Film Festival 38 ended Sunday night around 10PM. Amid a crowd of thousands, fans cheered everyone who came to the stage for recognition. Films that I either saw or made an impression:
- Joe Siebert’s documentary, “The Sax Man” garnered the local filmmaker award. Of course, it wouldn’t have seemed right without the subject of his film, Marice Reedus, Jr., stepping into the spotlight in a bright red suit.
- Life Feels Good, a Polish drama about a paraplegic who is misunderstood through much of his childhood is a film that resonates with me 24 hours later. It won the Eastern-Central European award and deserved it.
- The Activist award went to the Starfish Throwers, a moving documentary about people dedicating their lives to feeding the hungry. There was never a dry eye in the house.
- The “what were they thinking” award went to the “The Birder’s Guide to Everything” as part of the American Independent series. The movie was adequate and it makes me wonder what the other films were that were apparently inferior to this one. (See my review in a previous post.)
- The most poignant moment came when director Michelle Josue picked up an award for her highly acclaimed documentary “Matthew Shepard was a Friend of Mine”. Accompanying her were the parents of Shepard who appeared grateful for the recognition while at the same time, had to be a little sad. That said, neither of those three people will ever forget the Cleveland support and solidarity shown to them throughout the festival.
The festival once again broke attendance records increasing attendance by another 5% to 97,804.
It’s been a pleasure blogging about the festival. I look forward to seeing you at Festival 39. In the meantime, feel free to join my movie group. We head over to the Cedar Lee, Cinematheque, Art Museum and other venues on a regular basis.