It's unclear how CIFF continues to do it, but once again, in 2017, the local film fest broke its own attendance record. It tallied more than 106,000 guests during its two-week run at Tower City and satellite locations in Cleveland and Akron. CIFF, which screens more than 300 feature films and many more shorts, is by far the largest and most well-organized festival in the region and is an enormous generator of money and excitement downtown. It's an opportunity to engage in thoughtful discussion about important issues of the day, experience the best of contemporary world cinema, and step outside your typical movie-going comfort zone with films that tackle challenging subjects. It's a gift for the region.
2510 Market Ave., 216-623-3456, clevelandfilm.org.