Cleveland International Film Festival Going Virtual in 2021

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click to enlarge Cleveland International Film Festival Going Virtual in 2021
Photo via CIFF
The 45th iteration of the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) was meant to be its first in a new home, Playhouse Square, after decades headquartered at Tower City Cinemas downtown. But CIFF's Board of Directors agreed in a meeting last week that due to uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus and its persistence, a virtual fest would be the safest and most responsible path.

The 2021 festival is scheduled for April 7-20, 2021 and, like last year, will be entirely virtual.

“We are very much looking forward to building on the success of CIFF44 Streams, during which our audience proved that an online Festival is not only an option, but also the newest component to making CIFF the best and most accessible experience for our incredible patrons,” said CIFF Board President Chris Blake, in a statement provided to the media.

Like last year, #CIFF45 will include not only the films themselves, but virtual conversations with filmmakers, a festival podcast and "a slew of activities to make the online Festival a robust experience for all involved."

CIFF also announced that Mallory Martin, the fest's Director of Programming and Projection since 2015, has been promoted to Artistic Director. She replaces longtime Artistic Director Bill Guentzler, who has stepped down after 22 years with CIFF. 

"I am both honored and eager to help lead CIFF into its new chapters and towards new possibilities," said Martin, in a statement. "No matter where the CIFF will live in the future – be it our own living rooms or Playhouse Square – we remain dedicated to bringing the best of independent cinema home to Cleveland for many years to come."

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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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