Here's What You Should See at CIFF Today (Fri. 3/27)

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1) I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (11:20 a.m, 90min.) Director: Dave LaMattina, Chad N. Walker
As the story goes, animator Caroll Spinney met Muppet creator Jim Henson way back in 1969. The two became friends and when Sesame Street launched, Spinney became Big Bird, a role he still cherishes at age 81. This film documents his ascension with home videos and footage from live appearances.
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2) Xenia (3:50 p.m., 134 mins). Director: Panos H. Koutras
This masterful coming-of-age dramedy adventure centers on two Albanian brothers living in Greece who intend to seek out their estranged father for financial support when their mother suddenly dies. To make the plan more exciting, the older brother, Odysseus, intends to win the Greek version of America's Got Talent with his golden pipes. A riotous, rambunctious ride.
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3) Eadweard (6 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 104 mins). Director: Kyle Rideout
First-time director Kyle Rideout portrays the magic of filmmaking int his biopic of one of cinema's earliest innovators, Eadweard Muybridge, a man whose name is almost as breathtaking as his experiments with motion photography. In a script that blends romance and 19th-century science, the story is a compelling one, dramatized by all sorts of cinematic tricks to capture the thrill of Muybridge's early work. Hell on Wheels' fans will recognize Christopher Heyerdahl in a supporting role. Director Kyle Rideout and producer Josh Epstein will be in attendance.
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4) Forced Perspective (8:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 96 min.) Director: Nick Cavalier
Local graphic Derek Hess made a name for himself by drawing posters for the hardcore concerts that took place at the old Euclid Tavern in the 90s. He eventually became a well known graphic designer in the punk/hardcore/metal world and has moved on to other mixed media. This documentary includes interviews with Hess as he talks about his art worlk and his personal battles with alcoholism and bipolar disorder. Director Nick Cavalier and featured subject Derek Hess will be in attendance.
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5) Teacher of the Year (9:40 p.m., 80 mins). Director: Jason Strouse; Starring: Matt Letscher, Keegan-Michael Key.
Shot in the documentary style of TV's Parks and Recreation, this comedic look at the lives of high school educators is by turns hilarious and heartfelt. At Turner High, Principal Douche (Key) and Teacher of the Year Mitch Turner (Letscher) are only the tip of this ensemble's iceberg. 

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