Scene's Must-See Picks at the Cleveland International Film Festival for Friday, April 13

Adventures in Public School

Listed as one of the top ten best Canadian films of 2017 by the Toronto International Film Festival, Adventures in Public School looks to be an indie coming of age comedy sure to bring a little bit of mindless joy in a festival often filled with such serious cinematic endeavors. Starring Judy Greer (Jawbreaker, Arrested Development, 13 Going on 30) and newcomer Daniel Doheny, Adventures in Public School follow a previously homeschooled student as he adjusts to life in the public school system after he botches his graduation exam in order to enroll and win the affections of the one-legged girl of his dreams. This is a stand by screening at Tower City Cinemas at 6:30 pm in addition to a stand by screening Saturday at 1:15 pm.

After Louie
Cinematic treasure Alan Cumming (Cabaret, GoldenEye, The Good Wife) plays Sam, an artist and activist from ACT UP who survived the early years of the HIV/AIDS crisis and severely suffers from survivor’s guilt. Things change when Sam begins seeing the much younger Braeden, and the generational differences between gay men come to the forefront. Sam must decide whether or not to be angry about the injustices of yesteryear, or to enjoy the more open-minded world forged from those experiences that allow a new generation of gay people to feel safe to live their truth. The film plays at Tower City Cinemas at 8:40 pm with repeat screenings on Saturday at 3:15 pm and Sunday at 11 a.m.

Blood Fest
An extremely meta look at horror films and the formulaic worlds they create, Blood Fest is the ultra-gory brainchild of the folks behind the insanely popular YouTube company, Rooster Teeth. The film focuses on Dax, a guy who once witnessed his mother’s murder by one of his father’s psychiatric patients. Dad has now turned into an anti-horror film crusader while Dax can’t get enough of it. The film takes subtle digs at iconic horror films, our favorite movie monsters, and definitely puts the “laughter” in “slaughter.” Blood Fest plays Tower City Cinemas at 4:40 pm and again on Saturday at 11:20 p.m.

A Murder in Mansfield

When Noreen Boyle was murdered in 1989, the small town of Mansfield, Ohio, was immediately shot into media spotlight. 12-year-old Collier Boyle was at home with his sister during the time of the murder, and later testified in court against the lead suspect, his abusive father John. John was sentenced to 20-years-to-life for Noreen’s murder and this intense documentary follows the now 39-year-old Collier as he comes face to face with his still imprisoned father and attempts to let go of the pain he’s been carrying for his entire life. Catch the documentary at 12:20 pm and again on Saturday at 2:10 p.m.

The Endless

I’m fortunate enough to have already seen The Endless, which is a stunning masterpiece from modern horror auteurs Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson (Resolution, Spring). If there is one film to see at CIFF 42, it’s this one. The writing and directing duo also star in this film as two people who fled the UFO cult Camp Arcadia when they were children. Aaron is still struggling with his transition to normal life, so Justin brings him back to the compound for one final night in an attempt to find closure. What was supposed to be a therapeutic ending quickly turns into a horrific nightmare as the boys realize the truth behind the cult they once escaped. The Endless plays at Tower City Cinemas at 11:15 p.m.

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