Director Brett Haley Reflects on CIFF Opening Night Experience


When director Bretty Haley took his new film, I’ll See You in My Dreams, which screened last night at the opening gala for the Cleveland International Film Festival, to Sundance earlier this year, it was a much different experience. 

“I had no expectations at Sundance,” he said earlier this afternoon from the Ritz Carlton lobby where he was doing a few interviews with media outlets. “I didn’t know how an audience would react. It was the first time an audience had seen it. It was the unknown. The audience was really receptive. There were a lot of laughs. There were way more laughs than I thought I would get. And tears and standing ovations. I was blown away by that.”

Coming to Cleveland, he said his expectations were “kind of high.” He sat in on only one screening last night (the movie was shown on multiple screens) but received positive feedback at the reception that followed the screening.

“From the people coming up to me, it was great,” he said. “The pressure is completely off because the film has been picked up and is coming out. In a way, this ia victory lap because it’s our first screening since Sundance.”

The film stars Blythe Danner as a 70-year-old woman who gets shaken out of her routines by a series of life-changing events. Sam Elliott and Martin Starr co-star. It’s slated to open in Los Angeles and New York on May 15 and then will open in Cleveland shortly afterward. 

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