Cleveland International Film Festival announces films for Playhouse Square and streaming

The 46and The annual Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) kicks off in late March at Playhouse Square with 146 features and 182 shorts. After adapting the past two years with online streaming, this year will be a hybrid experience.

“Just moving to Playhouse Square would make everything new, but on top of that, a pandemic and it gets quite interesting and complicated,” said Marcie Goodman, the festival’s executive director.

CIFF presents 11 days of in-person films from March 30 to April 9, followed by eight days of streaming via the CIFF Streams app from April 10 to 17.

“About 60% feature, and I think every short will be streaming,” Goodman said.

Two films with ties to Russia were pulled from the lineup ahead of Monday’s announcement due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The festival joined other arts and cultural organizations supporting Ukraine in deciding “not to screen at CIFF46 any films produced by companies based in Russia or funded in any way by the Russian Federation”, announced the festival in a press release.

“Erie Situation” is a documentary about toxic algae in Lake Erie.

Several CIFF feature films have ties to Ohio, such as “Erie Situation,” a documentary about toxic algae in the lake, and “Full Out: Inside Ohio Show Choir,” which follows groups of high school students in Solon, Strongsville, Garfield Heights and Hamilton, Ohio.

“Part of our mission is to bring the latest and greatest films from around the world to Cleveland. And of course that also means the latest and greatest films locally,” said Goodman.

The festival opens with “Peace by Chocolate,” based on the true story of a family who resettled in Canada after their chocolate factory was bombed in Syria. The closing film, “Linoleum,” is a sci-fi comedy-drama set in a fictional Ohio town and starring Jim Gaffigan as the host of a failing children’s show.

Other offerings include “We Feed People,” a Ron Howard-directed documentary about celebrity chef José Andrés and his nonprofit that provides food to communities after disasters, and “Klondike,” a timely drama about a future family living the war in Ukraine / Russian border.


“Klondike” depicts a family trying to survive a conflict unfolding near their home on the Ukrainian-Russian border.

CIFF will take advice from Playhouse Square regarding COVID-19 protocols, which now leaves masking decisions up to customers unless otherwise specified.

After 29 years at the now-closed Tower City Cinemas in Cleveland, and before that at the Cedar Lee Theater in Cleveland Heights, Goodman called Playhouse Square the festival’s “forever home.”

When asked if hybrid festivals would continue for CIFF in the future, Goodman said it was too early to decide. CIFF said last year’s festival reached a national audience of more than 102,000 viewers.

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