Enlightened Venturer

Traveling The World Without A Passport at the Cleveland International Film Festival



My Journey of Embracing Curiosity:


Long before I had my first passport, lived in Canada, and travelled to many places all over the globe, I traveled the world without a passport. The Cleveland International Film Festival, now in its 42nd year changed my life, my outlook, and expanded my world view. It all started back in 2001, the 25th film festival, when someone gave me a ticket to see a film.

I can’t say I remember the film I saw, but I know that my life has not been the same. I did see a few more films that year, and I do remember the trailer for the 25th Cleveland International Film Festival. It was an older woman shopping throughout Cleveland’s iconic West Side Market. The West Side Market is open year round and is an alternative to a grocery store. It is like a farmer’s market. The woman in the trailer with a scarf over her head wheels her two wheeled cart through the market in search of items. However, instead of meats and cheeses, she gets reels of films. The tagline that year was: “In the market for some fresh film?”

Since my first year, I have been a member of the selection committee, a seasonal staff member, or a patron of the film festival. I have missed very few years of the festival since 2001. Even when I moved to Canada, I tried to make it down to the festival as many times as I could. The film festival is hosted in Cleveland Cinemas Tower City Theater. As the festival has grown through the years, it now uses every theater in the venue.

Tower City, the venue that the cinema is in, transforms itself for the 12 day festival. Through the venue, you see signage for the festival, and many people walking with their film passes around their necks. You can feel the energy of the patrons, filmmakers, volunteers, and staff. As you walk by the festival, you hear people sharing their opinions on films they have seen or are looking forward to see. Some films may have the filmmakers available for a Q & A, or film forums that encourage dialogue and expand your heart and mind. Sometimes one film will make you feel every emotion, or perhaps it may be filmed in a country you have not been to before allowing you into their world and their culture.

Details of the Cleveland International Film Festival


CIFF 42 will take place April 4th- April 15th. With the exception of opening night, the majority of the films will be at Cleveland Cinema’s Tower City Location. This year, there will be some neighborhood screenings at venues such as Cedar Lee Theater, Capitol Theater, Beachland Ballroom, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The festival will showcase 216 feature films and 253 short films representing 72 countries. There will be plenty of opportunities to embrace curiosity this year at #CIFF42.

Taste of the Festival:

Many years ago, I got my taste of the film festival by someone giving me a ticket to see a film. This year, Dollar bank is offering a taste of the film festival as well. On Monday April 9th, Tuesday April 10th, and Wednesday April 11th, free screenings will be offered for films beginning between 11:00 AM and 12:15 PM.

Free tickets will be available one hour before screening start times and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Tickets may be obtained at the CIFF Box Office located in the Tower City Cinemas lobby. One ticket per film goer per film.

Gettings tickets to the festival

  • $16.00 per film (non-members)
  • $14.00 per film (members)

How to obtain tickets

  • Visit the box office during hours of operation
  • Order online at https://www.clevelandfilm.org
    • ($4.00 handling fee per transaction)
  • Call the box office 1-877-304-3456 during hours of operation
    • ($4.00 handling fee per transaction)
  • Save $2.00 of the cost of your ticket in person, on the phone, or online

Get Updates such as films on stand by, late additions, and other news

Have you been to the Cleveland International Film Festival? Have you embraced curiosity? Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave your questions or comments below.

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