Cleveland International Film Festival } March 25 – April 5, 2020 } Tower City Cinemas

April 07, 2019

CIFF43 Announces Competition and Award Winners

For the fifth consecutive year, the 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) hosted crowds topping 100,000 during the 12-day event held in Tower City Cinemas in downtown Cleveland, as well as the Gordon Square Arts District and University Circle. The CIFF welcomed 105,839 attendees to its 635 screenings and, in partnership with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, raised $156,249 in Challenge Match donations.

The Festival showcased 213 feature films, 237 short films, 15 virtual reality films, and 3 interactive media projects – all of which represented 71 countries. A record-breaking 11,087 students from 127 schools attended FilmSlam, CIFF’s media literacy program and mini-festival of films for middle, junior high, and high school students, which takes place over the Festival’s seven weekday mornings. The Festival’s 971 volunteers donated their time and talents to helps ensure the success of CIFF43, contributing 12,729 hours of their invaluable time over 3,774 shifts. And without the generous support of our 192 sponsors and funders, 161 nonprofit community partners, and 66 media and neighborhood outreach partners, CIFF43 would not have been possible.


The CIFF hosted 400+ filmmakers from around the world who brought their films to Cleveland and engaged with audiences in post-film Q&As and moderated panel discussions. Of particular note, Jennifer Baichwal was in attendance to receive the CIFF’s esteemed Director Spotlight Award, and director Jamie Babbit was recognized as the inaugural year recipient of the DReam Catcher Award, in honor of CIFF’s beloved long-serving trustee, Dave Ream.

The winners of the competitions and awards were announced at the Closing Night Ceremony on Sunday, April 7, 2019.

Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award for Best Film

Sponsored by the Callahan Foundation

PRINCESS OF THE ROW, directed by Van Maximilian Carlson (USA)

$15,000 cash prize

ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman

Presented with generous support from Deborah Bachman Ratner

Sara Zandieh (for SIMPLE WEDDING; USA)

$10,000 cash prize

George Gund III Memorial Central and Eastern European Competition

Presented with generous support from The George Gund Foundation

ONE DAY, directed by Zsófia Szilágyi (Hungary)

$10,000 cash prize

Nesnadny + Schwartz Portrait Documentary Competition

MAY THE SCHWARTZ BE WITH YOU Director’s Award

Presented with generous support from Nesnadny + Schwartz

HESBURGH, directed by Patrick Creadon (USA)

$10,000 cash prize

New Direction Competition

Presented with generous support from CoverMyMeds

GOOD GIRL GONE BAD, directed by Petra Lüschow (Germany)

$10,000 cash prize

Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition

Presented with generous support from The George Gund Foundation

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING, directed by Tom Donahue (USA)

$7,500 cash prize

Global Health Competition

Presented by:

Cleveland Clinic International Operations

Cleveland Clinic Mikati Center for Liver Diseases

Cleveland Clinic R.J. Fasenmyer Center for Clinical Immunology

QUIET STORM: THE RON ARTEST STORY, directed by Johnny Sweet (USA)

$7,500 cash prize

American Independents Competition

Presented with genserous support from Mike and Nicki Cancelliere

BRIAN BANKS, directed by Tom Shadyac (USA)

$7,500 cash prize

Local Heroes Competition

Presented with generous support from Lauren Rich Fine and Gries Financial Partners

TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM, directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (USA)

$7,500 cash prize

Music Movies Competition

Presented with generous support from Jules and Fran Belkin

MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL, directed by Stanley Nelson (United Kingdom, USA)

$7,500 cash prize

Ad Hoc Docs Competition

Presented with generous support from Anne E. Bloomberg & Tom and Anita Cook

LOOPERS: THE CADDIE'S LONG WALK, directed by Jason Baffa (USA)

$7,500 cash prize

International Narrative Competition

Presented with generous support from Tom Piraino and Barbara McWilliams

YOMEDDINE, directed by A.B. Shawky (Egypt)

$7,500 cash prize

FilmSlam Student Choice Award for Best Feature Film

Presented with generous support from Rakuten OverDrive

LONG TIME COMING: A 1955 BASEBALL STORY, directed by Jon Strong (USA)

$2,000 Cash Prize

Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film Overall

Sponsored by Char and Chuck Fowler

FIRE IN CARDBOARD CITY, directed by Phil Brough (New Zealand)

$1,000 Cash Prize

Best Animated Short Award*

Sponsored by Reminger Co., L.P.A.

Ian, a moving story, directed by Abel Goldfarb (Argentina)

$1,000 cash prize

Best Documentary Short Award*

Sponsored by Jules and Fran Belkin

Footsteps of My Father, directed by Paul Allman (USA)

$1,000 cash prize

Best Live Action Short Award*

Sponsored by Anne E. Bloomberg and Alan Gordon Lipson & Judy Harris

Untitled Short Film About White People, directed by Nicholas Colia (USA)

$1,000 cash prize

FilmSlam Student Choice Award for Best Short Film

Presented with generous support from Rakuten OverDrive

FIND HARBOUR FOR A DAY, directed by Paul Marques Duarte (France)

$1,000 Cash Prize

*These award winners will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards.®

For a full list of short subject film award winners, please visit clevelandfilm.org.

Thanks to the generosity of Bedrock Detroit, the 44th Cleveland International Film Festival will take place March 25 - April 5, 2020 at Tower City Cinemas.

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
Emaildebby@clevelandfilm.org

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