Cleveland Italian Film Festival Returns for 15th Year Despite Covid-19

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Italian actor, Claudio Bisio, “Benvenuto Presidente" - Courtesy: Cleveland Italian Film Festival
Courtesy: Cleveland Italian Film Festival
Italian actor, Claudio Bisio, “Benvenuto Presidente"

The 15th annual edition of the Cleveland Italian Film Festival will proceed in 2020 in a reduced capacity after initial plans to cancel due to Covid-19.

Four Italian films will be screened on Thursday evenings from Sept. 17 to Oct. 8 at the Atlas Eastgate Cinemas in Mayfield Heights. Festival founder Joyce Mariani said that usually, efforts are made to hold screenings on both the east and west sides, but that because of theater availability, there would only be one location this year.

The films will be screened in two auditoriums at the theater, each with a maximum capacity of 80 people to adhere to physical distancing requirements between seats. Masks will be required while indoors, except while eating or drinking, per state health department guidelines. There will be no advance ticket sales or even physical tickets. Attendees will be asked to pay with cash or check, drop their entry fee in a box and then proceed to their seats. 

"Since its inception in 2006, the film festival has shown there was a demand for good Italian cinema and has sold out every year," Mariani said, in a statement provided to Scene. "Italian cinema has always been popular with the American public and we make every effort bringing quality films in for the festival... This year, we included some wonderful comedies as we felt people might like to enjoy some levity during this unusual year everyone is experiencing."  

The film line-up is as follows:

Benvenuto Presidente (Comedy) Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.
Seating open from 5:30 p.m.

Nessuno Come Noi (Drama/Romance) Sept. 24, - 7:30 p.m.
Seating open from 5:30 p.m.

Viva L’Italia (Comedy) Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m.
Seating open from 5:30 p.m.

Metti La Nonna in Freezer (Comedy) Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m.
Seating open from 5:30 p.m.


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About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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