festival of CIFF films for high school students.
Again this year the CIFF is privileged to present the Central and Eastern European Film Competition, with a $10,000 cash prize, and the Nesnadny + Schwartz Documentary Film Competition, with a $5,000 cash prize. Each competition will be judged by three jurors and the awards will be announced on Closing Night of the 34th CIFF. The recipient of the Standing Up competition $5,000 cash prize will be determined by the CIFF audience and will also be announced on Closing Night. For the 21st year in a row, patrons can vote on the feature films they see and determine the recipient of the Roxanne T. Mueller Award (the internationally recognized CIFF audience choice award).
The CIFF offers many short film awards including the Best Animated Short Film, Best Documentary Short Film, Jesse Epstein Humanitarian Award, Best International Short Film, Best Live Action Short Film, Kodak Best Ohio Short Film, Best Student Short Film, Best Women’s Short Film, Cleveland State University Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film, The Spalding Award – In Celebration of Joy, The Clover and Maggie Award – In Celebration of Life, and Best LGBT Short Film Award. These awards total over $10,000 in cash and prizes