CIFF Names Patrik-Ian Polk as This Year's DReam Catcher Program and Award Recipient


  • Courtesy of CIFF
The Cleveland International Film Festival has named pioneering LGBTQ filmmaker Patrik-Ian Polk as its second Dream Catcher Program and Award recipient.

While in Cleveland for the festival, which takes place from March 25 to April 5, Polk will spend his time in Cleveland meeting with organizations whose missions support the LGBTQ community. He'll also meet with LGBTQ and film school student groups.

The DReam Catcher Award will be presented to Polk as part of the CIFF44 Closing Night Ceremony on Sunday, April 5.

An award-winning writer-director-producer-composer known for his films and TV series exploring the Black LGBTQ experience, Polk is often referred to as the Father of Black Gay Cinema. He created the “groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind,” gay black series Noah’s Arc for MTV/Logo in 2005.

Polk’s feature directorial debut, PUNKS, premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and won the Best Independent Feature Film Award at the 24th Cleveland International Film Festival. The film will have a 20th anniversary screening at this year’s CIFF.

The DReam Catcher Program and Award celebrates LGBTQ artists through the recognition of an LGBTQ filmmaker at each CIFF. It was established in 2019 to honor the life and memory of the late David K. Ream, a beloved and long-serving CIFF trustee.

CIFF44 program details will be available online on Friday, Feb. 28. Tickets will go on sale to CIFF Members on Friday, March 6, and to the general public on Friday, March 13.

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