Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

Kilbanetown Comeback

Year: 2015
Run Time: 54 minutes

Kilbanetown Comeback
Kilbanetown Comeback
Kilbanetown Comeback
Kilbanetown Comeback
View Trailer

In 2013 Des Kilbane chronicled the life of legendary Cleveland boxer and politician Johnny Kilbane in “A Fighting Heart.” Continuing his efforts to highlight his distant cousin’s legacy, Kilbane returns with another tribute, KILBANETOWN COMEBACK. This time around, he focuses on the city’s efforts to honor Johnny with a commissioned statue in the Battery Park area, now a popular arts distict and Johnny’s old neighborhood. He also reveals Cleveland’s rich history with statues, architechture, and art pieces, including the Free Stamp, the Fountain of Eternal Life, the Guardians of Traffic, and many more. The symbolism behind them tells a story about Cleveland and the great people who embody its resilient spirit. The job of creating a piece to commemorate Johnny’s great influence was fittingly given to Irish artist Rowan Gillespie. Rather than rely on old photos, Gillespie took a unique approach, using members of the Kilbane family as models to craft a three-piece sculpture portraying Johnny in various phases of his life. This documentary is an inspiring look at a city that has transformed itself, but without ever forgetting its roots. – E.F

CIFF39 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 7:15 PM -
Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 8:20 PM

Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 7:30 PM -
Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 8:35 PM

Monday, March 23, 2015 at 5:00 PM -
Monday, March 23, 2015 at 6:05 PM

Film Is Art

Local Heroes Competition

Related Daily Postings
Round 2: Building a Lasting Legacy

Des Kilbane

Des Kilbane is a documentary filmmaker from West Region, Ireland. In addition to directing, he has worked as a cameraman on such films as "The Gentleman Prizefighter," which was narrated by Liam Neeson.

"A Fighting Heart" (2013) –37th CIFF, KILBANETOWN COMEBACK (2015)

Margaret Lynch, Des Kilbane, Orla Higgins

Des Kilbane, Andrew Gallimore

Richard Walsh, Des Kilbane, Andy Smyth

Pete Higgins

Film Contact

Media Partner

Ohio Irish American News

Questions? >


Check out our extensive CIFF45 FAQs for answers to all your CIFF45 Streams questions.

Donate >


Your donation helps fulfill our mission to promote artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition.

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • alexa
  • foursquare



We promise you, it will make a difference!

Give Today