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

April 30, 2020

CIFF44 Streams Wrap-Up

The Cleveland International Film Festival’s invaluable connections to film, filmmakers, and the community remain unbroken, as well as deepened, because of CIFF44 Streams.

CIFF44 Streams, sponsored by Dollar Bank with additional support from members of the CIFF Board of Directors, was the CIFF’s first-time online Festival. CIFF44 Streams was launched on April 15 and ended on April 28, 2020. The program showcased more than 325 CIFF44 feature and short films during its 14-day run –a bonus two days of film viewing as the traditional on-site Festival is 12 days long. An approximate 42,000 streams were experienced by the audience, with the top five most watched feature films being: ASSHOLES: A THEORY; THE ARCTIC CAMELS; STRAIGHT UP; ELEPHANT REFUGEES; and CHICHINETTE: THE ACCIDENTAL SPY. Numerous digital events, many of which included filmmakers, were held among audience members and with CIFF community partners, sponsors, and funders.

Because of COVID-19, the 44th Cleveland International Film Festival was cancelled on March 11th, two weeks before its March 25th Opening Night. The organization was able to quickly pivot to CIFF44 Reinvented, which has included the CIFF44 Trailer, CIFF44 limited edition merchandise, a virtual Challenge Match annual campaign, season two of CIFF Speaks, the IF/Then Shorts American Midwest Pitch Competition online, FilmSlam Streams, and CIFF Alum Streams.

With the close of CIFF44 Streams, the Cleveland International Film Festival is proud to announce that some of its most esteemed awards were bestowed upon filmmakers, thanks to the determination of the devoted jurors who carried out their duties remotely.


George Gund III Memorial Central and Eastern European Competition
Presented with generous support from The George Gund Foundation
BEANPOLE, directed by Kantemir Balagov (Russia)
Jurors: Ryan Keating-Lambert (Prague-based Film Journalist and Blogger), Dagmar Raudam (Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival), and Daniel Vadocky (Art Film Fest Košice and Negativ Film Productions)

Jury Statement: 'We have unanimously decided to award the film Beanpole, made by young Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov, which is a brilliantly written story of the struggle in Leningrad after the siege in WWII. Its fluid imagery, gloomy fairytale-like set design, highly saturated colours and most importantly, the chemistry between the two female leads, help to emphasise the grievousness of everyday post-war life, where yearning for love is the only escape from it all.’

Nesnadny + Schwartz Portrait Documentary Competition
Presented with generous support from Nesnadny + Schwartz
MARTHA: A PICTURE STORY, directed by Selina Miles (Australia, USA, Germany, Brazil)
Jurors: Mara Bresnahan (Camden International Film Festival and Brooklyn Film Festival), Lela Meadow-Conner (Film Festival Alliance and mamafilm) Greg Sorvig (Heartland Film)

Jury Statement: A compelling biodoc about an @!$#% icon, this year’s Nesnadny + Schwartz Portrait Documentary Competition winner is focused on a tenacious and fearless photographer who shares a symbiotic spirit with New York City, its under-ground graffiti artists and its singular way of life. May the Schwartz be with Martha: A Picture Story!

New Direction Competition
Presented with generous support from CoverMyMeds
LINA FROM LIMA, directed by Maria Paz González (Chile, Argentina, Peru)
Jurors: Dominic Davis (Rooftop Films), RJ Millard (Obscured Pictures), and Lauren Jane Holland (Creative Artists Agency).

Jury Statement:
New Direction Honorable Mention

“For it’s singular vision and inventive filmmaking the jury awards an honorable mention to The Planters”

New Direction Winner

“The New Direction Jury Prize goes to Lina from Lima, a film anchored by Magaly Solier’s fantastic performance as Lina, a Peruvian woman whose struggles as a domestic worker in Chile are punctuated by ecstatic musical interludes revealing a rich inner life not always seen by those around her.”

Academy Eligibility Short Film Awards
Best Animated Short Award
Sponsored by Reminger Co., L.P.A.
MY GENERATION, directed by Ludovic Houplain (France)

Best Documentary Short Award
Sponsored by Jules and Fran Belkin
GIRL IN THE HALLWAY, directed by Valerie Barnhart (Canada)

Best Live Action Short Award
Sponsored by Anne E. Bloomberg and Alan Gordon Lipson & Judy Harris
THE PRESENT, directed by Farah Nabulsi (Palestine)

For a complete list of juried short subject film award winners, please visit

Join the CIFF in celebrating some of its alums that are currently available for streaming across a variety of platforms by visiting And revisit the CIFF44 trailer, created by Fusion Filmworks with music by Astronymer and Jul Big Green. It carries a message that reminds all of us that we still have Miles To Go -- together.

The 45thCleveland International Film Festival will take place April 7 – 18, 2021 in its new and permanent home at Playhouse Square.

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


Media Contact

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

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