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Greater Cleveland Urban Film Fest

This weekend marks the opening of the inaugural Greater Cleveland Urban Film Fest at Shaker Square Cinemas, sponsored by the Society of Urban Professionals. Executive director Donna Dabbs says the idea came to her after attending the International Film Festival last year and noticing how few African-Americans were in the audience. The result, she says, is a fest that highlights the talents of African-American actors and directors, while telling stories with a culturally unique POV. The four-day festival opens Thursday April 19 with the documentary The Contradictions of Fair Hope and ends on Sunday April 22 with the coming-of-age story Happy Sad. In between you’ll find everything from full-length comedies and thrillers to shorts and animated films. Also on the lineup: panel discussions on film acting, producing, and financing featuring a local lineup of notable pros. Tonight’s screenings begin at 7:15 p.m. Ticket packages range from $10 to $100 and are available at the Shaker Square Cinemas box office or online, where you’ll find a full schedule.

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