1) Traficant: The Congressman of Crimetown
(11:55 a.m, 90 min.) Director: Eric Murphy
Director Eric Murphy documents the trials and tribulations of the late Youngstown politico Jim Traficant, a former high school quarterback who entered the world of politics in the 1980s and was eventually expelled from the House of Representatives. He wound up in jail on various charges.
2) Unlikely Heroes
(2:25 p.m., 94 min.) Director: Peter Luis
Left alone for Christmas, a middle-aged psychotherapist’s assistant ends up at at a center for asylum seekers and finds redemption as she stages a play about Swiss hero William Tell. Veteran Swiss filmmaker Peter Luisi directs.
3) Kilbanetown Comeback
(5 p.m., 54 min.), Director: Des Kilbane
Cleveland boxer and fighter Johnny Kilbane has left behind a real legacy — a statue has been erected in his honor at Battery Park. Distant cousin Des Kilbane profiled his life in 2013’s A Fighting Heart
; he returns to the subject with this documentary film that focuses on the ways in which Cleveland has honored the man. A screening of the short Hidden in Plain Sight
, a film about the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, precedes the showing of Kilbanetown Comeback. Des Kilbane is in town for the festival.
4) Heaven Adores You
(5:45 p.m. at the Beachland Ballroom, 104 min) Director: Nickolas Rossi
Singer-songwriter Elliot Smith was a tremendous talent who finally got some semblance of recognition when “Miss Misery,” a song he wrote for the Good Will Hunting
soundtrack, was nominated for an Oscar. His life was tragically cut short by an alleged suicide. This documentary film serves as a tribute to Smith and acknowledges him as a “brilliant musician.”
5) Take Me to the River
(8 p.m. at the Beachland Ballroom, 100 min.). Director: Martin Shore
The story of Stax Records, the Memphis-based soul label that signed many great artists in the ‘60s and ‘70s, is at the center of this documentary about soul music and the role it played in the Civil Rights Movement. The movie includes interviews with artists such as William Bell, Mavis Staples and Snoop Dogg.