The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
Run Time: 94 minutes
Led by singer Ronnie Van Zant, Lynyrd Skynyrd stormed out of Jacksonville, Florida with their signature working-man brand of southern rock. After becoming popular locally, they caught the attention of producer (and former Blood, Sweat & Tears member) Al Cooper in 1972. Impressed by their incredible songwriting skills and work ethic, he signed them to his label, a subsidiary of MCA Records. Their debut featured the hits Simple Man and the epic Free Bird. Van Zant was adamant about writing lyrics that appealed to the common man, an approach that was key to the band’s success. Sadly, their rise was halted in 1977 when Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backup singer Cassie Gaines were killed in a plane crash. The tragedy still haunts them to this day, as you’ll see in the authorized autobiography, IF I LEAVE HERE TOMORROW. They’ve experienced several lineup changes since, but continue today with Ronnie’s brother Johnny on vocals. From drug abuse and wild antics, to controversy about confederate flag imagery, this intimate and insightful documentary covers all the ups and downs of one of America’s most legendary and long-lasting bands. —E.F.
Tower City Cinemas
Thursday, April 05, 2018 at 8:40 PM
Friday, April 06, 2018 at 4:20 PM
Saturday, April 07, 2018 at 4:20 PM
Music Movies Competition
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A Film that Plays Like an Album
Stephen Kijak was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1969. He studied at Boston University’s College of Communications. He has been making critically-acclaimed films for over 20 years, collaborating with and documenting musical icons and legends such as David Bowie, Scott Walker, The Rolling Stones, The Backstreet Boys, Jaco Pastorius, X Japan and now, Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Never Met Picasso (1996), Cinemania (2002), Scott Walker: 30 Century Man (2006), Stones in Exile (2010), Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made of (2015), Jaco (2015), We Are X (2016), IF I LEAVE HERE TOMORROW: A FILM ABOUT LYNYRD SKYNYRD (2018)
John Battsek, Diane Becker
This film is presented with the generous support of AL and BETH "FREE BIRD" RADISEK.