Two Weeks to Go

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The Cleveland International Film Festival is back, and so, happily, am I. Last year’s festival—the 36th and another record-breaking year—welcomed its one-millionth attendee. Other records broken: 85,018 seats filled, marking a 9% increase over the previous year; the largest day in CIFF history, Saturday Mar. 31 with 13, 176 seats filled; and $88, 605 in Challenge Match donations, surpassing the goal of $75,000—there’s a lot of love out there!

The festivals folks announced a few changes for this year. CIFF is giving out mugs instead of T-shirts —big disappointment. One can have too many mugs, but there’s no such thing as too many T-shirts. With the casino traffic downtown, and opening day at the ballpark on April 8, parking will be hard to find. Take the Rapid. Avoid the need to look for a parking spot and increase your movie time. That’s a no-brainer. Or spring for the Executive Producer pass, which includes valet parking.

Couldn’t wait to receive my CIFF 37 catalogue in the mail, so I stopped by the Cedar Lee to pick one up the day they were distributed. I will take my time going through it—with a red pen in one hand and a yellow highlighter in the other. The red pen is to mark any film I may be interested in seeing. The highlighter is to mark any phrase or sentence in a film’s description that would inspire me to see or not see a particular movie. (Thanks for that idea, Faye!)

A quick first read-through uncovered a few films that I absolutely will see:

“Anita” Admired and reviled for her testimony during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing, Anita Hill tells her story for the first time, and I wanna hear it.

“Camp 14—Total Control Zone” I listened to an interview with the author when this story was published, and I haven’t been able to forget it.

“Casting By” Because it’s about making movies. Need I say more?

“Downeast” Because I spent 28 summers on the coast of Downeast Maine.

“Good Ol’ Freda” OMG! It’s about the BEATLES!

“The Last White Knight” The bad guys are still out there.

“Red, White and Blueprints” It’s a Rust Belt documentary with hope and optimism.

“Shepard and Dark” Because I fell in love with Sam Shepard, the actor, in “The Right Stuff” and admired his work as a playwright.

Check your catalogue for dates and times, and look for me sitting on the left, toward the back. Be the applause!

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