Record-breaking 40th Cleveland International Film Festival Gets to Stay at Tower City At Least One More Year

'Romeo Is Bleeding' was voted best film by the CIFF attendees

by David C. Barnett

About 2000 Northeast Ohio film fans gathered in the Tower City Fountain Court, Sunday night, to hear which movies took top honors at the 40th Cleveland International Film Festival.  Following a familiar pattern in recent years, the Festival broke previous attendance records with 102,000 viewers coming through the turnstiles, over the past twelve days. But, one of the evening's biggest announcements had nothing to do with an award-winning film.

Ever since the Film Festival kicked off it's 40th anniversary, a couple weeks ago, there was an open question about the future of this popular Northeast Ohio event.  For the past 25 years, the Festival's home base has been Tower City Cinemas, underneath the Terminal Tower complex, just off Public Square.  But, in late March, Detroit-based Bedrock Real Estate Services --- connected to Quicken Loans and Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert --- bought the Tower City property, leaving future film festivals up in the air.  But, that uncertainty was partially cleared-up, last night, when Festival Executive Marcie Goodman expressed gratitude to the new landlord.

"Thanks for giving us the go-ahead to announce that the 41st Cleveland International Film Festival will be held in 2017 at Tower City Cinemas" 

Among the award-winners for this year's festival were Mentor native Charles Moore for his edgy comedy, Madtown, which netted a $7500 cash prize.  Dawn Porter's documentary Trapped, took a $10,000 prize, and the Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice award of $15,000 went to a non-fiction film, Romeo is Bleeding, that compares the deadly turf wars in a San Francisco Bay suburb to Shakespeare's classic tale. 

The highest attendance for any film at this year's festival went to "Believeland", with over 4,000 viewers for the ESPN chronicle of Northeast Ohio professional sports frustration.

 

WRAP-UP OF WINNERS:

 

Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award for Best Film

Sponsored by the Callahan Foundation

ROMEO IS BLEEDING, directed by Jason Zeldes (USA)

$15,000 cash prize

 

George Gund III Memorial Central and Eastern European Competition

Presented with generous support from The George Gund Foundation

A GOOD WIFE, directed by Mirjana Karanovic (Serbia)

$10,000 cash prize

 

Nesnadny + Schwartz Documentary Competition

Sponsored by Nesnadny + Schwartz

MOM AND ME, directed by Ken Wardrop (Ireland, USA)

$7,500 cash prize

 

New Direction Competition
Presented with generous support from Cover My Meds
THE FITS, directed by Anna Rose Holmer (USA)

$7,500 cash prize

Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition

Presented with generous support from The George Gund Foundation

Jim Brown’s amer-i-can dream, directed by Aurora Ferlin (USA)

$7,500 cash prize

 

Global Health Competition

Sponsored by Cleveland Clinic

THE C WORD, directed by Meghan O’Hara (USA)

$7,500 cash prize

 

American Independents Competition

Presented with the generous support of Lauren Rich Fine and Gary Giller

COMING THROUGH THE RYE, directed by James Sadwith (USA)

$7,500 cash prize

 

Local Heroes Competition

Presented with the generous support of Mike and Nicki Cancelliere

MADTOWN, directed by Charles Moore (USA)

$7,500 cash prize

 

Music Movies Competition

Presented with the generous support of Jules and Fran Belkin

What Would Beethoven Do?, directed by Jonathan Keijser (USA, Canada)

$7,500 cash prize

 

ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman

Presented with the generous support of Deborah Bachman Ratner

Dawn Porter (for TRAPPED; USA)

$10,000 cash prize

 

FilmSlam Student Choice Award for Best Feature Film

ROMEO IS BLEEDING, directed by Jason Zeldes (USA)

$1,000 Cash Prize

 

Audience Choice Award for Best Short Subject

THE GNOMIST, directed by Sharon Liese (USA)

$1,000 Cash Prize

 

Best Animated Short Award*

Sponsored by Reminger Co., L.P.A

Aria for a Cow, directed by Dan Lund  (USA)
$1,000 cash prize

 

Best Documentary Short Award*
Sponsored by Jules and Fran Belkin
Life After Pi, directed by Scott Leberecht (USA)

$1,000 cash prize

Best Live Action Short Award*

Sponsored by Anne Bloomberg and Alan Gordon Lipson & Judy Harris

Pardon the Intrusion, directed by Louise Galizia (United Kingdom)

$1,000 cash prize

 

FilmSlam Student Choice Award for Best Short Film

AN ENCOUNTER, directed by Miguel Berzal De Miguel (Spain)

$1,000 Cash Prize

 

*These award winners will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards®.

 

For a full list of short subject film award winners, please visit clevelandfilm.org.

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