43rd CIFF Features Local Films & Filmmakers

The 43rd Annual Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) will showcase
the talent of many local films and filmmakers this year!

Every year, CIFF showcases the best of local filmmakers in addition to those from across the country, and around the world.  The festival is featuring many local shorts and films made about Ohio, filmed in Ohio, or by Ohioans.

Check out some of the notable local films and shorts being shown at this year’s festival!

For more information on all screenings, visit ClevelandFilm.org

Julie of the Jury
Local Heroes Program 1
One woman’s day serving jury duty turns into a wacky eternity.

GCFC Production Coordinator Mike Wendt served as one of the producers for this local short film!


Local Heroes Program 1

A journey into a paradox question of what is.

Paradox is a music video by former GCFC employee Antonio Harper!



Two for Twenty
Local Heroes Program
A band of robbers must repay their debt.

2018 48 Hour Film Project Cleveland Winner:  Best Film 1st Place, Audience Award, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actor – Jaz Securo, and Poster Contest – Group B.

Them That Follow
Tucked away in the mountains of Appalachia, Mara’s isolated community is completely centered around the church…the kind of fundamentalist church that involves speaking in tongues and handling venomous snakes during sermons. As the preacher’s daughter, Mara (Alice Englert) is seen as a prime example of purity in her religious society…but Mara has a secret that might tear her town apart. Though she’s committed to marrying a devout and well-respected Garrett, her heart lies with her childhood sweetheart, Augie (Thomas Mann), who has strayed from the church. Though Mara has always placed her faith in God’s plan, as her own life starts to unravel, she begins to question the morality of what she’s been taught. Featuring an incredible cast including Olvia Colman and Walton Goggins, with a surprisingly serious role played by Jim Gaffigan, THEM THAT FOLLOW is a captivating drama exploring blind faith and its dangerous consequences. – G.S.

While filming in the Youngstown area, Them That Follow created jobs for about 40 local crew members, required over 200 local extras, and engaged with many local businesses and hotels.

My Skin is Grey
After Hours Program 1
A dark thriller with overtones of obsession, confusion, and murder. Josh must comply when a crazed woman from his past holds his wife captive.

2018 48 Hour Film Project Horror Winner: Best Film 1st Place, Audience Award, Best Lead Actress – Lina Edwards, Best Original Song, Best Directing, Best Editing, Best Sound Design, Best Use of Prop, Movie Poster Contest – Group A.

I See You
Filmed in neighborhoods surrounding Cleveland, I SEE YOU stars Helen Hunt as Jackie Harper, whose affair has just been discovered by her husband, Greg, and son, Connor. And neither can stand to look at her. To take his mind off of his wife’s infidelity, Greg turns to his career as a detective, as their town is in a panic after a recent rash of kidnappings that eerily resembles the work of a pedophile rapist who terrorized the community a decade ago.  Meanwhile, Jackie begins to notice strange things happening at home. Her family thinks she’s crazy until they start witnessing the hair-raising occurrences for themselves. There’s some kind of dark presence toying with them, and it’s becoming increasingly more hostile. In order to solve this bizarre mystery, they’ll need to look at things from an entirely different perspective. I SEE YOU begins as a thriller but skillfully morphs into a brilliant blend of numerous genres. When it comes to edge-of-your-seat plot-twisters like this, it’s cliché to say you’ll never see the ending coming. But for this walloping mind-bender, it’s undeniably apt. – E.F.

Directed by Adam Randall, produced by Cleveland based Matt Waldeck and his company Zodiac Features, and stars Academy Award Winning actress Helen Hunt! While filming in Cleveland, the production created over 100 jobs; of those, 60 were local crew members, 50 were local extras, and 16 local actors were cast in speaking roles.  The production engaged with many local businesses during their shoot, and booked over 600 hotel room nights in local hotels.

Local Heroes Program 2
Two lives collide and are changed forever in a moment’s time – and year’s later the consequences of their decisions are revealed.

This short film was the culmination of the Tri-C Intensive Film Crew Training Workshop in the spring of 2018.

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
Local Heroes Competition
Toni Morrison’s endless accolades – the Nobel Prize in Literature, Pulitzer Prize, American Book Award, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and Presidential Medal of Freedom – are evidence of her seismic influence on literature and American culture. However, Morrison’s climb to preeminence was not an easy one. and recognition from the literary establishment was slow to arrive.
Her life began on the racially integrated streets of Lorain, Ohio in a home with parents who strongly encouraged her interest in reading and education. But it was quite a culture shock when she experienced institutionalized segregation as a Howard University student when off-campus in Washington, DC. Morrison subsequently held a series of teaching positions before landing a L.W. Singer editing role, which changed the trajectory of her life. Her work led her to become the first black woman senior fiction editor for Random House. Morrison’s instinctive influence helped bring black fiction authors into the mainstream while encouraging autobiographies by activists such as Angela Davis and Mohammed Ali. Meanwhile, she began writing her own work and published The Bluest Eye (1970), Sula (1973), Son of Solomon (1977), and Tar Baby(1981) with a focus on inspiring an African American audience. Broad acclaim did not arrive as quickly, and there was an outcry by dozens of black critics and writers after her 1987 epic novel, Beloved, failed to win major book awards. But many factors, including that protest and ongoing praise and engagement of Morrison’s work from such people as Oprah Winfrey, steered her to the universal praise she always deserved. TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM offers an intimate portrait of an American icon whose early life was shaped here in Northeast Ohio. – Patrick Shepherd