By Kourtney Husnick
Cleveland State University’s collaboration with the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) became more specific this year, as the university’s sponsorship came from the School of Film & Media Arts for the first time.
The film school is a platinum sponsor, the requirements for which varies from sponsor to sponsor, according to CIFF’s associate director, Patrick Shepherd.
“It’s a significant level of support and collaboration,” Shepherd explained. “We’ve connected [the university] with our filmmakers that are coming in from around the world.”
Collaboration exists on multiple fronts for this year’s festival. While students have the opportunity to see select screenings for free or at a discounted cost, they can also attend a free panel discussion with CIFF’s inaugural Dream Catcher award winner, Jamie Babbit.
The discussion, hosted by Cleveland State in the film school’s common area, is scheduled for Saturday, April 6. Students will have the opportunity to interact with the filmmaker and Shaker Heights native through a moderated discussion followed by a Q&A.
As in years prior, students can attend weekday matinees and weekend late night screenings for free with a valid Cleveland State ID. A list of screenings that fall under the college program for these free screening times is available on the CIFF website.
Vouchers for tickets outside those have also been made available to students to attend films for free, and students without a voucher are able to receive an extra $1 discount, according to the website.
While there are many program details that remain consistent with the previous years, CIFF has more changes than a new award and a more specific Cleveland State sponsorship. The film festival also has satellite location programming, with a total of 42 screenings occurring outside CIFF’s Tower City Cinema home.
CIFF West had a three-day run that began Thursday, March 28 and included 19 screenings in the Gordon Square Arts District between two venues.
Eastside showings will help wrap up the festival, with 23 screenings occurring between the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in University Circle. CIFF East will premiere beginning Thursday, April 4 and end on Saturday, April 6.
“We are proud and excited to establish residencies in two premier arts districts within the city of Cleveland,” Marcie Goodman, CIFF’s executive director, said in a press release. “Complementing our presence in Downtown Cleveland with these additional locations will result in a very robust CIFF43.”
The satellite locations were funding through support from PNC Bank, with location selections focused on the areas’ growth as Cleveland art districts.
The festival’s expansions are an extra opportunity for Cleveland State students to engage with CIFF as well.
“I don’t want to just hear about it on the news,” Marty Barnard, a junior film major, said about the festival’s satellite locations. “I want to go experience it for myself.”