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Cleveland International Film Festival


Cleveland International Film Festival (© 2008 S. Mitchell)
Cleveland International Film Festival
Cleveland International Film Festival(© 2008 S. Mitchell)

Created in 1977, the Cleveland International Film Festival is held each March. The eleven-day festival screens more than 300 new independent feature and short films from local filmmakers as well as those from throughout the United States and dozens of foreign countries. The festival is held in the heart of downtown Cleveland at the five screen Tower City Cinemas. The 2014 dates are March 19-30.


The Cleveland International Film Festival started modestly in 1977 with eight films shown at the Cedar Lee Theatre, in Cleveland Hts., over an eight-week period. The attendance was sparse, but enthusiastic and the festival continued to grow. In 1986, it moved to Tower City Cinemas, where it remains. Last year, the festival screened more than 300 films for more than 43,000 attendees.

The Festival:

The Cleveland International Film Festival showcases independent films from local, regional, and international filmmakers. All films are shown at the Tower City Cinemas at the Avenue on Public Square. Film screenings begin as early as 945am and finish with midnight screening on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Public Can Vote:

Unlike wholesale film festivals, such as the Cannes Festival and Sundance, Cleveland's film festival is a retail event, and the public is invited to vote for their favorite film. A winner is chosen at the end of the eleven-day event. Screenings include feature-length films, documentaries, animated films, and short subjects.

Other Festival Events:

In addition to the film screenings, the Cleveland International Film Festival features a gala opening night event, various panel discussions, visiting directors and filmmakers, student screenings, and a local filmmaker conference.

Visiting the Cleveland International Film Festival:

Tickets for the 2014 CIFF are $14. Members receive a $2 per ticket discount. Tickets are non-refundable and ticket holders must arrive at least ten minutes prior to the screening.

Free parking is offered at the Tower City lot, when available, with a validation given at the cinemas.

Contact Information:

Cleveland International Film Festival
Cleveland Film Society
2510 Market Avenue (in Ohio City)
Cleveland, OH 44113
216 623-FILM

Hotels Near the Cleveland International Film Festival:

Tower City Cinemas are located right at Public Square. The Ritz Carlton hotel (check rates) and the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel (check rates) are located right in the complex. You don't even have to go outside in the (usually) brisk March Cleveland weather.

Notes from past Film Festivals:

(last updated 3-8-14)


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