Documentary About Elite Model Airplanes to Have Its World Premiere This Week at CIFF


  • Float Pictures
Friends since they met at Shaker Heights High School, Cleveland-born filmmakers Phil Kibbe and Ben Saks will will host the world premiere of their new documentary film FLOAT this week at the Cleveland International Film Festival, where it screens in both the Local Heroes competition as well as in the Film is Art sidebar.

The movie centers on the F1D World Championships, an elite model airplane contest that takes place in salt mines. The movie follows two American competitors as they prepare for and compete at the World Championships.

“Designing, building, and flying the planes is truly an experience that requires patience and zen-like focus,” says producer Ben Saks in a press release about the film.

Some of the film was shot locally in Kent.

“At first glance, FLOAT may seem like a niche documentary for model plane enthusiasts. But everyone can learn from the graceful simplicity, loyal camaraderie, and undying devotion these competitors exhibit,” says CIFF’s Eddie Fleisher. “This intriguing documentary, with its stunning cinematography, chronicles the small but dedicated scene of competitive model aviation. While the modern world is obsessed with attention and speed, these devoted, unknown challengers like to take things slow.”

FLOAT has been an education in how to document the stories I’m interested in telling and I see it as a building block for future projects.” says Director Phil Kibbe. “My career goal as a documentary filmmaker is to continue telling character driven stories focused primarily on obsessive people and obscure communities where passion and fixation are the driving life force of their existence.”

The film screens at 7:40 p.m. on Friday and at 9 a.m. on Sunday at Tower City Cinemas. It also screens at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

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