The 41st Cleveland International Film Festival opens March 29 at Tower City, with a splashy opening gala and a screening of the documentary California Typewriter. For the next two weeks, until the closing festivities on Sunday, April 9, Cleveland will be awash in indie, foreign, avant-garde and short films. As usual, Tower City will be the nucleus and primary screening location for the 200 feature-length movies and special programs. But community screenings and related events abound.
The CIFF folks are smart enough to recommend taking public transit downtown, as parking at and near Tower City will be a nightmare. (Check out riderta.com/CIFF for routes and tips.) And while we certainly recommend checking out the main nerve of the festival, where you can spend the entire day soaking up wonderful movies that you won't see anywhere else, the "neighborhood" options have expanded in recent years and make for terrific satellite cinema fun, especially if you prefer big crowds to really big crowds.
Here's what's happening:
THE CINEMATHEQUE (11610 Euclid Ave.)
Thursday, March 30
7:00 p.m.: Citizen Jane: Battle for the City. Urban renewal, highways, revolutionary urban thinker Jane Jacobs: a story about our recent urban past and our global urban future.
9:30 p.m.: 24x36: A Movie about Movie Posters
THE BEACHLAND BALLROOM (15711 Waterloo Rd.)
Sunday, April 2
7:35 p.m.: September 12th. Two folk musicians (real-life folk artists Joe Purdy and Amber Rubarth) meet on a plane from L.A. to N.Y.C. on 9/11. When the flight turns back for obvious reasons, they drive cross-country.
9:45 p.m.: Playlist: Music Videos Program
THE CEDAR LEE (2163 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights)
Wednesday, April 5
8:35 p.m.: Score: A Film Music Documentary
10:30 p.m.: Miles. A kid from middle America joins the girls volleyball team to get a scholarship to a Chicago film school; at home, family drama unfolds; with Saturday Night Live alum Molly Shannon.
THE CAPITOL THEATRE (1390 West 65th St.)
Thursday, April 6
6 p.m.: A More Civil War. Cleveland RNC documentary from local Think Media crew.
8:45 p.m.: Dave Made a Maze. A would-be artist finally finishes something: a maze with supernatural powers; directed by local Bill Watterson (brother of Happy Dog owner Sean).
Screening locations in downtown Akron include Nightlight Cinema, the Akron Art Museum, and the Akron-Summity County Public Library.
Check out clevelandfilm.org for more info.