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Cleveland International Film Festival To Stream Online In 2021

The Cleveland International Film Festival will be online April 7-20. [CIFF]

The Cleveland International Film Festival plans to stay virtual next year.

CIFF announced today the 45 th annual festival next April will be online due to both the uncertainly around the pandemic and the state of the film, theater and event industries.

"We truly believe, based on science and community circumstances, it is the best decision taking into consideration the safety of all those involved," said CIFF Executive Director Marcie Goodman.

After canceling this year’s in-person festival and replacing it with a streaming version, CIFF plans to present a completely online festival April 7-20. CIFF45 will still include hundreds of films along with discussions and awards.

While some arts organizations are experimenting with outdoor programming, Goodman said CIFF will be online only.

CIFF presented a virtual version of this year's festival in April. Goodman said the response was positive, with 42,000 streams of films. 

The cancellation of this year's in-person festival due to the pandemic hit hard financially. Goodman declined to share a dollar amount.  

The next festival was to take place for the first time in Playhouse Square after years at Tower City Cinemas, which permanently closed this summer. The plan is to present films in Playhouse Square in 2022, Goodman said. 

CIFF Artistic Director Bill Guentzler also has stepped down from his position after 22 years with the festival. Mallory Martin replaces him after nine years with CIFF, most recently as its director of programming and projection.

Carrie Wise is the deputy editor of arts and culture at Ideastream Public Media.