Tips for enjoying the 33rd Cleveland International Film Festival March 19-29, Tower City Cinemas

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Mon, 03/16/2009 - 00:38.

Once a year, during the brief run of the Cleveland International Film Festival, Cleveland feels like one of the great cities of the world. For a little more than a week the grand space of Tower City is filled with life; diverse crowds of art lovers flow in and out, steadily buzzing with excitement for what they are experiencing. Because it only happens once a year, it is easy to overlook The Cleveland International Film Festival as one of Cleveland's greatest assets.
This year, for many of us, the need to escape into good film is stronger than ever. If you haven't done so already, make plans to get out and enjoy this gem of Cleveland's arts scene!
I have been attending the Cleveland International Film Festival for many years. The following is a short list of my advice for getting the most enjoyment out of the Film Festival:
Pick up a Program guide
– You can find them in libraries, coffee shops, bars, museums, etc. Don't be intimidated, there is a lot of information. Don't feel pressured to read it all at once. You certainly don't need to read the synopsis to all 300+ films. It does help to read the themes/categories, i.e. 10% Cinema, American Independents, Family Films ... and it is good to have a sense of the schedule. Most days films begin as early as 9 am and some days the last film is shown at midnight.  
Take Public Transportation/The Rapid
-  The Rapid is really the way to go! Even late at night I have found that there are other film lovers on the train, often discussing what they have just seen.  Now if you can't take the Rapid, the Cleveland International Film Festival has made parking cheap and convenient. Park in Tower City and you can get your parking ticket validated for a discount, but allow an extra half hour at least to find a space and walk to the theater.
Dine Downtown
-  A meal or a drink before or after just seems mandatory if you sat silently in a dark room with your friends for over an hour. All over the downtown you will hear conversations from other Film Festival goers. Fat Fish Blue is one of my favorite places in close vicinity. What do you recommend NEO?  
Plan Ahead or Be Spontaneous!

You can buy tickets weeks in advance (to keep in mind for next year) and you can carefully chose your films from the Cleveland International Film Festival website or program guide, but is not always necessary to plan so far ahead or be so decisive. One of the great things about the Film Festival is that their are always great films playing. All 300+ films have been carefully selected. If you are feeling adventurous you might just show up and see whatever is available. One the other hand, if there is something you really must see its best to buy tickets well in advance -- they do sell out.
Become A Member- Tickets Are Cheaper for Cleveland International Film Festival members– consider buying a membership if you are planning on seeing more than just one or two films. There are other year round benefits for members too.




What a Load Of FUN!!

If you haven't joined in on this fun, you are really missing something. You just have to take in all the events and enjoy. And maybe you can't do everything but I suggest making at least one complete day of it. I typically look over the events and times and pick out my favorites, finding a day to enjoy the most at one sitting is what it is all about. I have never been disappointed in a day packed of film festival events.

While my day job is seeing others get into the film industry through training on real world movie projects.  If anyone is interested in film careers in directing, acting, editing, screen writing, cinematography, producing, lighting, camera, set building, props, sound, post production, rigging, gaffing, etc. check out our one on one mentorship programs at your film school alternative. They connect you with a real world professional, get you trained, and get you connected.

EntertainingZ -

i swear i'm sitting down with my husband tonight....

... and going over my guide. i saved one and i meant to go over it and pick out my movies this weekend and ended up getting crazy in the garden instead.

the film connection web site looks pretty cool. I'm taking a film editing class right now and believe me - ITS BORING!!!!!

Realneo members, please consider posting your reviews!

I will be reviewing a few CIFF films on Realneo. I probably won't see more than 7 films this year. So, if you are inclined please post your thoughts on what you see and the CIFF experince in general.