For the fourth consecutive year, the Cleveland International Film Festival topped 100,000 in total attendance. But because the 105,656 mark was less than last year's (106,504), the fest can't claim to have broken its own attendance record, as it has every year for what feels like a decade.
Movie lovers flocked to see more than 500 films during the 12-day fest, held at Tower City cinemas and satellite community locations. Saturday, April 7, was announced as the fest's most popular day, with more than 13,000 attendees.
CIFF staff announced festival attendance numbers and film contest winners at a closing night gala Sunday. About 2,000 guests attended that event.
The Irish film that kicked off the fest on Wednesday, April 4, The Drummer and the Keeper
took home CIFF's Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award, a $15,000 prize. The documentary which chronicled a Plain Dealer copy editor's solo transatlantic voyage, Manry at Sea,
won the $7,500 "Local Heroes" competition.
Despite uncertainty about Tower City's future, it was announced that CIFF will return to the downtown cinema house once again in 2019 (March 27 - April 7).