Stay up to date on CIFF46 Health and Safety Protocols at Playhouse Square

Stay up to date on CIFF46 Health and Safety Protocols at Playhouse Square

Stay up to date on CIFF46 Health and Safety Protocols at Playhouse Square

Stay up to date on CIFF46 Health and Safety Protocols at Playhouse Square

Stay up to date on CIFF46 Health and Safety Protocols at Playhouse Square

Cleveland International Film Festival } March 30 – April 10, 2022

DReam Catcher is the Cleveland International Film Festival’s program and award, established in 2019 to honor the life and memory of David K. Ream (1949–2017), a beloved CIFF trustee. An indexer by profession, a master of puns by choice, and a true Renaissance man at heart, Dave loved Cleveland and everything about it.

David ream
Todd stephens

CIFF is thrilled to recognize pioneering LGBTQ+ filmmaker, Todd Stephens, as its third DReam Catcher program participant and award recipient.

Born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio, Todd wrote, produced, and directed "Another Gay Movie," “Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!,” and GYPSY 83. He also wrote and produced EDGE OF SEVENTEEN, which played at the 23rd Cleveland International Film Festival in 1999. All four of his previous features won numerous festival awards and were released theatrically all over the world. Todd is currently a Professor of Film at School of Visual Arts in NYC. His latest film, SWAN SONG, stars Udo Kier and completes his “Ohio Trilogy.” All three Ohio-set and shot films will be a part of the CIFF45 Streams program, with EDGE OF SEVENTEEN and GYPSY 83 offered as a two-for-one double feature. 

Todd will spend his time during CIFF45 Streams meeting virtually with organizations in Ohio whose missions support the LGBTQ+ community. The DReam Catcher Award, which is accompanied by a $5,000 cash award to support future work, will be presented to Todd during the live, interactive broadcast of CIFF45 Streams’ Happy Hour show on Thursday, April 15th at 8:00 PM ET on the CIFF YouTube page. 

In addition to Todd’s films, CIFF is expanding the DReam Catcher program to highlight a variety of films made by LGBTQ+ directors and featuring LGBTQ+ themes.To watch a pre-recorded CIFF45 Streams Roundtable episode featuring some of these filmmakers, head on over to our Filmmaker Conversations page.

Ahead of the Curve

Directed By Jen Rainin, Rivkah Beth Medow
Running Time: 97 Minutes

For the first 20 years of her life, Franco Stevens didn’t know lesbians existed, let alone that she herself was one. After coming out, she dove into San Francisco’s queer scene, but quickly noticed a lack of genuine lesbian media... {more}

At Last

United States
Directed By Lorena Gordon
Running Time: 13 Minutes

A timid high school girl reveals her truth during the most important night of the year. {more}


Directed By Patrick Sammon, Bennett Singer
Running Time: 80 Minutes

In this age of pride parades, gay icons, and pop culture’s warm embrace of the LGBTQ, it can sometimes be hard to remember what life was like for gay people in the 1970s. Not only was homosexuality seen as a... {more}

Edge of Seventeen

Directed By David Moreton
Running Time: 99 Minutes

When EDGE OF SEVENTEEN graced CIFF’s screens in 1999 (CIFF23), Todd Stephens, who wrote the film’s semi-autobiographical screenplay, promised to make a trilogy based upon his experiences as a gay man in Sandusky, Ohio. Now, 22 years later, Stephens has... {more}


Directed By Stefan Langthaler
Running Time: 30 Minutes

80-year-old retiree Arthur lives in a modest home in Vienna. For quite some time he has been lovingly caring for his seriously ill wife Martha, assisted by only female nurses. When a new male Hungarian care worker, Fabiu, enters the... {more}

Gypsy 83

Directed By Todd Stephens
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Gypsy Vale, 25, is a foul-mouthed, corset-wearing Foto Hut attendant who worships Stevie Nicks. Her best friend Clive Webb is a recently out high school senior with a Cure obsession and a fear of sex. Together they’re bored Ohio goths... {more}

How to Raise a Black Boy (How To Raise a Black Boy)

United States
Directed By Justice Jamal Jones
Running Time: 13 Minutes

An experimental fairytale dedicated to the modern Black boy, in which four boys disappear one night—as many Black boys do—and find themselves on a fantastical journey to break the curses of Black boyhood. {more}


United States
Directed By Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson
Running Time: 9 Minutes

Kapaemahu reveals the healing power of four mysterious stones on Waikiki Beach and the legendary dual male and female spirits within them. Long ago, four extraordinary individuals of both male and female spirit brought the healing arts from Tahiti to... {more}

Ma Belle, My Beauty

Directed By Marion Hill
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Featuring beautiful people enjoying fine wine and fresh food on the picturesque French countryside, MA BELLE, MY BEAUTY is a breezy, contemporary love story that centers around the surprise reunion of polyamorous ex-lovers. Bertie, a talented singer from New Orleans,... {more}

No Ordinary Man

Directed By Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase Joynt
Running Time: 84 Minutes

When American jazz musician Billy Tipton passed away in 1989, the tabloids didn’t explode with stories about his time as a multi-instrumentalist on the club circuit or the two records his self-titled trio cut in the 1950s. Instead the tabloids... {more}

P.S. Burn This Letter Please

Directed By Jennifer Tiexiera, Michael Seligman
Running Time: 100 Minutes

In 2014 a box of forgotten letters was discovered in a storage unit in Los Angeles. Preserved in secret, these letters captured the correspondence of New York City drag queens, or “female impersonators”, from the 1950s and 1960s—back when this... {more}

A Sexplanation

Directed By Alex Liu
Running Time: 81 Minutes

Let’s talk about sex. Are you uncomfortable? Maybe that’s because most Americans have been brought up in a culture where sex is seen as a sinful and shameful act we do in the shadows. Additionally, because 49 out of 50... {more}

Swan Song

Directed By Todd Stephens
Running Time: 105 Minutes

Returning to CIFF after more than two decades, queer cinema pioneer Todd Stephens completes his “Ohio Trilogy” with the bittersweet SWAN SONG. While his previous films—EDGE OF SEVENTEEN and GYPSY 83—followed young outcasts coming into adulthood, this final installment is... {more}

Yes I Am - The Ric Weiland Story

Directed By Aaron Bear
Running Time: 62 Minutes

As one of the first employees of Microsoft, Ric Weiland’s programming skills and brilliant mind contributed to the foundation of revolutionary technology that changed our world forever. Juxtaposed to his quiet, reserved nature in the workplace was his colorful, unabashed... {more}

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