By: Griffin Parrett
Grab your popcorn, candy and pop. The Short Sweet Film Festival is Friday, March 1, 2019 through Sunday, March 3, 2019. The doors open at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 4, 11 a.m. Saturday, March 5, and 11 a.m. Sunday, March 6.
The festival is directed by Michael Suglio, a film professor at Cleveland State University.
Suglio has a lot of past experience in the film industry, including his experience working with many genres and types of films. However, his true passion is for short documentaries.
“When I created this festival in 2011, I happened to be at South by Southwest, sitting around musicians showing off their talent to other musicians,” Suglio said. “I was then approached by another musician. He asked me if there was something like this for film. That is when I got the idea to do the Short Sweet Film Festival.”
Suglio then continued on to talk about how the festival was first created and how he wanted to have a platform for those who made short films to be able to get recognized for their work.
“At this time, Youtube was on the rise, and you would find someone’s hard work getting the same views as a cat jumping around,” Suglio said.
Since its start in 2011, there are now multiple categories for the film festival. You can find all different types from animation to international short films.
“I see a trend now. There are people who will submit their film to my festival, or any other festival in the Midwest. They do this because the Midwest is a test market to see if films will make it or not before they eventually go to South by Southwest,” Suglio said.
New to the festival this year are different workshops that will teach people how to do different film-related jobs, such as screenwriting.
“I got this idea from, again, South by Southwest. I would go and learn so much from these workshops, and I wanted to give that same experience to our fest goers as well,” Suglio said.
Among the other things at the Short Sweet Festival is a sense of Cleveland pride.
“There is 118 entries for the festival this year. Half of the entries are from Cleveland residents,” Suglio said. “Of the half that are submitted from Cleveland, they all are mixed amongst the different genres in the festival. This is something I find super cool.”
In the different categories at the festival, there is one that is unique: student short films.
“Last year, we had a honorable mention winner from Cleveland State. His name was Eric Mcguinn. He had a film called, ‘I Have to Kill My Professor, All or Nothing’,” Suglio recalled.
He also mentioned that there are a lot of opportunities to volunteer for this festival and that there is still availability for anyone interested in helping out.