FACT: The films at the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) are definitely not your average multi-million-dollar blockbusters shown at suburban cineplexes on any given Saturday night. And for that, you're welcome.
Instead, at CIFF, you’re exposed to everything from documentaries covering humanitarian issues and blocks of hilarious 10-minute shorts to foreign flicks and even films screened in virtual reality.
It all happens over a span of around two weeks every spring in the heart of Downtown Cleveland at Tower City Cinemas.
What To Do There
- Conceivably, one could watch a different film for 12+ hours every day for the festival's entire two-week run. And, it’s not uncommon to catch a few festivalgoers who call off work for a solid week to enjoy as much of the event as possible.
- Widely recognized as a “filmmakers festival,” CIFF draws more than 300 filmmakers from around the world. What’s better, visitors to CIFF get the opportunity to chat with the filmmakers immediately following the screenings.
What Else To Do
- If you’re a n00b to the film fest scene, no worries. CIFF organizes many of its films into categories (called "Sidebars"), which help first-time festivalgoers to select films based on their interest. Past categories LGBTQ-focused films, late-night films, films highlighting environment issues and even family-focused entries.
- FilmForums are an incredible way to delve deeper into the important topics addressed within some of CIFF’s films. These moderated discussion panels held after the film’s conclusion include the directors of select films, community leaders, local experts and scholars of the subject(s).
Tips for Attending
- Unlike other film festivals around the world, more than 90 percent of CIFF’s film screenings happen in one place in Downtown Cleveland. Tower City Center is directly attached to the JACK Cleveland Casino, as well as hotels including The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland and the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. The location also offers direct access to public transportation to/from the airport and around the city.