Last year, Michael Suglio received 445 submissions for his annual Short. Sweet. Film Fest
. He didn’t think it’d be a possible to top that number, but this year, he received 448.
“I thought there was no way we’d be 445,” he says one recent afternoon over lunch at the downtown Heinen’s.
The festival that takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Alex Theater will screen 118 films, half of which are Cleveland films.
“I’ve been pushing for local submissions from the beginning,” says Suglio. “And we’ve created a culture in Cleveland that encourages people to make short films.”
The festival opens with My Name is Marc, And You Can Count on It
, a film about Norton Furniture’s Marc Norton.
“He’s this really quiet and calm guy,” says Suglio. “And yet, he does these avant garde, over-the-top late night ads, but he’s just this guy that sells furniture."
Another local product, Down Again
tells the story of the local metal band Chimaira.
“The film also covers battling mental illness and depression,” says Suglio. “It’s really good. That one is almost 30 minutes long.”
Saturday’s lineup will feature mainly national films, and Sunday will feature both local films and international films.
, a Hungarian film about two interpreters who realize only one person is listening to them at a conference they're attending, screens on Sunday. While it didn't receive a nomination, it was on the short list for this year's Oscars.
This year, Suglio has also added workshops to the mix.
“The workshops are modeled after [the festival] South by Southwest,” he says. “We have one called What Makes a Good Short Film by Brian Bowers, who runs the Guerilla Film School, and there will be table readings of the screenplays that won our screenplay category. It allows people to take breaks between the films.”
Local singer-songwriters Nate Jones and Jessica Shetler will perform between screenings as well.
“It’s great to have live music during the networking social events,” says Suglio. “It adds to the atmosphere and brings a different type of art to the festival. In a perfect world, I would have more bands.”
An awards ceremony takes place at 9:30 on Saturday night.