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Cleveland fest attracted 43 000

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 29th CLEVELAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (CIFF)
MARCH 10-20, 2005

Attendance of 43,000 (almost a 10% increase over last year)
Biggest Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday attendance ever.
Biggest single attendance ever on Saturday, March 19th – 5,584 breaking the record of 5,281 on the second Saturday in 2001 (the 25th anniversary).
28 sold-out screenings
105 feature films
80 short subjects
50 countries of origin
65 visiting filmmakers and other guests from around the world
Over 3 million hits to www.clevelandfilm.org website (in February and March 2005)



AWARD WINNERS

The Plain Dealer Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Film goes to MAD HOT BALLROOM (USA) directed by Marilyn Agrelo. The runner up is CALL ME MALCOLM (USA) directed by Joseph Parlagreco.

TOP TEN TITLES
MAD HOT BALLROOM (USA) directed by Marilyn Agrelo
CALL ME MALCOLM (USA) directed by Joseph Parlagreco
SEEDS ((USA) directed by Marjan Safinia, Joseph Boyle
4. DEAR FRANKIE (UNITED KINGDOM) directed by Shona Auerbach
GLOOMY SUNDAY (GERMANY, HUNGARY) directed by Rolf Schübel
MURDERBALL (USA) directed by Dana Adam Shapiro, Henry Alex Rubin
INNOCENT VOICES (MEXICO) directed by Luis Mandoki
8. NAPOLA (GERMANY) directed by Dennis Gansel
9. TAKE, THE (CANADA, ARGENTINA) directed by Avi Lewis & Naomi Klein
10. TOUCH OF GREATNESS (USA) directed by Leslie Sullivan

The winner of the $10,000 cash prize for the Central and Eastern European Film Competition (sponsored by George Gund III & Iara Lee) is DAYS AND HOURS directed by Pjer Zalica (Bosnia and Herzegovina). In a statement from the three jurors (Monika Fabijanska, Deputy Director of the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, Vladimir Padunov, Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the Associate Director of the Film Studies Program, and Irena Kovarova, an independent film programmer): “Culture tells us that aging is the depletion of sensuous energy; the film tells us that it is the beginning of sensuous pleasure. The film’s subtlety in communicating narrative complexity, its filmic economy in imaging generational and community relationships, and its ironic lyricism made it stand out in a program filled with many strong works.”

The winner of the $5000 cash prize for the Nesnadny + Schwartz Documentary Film Competition is THE TAKE (Canada/Argentina) directed by Avi Lewis & Naomi Klein. In a statement from the three jurors (Tim Callahan, former teacher of photography and motion picture film production at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Kim Snyder, documentary director and producer, and Robert Hawk, producer and longtime advisor to filmmakers and festivals)
”In the context of an increasingly polarized world, this masterfully crafted documentary throws light on the economically disenfranchised laborer. With dignity and poignancy, the film illustrates the inspiring journey of one group of Argentinean workers to reclaim their livelihoods and to empower others.”

After reviewing each of the nine programs of independent shorts, the panel of three judges (Tamera Brown, the Director of Arts and Cultural Tourism for the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland, Kevin Heard, Arts and Entertainment Editor of the Call and Post newspaper and Sara Stone, Executive Director of Apollo’s Fire) selected these winning shorts in different artistic categories:

Best Student Short Film:
(Sponsored by The William Worth Wardwell Scholarship Fund)
The Monster & The Peanut (USA)
Directed by Franklin Jin Rho

Best Women’s Short Film:
(Sponsored by Jinny and John Johnson)
One Wedding and A Revolution (USA)
Directed by Debra Chasnoff

The Best Ohio Short Film:
(Sponsored by Kodak)
Wardrobe Malfunction (USA)
Directed by Ricky Clay & Richard Montgomery

Best Documentary Short Film:
(Sponsored by Jules and Fran Belkin)
Hardwood (Canada)
Directed by Hubert Davis

Best Animated Short Film:
(Sponsored by SpaldJack, Inc.)
Ryan (Canada)
Directed by Chris Landreth

The Jesse Epstein Humanitarian Award:
(Sponsored by Kodak)
In The Morning (USA)
Directed by Danielle Lurie

The Process Award for Visual Excellence:
(Sponsored by John Williams and Process Creative Studios)
Birth of Industry (USA)
Directed by Gabriela Tollman

Best Live Action Short Film:
(Sponsored by Anne Bloomberg and Alan Gordon Lipson & Judy Harris)
Mindgame (USA)
Directed by Jamie Neese

The judges also created a special award for a film that would otherwise have earned Honorable Mentions in the categories of Documentary, Women’s, Humanitarian and Ohio. With that in mind, the award is hereby named The Susan Lucci Award and this honor goes to A Wish for a Forgotten Country (USA/Hondurus), directed by Sharon Denis.
The Cleveland International Film Festival awarded its SERVICE TO THE FIELD AWARD to Microcinema. Microcinema's mission is “to curate, exhibit, promote, and distribute innovative international moving image artists whose deeply personal and culturally relevant works are typically marginalized by the mainstream entertainment industry.” Microcinema curates thoughtful, unique, and diverse screening programs that are promoted, exhibited, and distributed via alternative venues worldwide. Promotion and dissemination of works via such screenings creates a necessary dialogue between artists and audiences, worldwide. Joel Bachar and Patrick Kwiatkowski accepted the award on Microcinema’s behalf.
OPENING NIGHT

Sponsored by Dollar Bank, Opening Night of the 29th Cleveland International Film Festival featured LONESOME JIM (USA). William Koeth, Senior Vice President of Dollar Bank, served as Chairperson. Special guests included: Steve Buscemi (director), Galt Neiderhoffer (producer) and James Strouse (screenwriter). Following the screening of the film, there was an Opening Night Gala Reception at the MK Ferguson Plaza. Over 1100 film lovers attended the Opening Night festivities, breaking all previous Opening Night Gala attendance records of the CIFF.

CLOSING NIGHT

5X2 (France), directed by François Ozon (SWIMMING POOL and 8 WOMEN )
closed the Festival on Sunday, March 20th. A Closing Night Party at the English Oak Room, sponsored by NewsChannel 5, took place after the film, with over 500 filmgoers in attendance.

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Cultural Journeys, which is a multicultural Film Festival program, welcomed new audiences from a broad spectrum of ethnic and national backgrounds. Featuring cutting edge films from a variety of cultural communities, Cultural Journeys brings people together to learn about each other’s customs, lifestyles, and traditions through the shared language of film. The six Cultural Journeys films represented a number of countries: BEAR HUG (Taiwan), BOXERS AND BALLERINAS (USA and Cuba), CELL PHONE (China), INNOCENT VOICES Voces Inocentes (Mexico), MIDWINTER NIGHT'S DREAM San Zimeke Noci (Serbia and Montenegro), and NICELAND (Iceland, Germany, Denmark, United Kingdom).


A World Celebration event took place on Saturday, March 19th in the space formerly occupied by J. Crew on The Avenue at Tower City Center. More than 500 party-goers danced to music from around the world, while sampling an assortment of ethnic cuisine. Cultural Journeys is sponsored by KeyBank and McDonald Financial Group.

Five FilmForums (sponsored by Cuyahoga Community College) were presented during the Festival. On Sunday March 13th, following the screening of THE FUTURE OF FOOD, panelists examined the issues of unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered food that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade. On Monday March 14th, following the screening of CALL ME MALCOLM, panelists addressed the discussion of faith, love, sexuality and gender identity. On Saturday March 19th, following the screening of VOICES OF IRAQ, panelists discussed the values that Iraqis bring to the discussion of their future and how will they shape their country and government. On Sunday March 20th, following the screening of LITTLE MAN, panelists discussed who defines and resolves the moral and ethical dilemmas related to premature infant viability and health. Additionally on Sunday March 20th, following the screening of SEEDS, the discussion of the Jewish- Palestinian dialogue centered on the question of whether young leaders from regions of conflict advance reconciliation and coexistence.

FilmSlam, our film festival for high school students, took place on five weekday mornings. Over 2800 high school students registered to see the following films: FILMIC ACHIEVEMENT, GENESIS, INNOCENT VOICES (Voces Inocentes), MACHUCA, NAPOLA, SEEDS, SHORT SUBJECTS PROGRAM and TOUCH OF GREATNESS. Cuyahoga Community College presented FilmSlam. The Eva L. and Joseph M. Bruening Foundation, the Kiwanis Foundation of Cleveland and The Thomas H. White Foundation provided additional support.


GUEST FILMMAKERS
Avi Lewis, Director
THE TAKE

Kevin Lau, Distributor
OLDBOY

Aaron Lubarsky, Director
SEOUL TRAIN

Harold Brown, Subject
Jenny Stein, Director
James LaVeck, Producer
PEACEABLE KINGDOM

Irena Kovarova, Juror
Vladimir Padunov, Juror
Monika Fabijanska, Juror
CENTRAL/EASTERN EUROPEAN FILM COMPETITION

Kim Snyder, Juror
Robert Hawk, Juror
Tim Callahan, Juror
NESNADNY+ SCHWARTZ DOCUMENTARY FILM COMPETITION

Mary-Beth Taylor Bardwell, Producer
Tennyson Bardwell, Director
DORIAN BLUES

Leslie Sullivan, Director
TOUCH OF GREATNESS

Ann Krsul, Subject
Grace Sullivan/Krsul, Subject
Catherine Gund, Director
MAKING GRACE

Lilly Bright, Producer
HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS

Selena Burks, Director
SAVING JACKIE

Maryam Keshavarz, Director
COLOR OF LOVE

Sara Rashad, Director
TAHARA

Marj Safinia, Director
Joe Boyle, Director
SEEDS

Oscar Torres, Screenwriter
Louis Mandoki, Director
INNOCENT VOICES

Pedro Carvajal, Director
Ron English, Subject
THE ART AND CRIMES OF RON ENGLISH

Don Winter, Director
13 DAYS IN APRIL

Malcolm, Subject
Joe Parlagreco, Director
Kierra Chase, Editor
Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer, Executive Producer
Bob Chase, Executive Producer
Bill Johnson, Executive Producer
CALL ME MALCOLM

Bharatbala Ganapathy, Director
HARI OM

Danny Anker, Director
IMAGINARY WITNESS

Julia Bryan-Wilson, Featured Speaker
MIRANDA JULY – SELECTED WORKS

Brit Marling, Director
Mike Cahill, Director
Craig Wedren, Composer
BOXERS AND BALLERINAS

Zachary Goode, Director
LOOK AWAY

Franklin Jin Rho, Director
MONSTER AND THE PEANUT

Brett Leonard, Director
JAILBAIT

Patrick Kwiatkowski, Founder
Joel Bachar, Founder
MICROCINEMA

Eric Manes, Producer
Martin Kunert, Producer
Archie Drury, Producer
VOICES OF IRAQ

Mike Dowse, Director
ITS ALL GONE PETE TONG

Kate O'Neil, Producer
Kevin Kerwin, Director
FILMIC ACHEIVMENT

Todd Solondz, Director
PALINDROMES
HAPPINESS
STORYTELLING
WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE

Allan Brocka, Director
EATING OUT

Danny Jacobsen , Producer
LITTLE MAN

Jay Johnson, Director
WILL WORK FOR FOOD

Glenn Komsky, Director
EXHIBIT42

Jennifer Glos, Director
WAR ON THEIR MINDS

Richard Montgomery, Producer
WARDROBE MALFUNCTION



The 30th Cleveland International Film Festival will be held March 16-26, 2006. For more information, visit the Cleveland Film Society’s website at www.clevelandfilm.org.

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