If situations allow, the 45th Cleveland International Film Festival will be held April 7 - April 18, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio at our brand new home Playhouse Square - the largest performing arts center in the U.S., outside of New York.

We are currently in the process of determining our plans for CIFF45 Call for Entries, and anticipate opening sometime in Summer 2020. We will update this page as we have more info, and we appreciate your understanding during this unprecedented time.

The Cleveland International Film Festival is one of the largest and most respected regional film festivals in the US. In Spring 2019 at CIFF43, 450 films (representing more than 70 countries) were screened for over 105,000 filmgoers. After the cancellation of CIFF44 in March 2020, CIFF was one of the first festivals to transition to an online platform in order to present the majority of films selected to our audience based in Ohio.

CIFF is one of the few Academy Award® qualifying festivals in the world for all three categories of short films – live action, animated, and documentary. CIFF is also one of the only festivals that continues to provide written feedback from our screening team. At CIFF43, we gave cash awards totaling over $125,000 to the winning filmmakers of 30 different competitions.

"2020 is a year to remember and as so many film festivals struggled to rally, the CIFF family rallied and persevered. From the very beginning, Bill and his amazing team were super communicative, helpful, and supportive. You could tell that everyone we connected with saw our film, championed our film, and were passionate about the film festival. We are so honored to have this opportunity to be on CIFF Speaks, CIFF 44 Streams, and proudly display our laurel with pride." - Gilda Sheppard, Since I Been Down

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***CIFF Submissions Refund Policy***

If your film was an official selection for CIFF44 and you are wondering about getting your submission fee refunded, due to the unfortunate cancellation of the live event, please email beth@clevelandfilm.org (and please include the name of your film).

If you submitted your film to be considered for CIFF44 but it was not selected, we will not be refunding submission fees. This is due to the fact that our selection process was completed in full – each film was watched by at least three members of our screening team, we completed our CIFF44 lineup based off the work of our screening team, and notifications were sent out on February 21, 2020.

Whether or not your film was selected for CIFF44, we are happy to provide written feedback about your film from our screening team. To request your feedback, please email reviews@clevelandfilm.org (and please include the name of your film).

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • John Hill

    I'm giving this festival 5 stars across the board but I have to add a caveat, I was part of the 44th Covid-19 festival, which was cancelled and then held online. I had entertained the idea of attending the festival in person, but around the time i was making the decision they were also being forced to make theirs. My film was part of a package being shown to middle schools, and I was delighted by the idea that it would be seen by so many children. Of course, none of that was to be. I allowed them to include my film in their online screenings, but there was no way that experience was going to come close to a curated selection for a captive audience of kids.

    That is to say, none of this was the festivals fault. And throughout the entire process they were cordial, kind, receptive, responsive, and went way beyond what was expected (or provided) by many other festivals dealing with the same hardships. I hope to have the opportunity to screen with the Cleveland International Film Festival in the future, and would be honored to attend. They are great people and their passion and dedication was evident during this entire time.

    Congrats to them.

    May 2020
  • 2020 is a year to remember and as so many film festivals struggled to rally, the CIFF family rallied and persevered.

    From the very beginning, Bill and his amazing team were super communicative, helpful, and supportive. You could tell that everyone we connected with saw our film, championed our film, and were passionate about the film festival.

    We are so honored to have this opportunity to be on CIFF Speaks, CIFF 44 Streams, and proudly display our laurel with pride.

    April 2020
  • April Kelley

    I adore this festival and it was a bucket list tick to be selected for it. The team has been nothing but amazing in terms of every department. Paul Sloop is a legend. So personable, encouraging and genuine - easily one of my favourite festival folk out there. Heartbreaking that the festival can't go ahead it the traditional sense this year, but huge kudos and appreciation for moving it online.

    April 2020
  • Nicholas Kuhar

    Wonderful festival! Supporter of local filmmakers

    April 2020
  • PAUL SLOOP (shorts programmer) is the kindest, most emphatic, cheerleader of the arts I've ever met. If you are lucky enough to have your short programmed at CIFF you must go. He and his volunteers will make you feel like royalty. Your film will screen to a full crowd (no matter what time of day) multiple times (My last short had 5 screenings) and have a fantastic thoughtful Q&A. The calibre of filmmakers who attend this festival is top notch. Therefore, you will meet peers with whom you want to collaborate. I met an actor/director in 2016 who I ended up casting in a film (and returned with that film in 2017). It's more than an event. It's a community.

    April 2020