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Courtesy of the Short. Sweet. Film Fest
In 2012, local film aficionado Michael Suglio successfully launched his Short. Sweet. Film Fest
at Ohio City's Market Garden Brewery.
Over the years, the festival grew bigger and bigger, so Suglio has moved it to the Alex Theater at the Metropolitan at the 9, where it’s set to return the first weekend of March.
From Friday, March 2, through Sunday, March 4, the seventh annual festival will feature 110 films. In addition, musical acts will perform after the films on Friday and Saturday nights, and several music videos will screen as well.
This year, Suglio received a record 445 submissions from about ten different countries.
“It was a lot,” says Suglio when asked about the number of entries, adding that he watched each and every movie. “For the first time ever, I had a full selection committee that helped. When you have that many submissions, it is so easy for things to fall through the cracks.”
The first night, March 2, will be devoted to local filmmakers. The doors open at 6, and films screen from 7 to 10 p.m. One highlight be will be a screening of Nick Cavalier’s documentary about the locally based vinyl pressing plant, Gotta Groove. “At one point in the film, Nick takes his drone and goes through the record line, which is realy cool,” says Suglio. “Most of us don’t know how records are made, so it’s great to see his film about the process.”
The night will also feature award winners from the 48-hour Cleveland Film Project, and the evening closes with Cleveland native Erin Brown Thomas’s comedy Rekindled
. “It’s hilarious,” Suglio says when asked about the movie. “The main protagonist is on a quest to find love. She feels like her new boyfriends can’t love her as much as her high school boyfriend, with whom she wants to rekindle a relationship.”
Local singer-songwriter Nate Jones will perform at the night’s end.
Doors open at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 3, for a Local Filmmaker’s Matinee, which will include a 90-minute block of Cleveland State films. Maria Alvarez, a Northeast Ohio native who’s now a student at USC, will screen her latest short film, Backpedals
, and Climax
, a movie by Chloe Gebacz, a native Clevelander living in L.A., will show as well. It centers on a woman who struggles to reach organism even though she relentlessly masturbates. The evening’s program will feature “excellent films from the United States covering genres of drama, comedy, documentary, animation, horror, sci-fi, LGBTQ, and experimental.”
The night closes with the local debut of former John Mancinetti’s Loss and Found
, a film about a man who loses both his girlfriend and his dog in one fell swoop.
Jones will again perform after the last film screens. He’ll share the stage with fellow singer-songwriter Jessica Shetler.
The event concludes on Sunday, March 4, with a program of international films that screens from noon to 9:30 p.m.
“I try to make Sunday into a day where you can see some world cinema,” says Suglio.
All patrons can come-and-go throughout the festival as long as they keep their wristbands on. Food and drinks will be available to purchase at the concession stand outside the entrance to the Alex Theater. A full bar and restaurant will also serve patrons, and festival-goers can bring any food and beverage from the bar and restaurant inside the theater.
The local brewery Hansa will also be on hand to serve a special beer brewed with cherries that it has concocted just for the film festival.