Treating filmmakers to a taste of Cleveland

March 28, 2014   |   posted in Festival Events

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What do you do when you’re a guest in a strange town? If you’re in town to promote your new film, you probably do some press, attend your screenings, and talk to the people who came to your film… but you still need to unwind and explore the town you’re visiting. When the day winds down and the films stop screening, it’s time to go out and have a little fun, but where? Everybody on the CIFF staff who interacts with visiting filmmakers has inevitably been asked, “so… where do you go to have fun?”

Enter our Cultural Caravans program, coordinated by Deb Ramsey-Moor. Guest filmmakers are given the opportunity to explore Cleveland in group tours of various landmarks. This year, filmmakers visited the West Side Market, the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Quicken Loans Arena.

“When we visited The Q,” says Ramsey-Moor, “the filmmakers got to see everything, even the enormous shoe collections of the players.”

Not only did the visitors see the stadium, a few even shot hoops on center court. Thursday they toured the Rock Hall.

“It was like drinking from a firehose,” says Ramsey-Moor. “There is so much information and so many artists that they [the filmmakers] didn’t know that much about.”

“The filmmakers are all extremely amazed that we’ve provided them with this service,” Ramsey-Moor continues. “Especially being picked up in a limo!” The visitors were fascinated by the architecture of MOCA Cleveland and were comparing the Coventry neighborhood to places on the west coast, Oregon in particular.

“We are giving people the highlights, flavors and tastes, sights and sounds, of what you normally wouldn’t see,” Ramsey-Moor says. “Most of them have never been to Cleveland and had no idea what to expect. But they are exceedingly grateful for the opportunity.”

The biggest compliment Clevelanders receive regularly is our accessibility, familiarity, and down to earth nature. “People are just friendly,” Ramsey-Moor concludes simply. Which will hopefully entice the first time visitors to return for another round.

Lara Klaber and Molly Drake

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