Cleveland to Kick Off With "Dandelion" and Close with Tribute to THINKFilm
by Rania Richardson
The 28th-annual Cleveland Film Festival (CIFF) is set to run March 18-28, with nearly 90 features and 70 shorts from over 50 countries. The audience is expected to surpass 40,000.
Opening night will kick off with a screening of "Dandelion," the directorial debut of Mark Milgard, co-founder of the independent record label, Lakeshore Records. The coming-of-age film is set in a small town and stars Mare Winningham and Arliss Howard. It premiered in the American Spectrum section of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
Work by Cleveland area filmmakers will be highlighted, including Paola Di
Florio's "Home of the Brave," about the life of civil rights activist, Viola Liuzzo, and David Sampliner's "Dirty Work," exploring the working life of a septic tank pumper, a mortuary embalmer, and a collector of bull semen.
Featured films include "The Opposite Sex: Jamie's Story" and "The Opposite Sex: Rene's Story," dual documentaries by Josh Aronson ("Sound and Fury") that examine the metamorphosis of transgendered people. Other highlights include David Mackenzie's Scottish thriller "Young Adam," Ryan Eslinger's "Madness and Genius," a science drama about a discovery that could cure cancer, and Hector Babenco's "Carandiru," a real-life drama set in a Brazilian penitentiary.
A juried competition for emerging filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe includes Srdjan Karan's "Loving Glances" from Serbia and Montenegro, Alexei Uchitel's "The Stroll" from Russia, Miha Hocevar's "On the Sunny Side" from Slovenia, and Dino Mustafic's "Remake" from Bosnia, Herzegovina, France, and Turkey.
The festival will feature a new section on cinema for senior citizens, with early morning screenings for pre-registered groups.
Closing night festivities will include a service award for independent film distributor THINKFilm, to honor the company's combination of business and creative acumen. "Bright Young Things," Stephen Fry's satire on the British glitterati, set in the jazz-age 1930s, will close the festival.
[ For more information and a full schedule, please visit: http://clevelandfilmfestival.com. ]