CIFF47: PSQ March 22 – April 1, 2023 | Streams April 2 – April 9, 2023

February 13, 2020

CIFF44 Announces Its DReam Catcher Program and Award Recipient

The Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) has named its second DReam Catcher Program and Award recipient: pioneering LGBTQ filmmaker, Patrik-Ian Polk.

The DReam Catcher Program and Award celebrates LGBTQ artists through the recognition of an LGBTQ filmmaker at each Festival. It was established in 2019 to honor the life and memory of David K. Ream (1949-2017), who was a beloved and long-serving CIFF trustee.

Polk will spend his time in Cleveland meeting with organizations in Northeast Ohio whose missions support the LGBTQ community. He will also meet with LGBTQ and film school student groups. The DReam Catcher Award will be presented to Polk as part of the CIFF44 Closing Night Ceremony on Sunday April 5, 2020.

Polk is an award-winning writer-director-producer-composer known for his films and TV series exploring the Black LGBTQ experience. He’s often referred to as the "Father of Black Gay Cinema,” having created the groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind, gay black series Noah’s Arc in 2005 for MTV/Logo.

He most recently served as Co-Executive Producer and writer of STARZ' summer 2020 drama series P-Valley and the 2019 series finale of BET’s Being Mary Jane, starring Gabrielle Union and Michael Ealy, for which Polk has received two NAACP Image Award 2020 nominations. His feature film credits include: BLACKBIRD (2015), starring Oscar®-winner Mo’Nique; THE SKINNY (2012), starring Jussie Smollett; and the award-winning NOAH’S ARC: JUMPING THE BROOM (2009). Polk’s feature directorial debut, PUNKS, premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, won the Best Independent Feature Film Award at the 24th Cleveland International Film Festival in 2000, and will have a 20th anniversary screening at this year’s CIFF as part of the DReam Catcher program.

The 44th Cleveland International Film Festival will be held March 25 – April 5, 2020. More than 600 screenings will take place during the 12 days of the Festival, with over 400 guest filmmakers from around the world who will be visiting our city for the Festival. CIFF44 program details will be available at on Friday, February 28, with Program Guides hitting the streets the week of March 2. Tickets will go on sale to CIFF Members on Friday, March 6 and to the general public on Friday, March 13. For more information, please visit

The Cleveland International Film Festival is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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Debby Samples, Marketing & Media Director
2510 Market Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113-3434

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