The Cleveland Film Festival, in its 20th year, is headed toward record attendance.
There were eight sellouts over the first weekend; tickets for next weekend are selling fast, and Cleveland Film Society Executive Director David Wittkowsky says total attendance for the 10-day festival should hit 25,000. That would be 2,000 more than a year ago. This international festival is considered one of the top half-dozen in the country, offering 65 feature films and 80 short subjects this year.
It's a non-profit operation, but the city and local businesses will make money from local and visiting movie buffs. Wittkowsky says 15 to 20 percent of those attending the shows will be out-of-towners. A big Festival plus is that all films are shown in the Hoyt Cinemas in Tower City Center near dining and shopping opportunities.
Theater-goers will have more to see than ever before. Wittkowsky says there are nearly three times as many dramatic films as last year. That includes those submitted for consideration by filmmakers and those requested by the local Film Society.
More than two dozen U.S. and foreign filmmakers will be in Cleveland sometime during the festival to participate in panel discussions and in-depth reviews of their work. Cleveland is one of only a handfull of film festival cities providing a complete sampling of the art of filmmakers around the world.
Showings begin at noon daily. Ticket prices are $4.25 for matinees
and $7.25 for evening shows. The festival ends next Sunday night.
Then after the lights go out in the theaters, Wittkowsky, Film
Society Founding Director Jonathan R. Forman and their staff begin looking
toward next August when they start searching for films that will be shown at
the 21st annual Cleveland Film Festival in the city's
There is another story about films. It has to do with those little gold statues. But you know about that already.
RETURN TO Cleveland, the New American City