Cleveland International Film Festival } March 27 – April 7, 2019 } Tower City Cinemas

Ice cream appetizer

April 04, 2018   |   posted by Lara Klaber in Festival Events

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Who says it’s only popcorn that goes together with film? Ice cream was the pre-festival snack of choice at Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream in Ohio City on March 12.

That’s the day CIFF’s much-awaited printed program guides were unveiled and patrons were invited to get the scoop, enjoy a scoop, and even share a scoop. All just whetting their appetites for the main course—12 days of delicious films in April.

Anne M. DiTeodoro

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New for 42

April 04, 2018   |   posted by Lara Klaber in Festival Events

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This year there will be several days that patrons can get to see a movie for free!

As part of the “Taste of the Festival” promotion, free tickets are available on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (April 9, 10, and 11) of the Festival for films beginning between 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. The tickets will be available one hour before screening start time. One ticket per person per film.

“We’re hoping to attract people who have never attended the CIFF before,” says Bill Guentzler, CIFF artistic director. “By offering free tickets, it takes away a few steps in the process and makes it easier for someone to get to know the Festival.”

It is something the staff has wanted to do for several years. “Since the success of the Cleveland Foundation free day a few years ago, we’ve been hoping to secure funding to do this,” continues Guentzler. “And this year, thanks to the support of Dollar Bank, we’re able to offer 26 screenings free to the public.” ­

Anne M. DiTeodoro

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Filmmaker Follows His 'Wildest Dreams' to CIFF

April 04, 2018   |   posted by Lara Klaber in Filmmakers

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Although Nick Kelly’s first feature film, ‘The Drummer and the Keeper,’ tackles some tough subject matter, the audience should be prepared to laugh.

At center stage is the friendship between Gabriel (Dermot Murphy), a bipolar drummer, and Christopher (Jacob McCarthy), a teenager with Asperger syndrome.

Kelly can identify with both.

He is the father to a child with autism, and works and interacts with many others on the autism spectrum, and wanted to make sure his portrayal of Christopher is authentic.“I do feel I have a particular understanding of both the challenges and gifts that the condition often brings, and a responsibility to try to portray those things truthfully.”

He also feels that having spent many years playing rock’n’roll, and being around musicians with mental health difficulties, he was able to write Gabriel’s character with understanding as well.

Something special

When actors Murphy and McCarthy, who had never met each other before the audition, happened to come in on the same day, Kelly and his casting director knew they had “something special on our hands.”

“Each of them has such a distinct acting talent and energy,” says Kelly of the two auditioning actors. “But the chemistry between them was something that was immediately apparent.”

Kelly, a lawyer who “gave up law literally the same day I qualified,” is also a musician, a writer, and a filmmaker. His music experience gave him a great background for this film.

Writing ads has also been a “brilliant training ground,” where he was able to observe and “pick up a huge amount of knowledge … by osmosis.” His first short film, “Delphine,” came about because of a “casual chat over doughnuts with a line producer on a Guinness [advertising] shoot,” he says.

World premiere here

Kelly’s feature film has opened to positive reviews in his native country of Ireland (the film won Best First Irish Feature at the Galway Film Fleadh, Ireland’s leading film festival), but it’s here in Cleveland where the film will have its world premiere. “I’m thrilled and honored that ‘The Drummer and The Keeper’ has been chosen to open this Festival,” he says.

And he’s excited to see Cleveland for the first time, since he has “heard brilliant things about the Cleveland International Film Festival.”

Although it’s his first time here, he has fond memories of America. While working in New York he found his true calling. As a young law student, he came to NYC for a training stint with a Wall Street law firm—a time when he describes himself as “the least cool or least-likely-to-be-an-artist young person.” Six months later, when he left the US, he had decided to become a rock musician.

“Ever since, America has always been the place I associate with being empowered to follow my wildest dreams,” says Kelly. “So to be premiering my first feature film as the gala opening here in Cleveland is one of those dreams coming true.”

Anne M. DiTeodoro

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Related Screenings:
04/04/18 @ 7:00 PM – The Drummer and the Keeper

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Last call for CIFF gifts this holiday season! In order to guarantee USPS delivery by ‪Saturday, December 22nd‬, all orders need to be in by ‪Friday, December 14th at 4:00 PM‬. Think outside the box and Give the Gift of Film! Get all the festive details in the link in @clefilmfest bio.

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