More details to follow, but the 2021 Cleveland International Film Fest will be held entirely online.
The 45th Cleveland International Film Festival, which will take place April 7-20, 2021, will be held online in its entirety.
This decision, which was unanimously approved by the CIFF Board of Directors at its September 29, 2020 meeting, is based on science and community circumstances, as well as the state of the film, theater, and event industries. In addition, during this time of great uncertainty and in the throes of a resurgent coronavirus pandemic, the organization believes it is the most responsible option when it comes to the safety of all those involved – including attendees, filmmakers, volunteers, trustees, and staff.
After quickly pivoting from an in-person Festival to the online CIFF44 Streams earlier this year, the CIFF’s invaluable connections to film, filmmakers, and the community remain unbroken, as well as deepened. The organization is viewing CIFF45 as a bridge to its future and looks forward to CIFF46 taking place in its new home at Playhouse Square during the spring of 2022.
Looking back, on March 11, 2020, exactly two weeks before the Opening Night of CIFF44, the Festival was cancelled in accordance with a municipal order concerning the COVID-19 virus. Because we knew how important it was for the CIFF44 lineup to be seen in whatever way possible, for both our audience and our filmmakers, we quickly pivoted to present CIFF44 Streams within a matter of weeks. This first-ever virtual CIFF showcased more than 325 CIFF44 feature and short films, and resulted in approximately 42,000 streams by Ohio residents. Multiple digital events, many of which included filmmakers, were held among audience members and with CIFF community partners, sponsors, and funders.
CIFF45 Streams will consist of hundreds of films, post-film conversations and Q&As with filmmakers, balloting, awards, and a slew of activities to make the online Festival a robust experience for all involved. The Festival will also include two extra days (making it a 14-day presentation) for extended viewing and engagement opportunities. CIFF Speaks (the organization’s podcast series) will be returning with episodes surrounding and during the Festival.