The 41st Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) will be held March 29 - April 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Founded in 1977, the Cleveland Film Society has presented the Cleveland International Film Festival every spring for four decades. In April 2016 at the 40th CIFF, Ohio's premier film event featured over 400 films originating from 70 countries and an attendance of over 102,000 - making the CIFF one of the largest and longest running regional film festivals in the US.

The CIFF was also recognized as one of the 50 leading film festivals in the world by IndieWIRE, as well as the USA Today runner-up for Best Film Festival in the country.

We are once again accepting WEB SERIES and NEW MEDIA content free of charge! If your submission meets the criteria for either of these categories (please see descriptions in category sections), you MUST email us directly at submissions@clevelandfilm.org prior to submitting, with a description and example(s) of your content.

Over the past several years, the CIFF has maintained its relevancy through its wide survey of programming choices and growing audiences from the region including a special focus on Akron. Visiting filmmakers, panel discussions, and student screenings are all CIFF highlights.

The Cleveland Film Society promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.

In pursuing its mission, the Cleveland Film Society will:

- Set high standards for quality film education and exhibition, placing artistic and cultural merit above commercial appeal.

- Foster understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and values.

- Work collaboratively to broaden access to quality film arts.

- Cultivate an innovative and forward-thinking organization.

Awards & Prizes

Roxanne T. Mueller Award for Best Feature Film
Named in honor of Plain Dealer film critic Roxanne T. Mueller. Based on audience vote, this competition recognizes the most popular Narrative or Documentary feature film of our festival. Previous winners include "Becoming Bulletproof" (USA) and "Romeo Is Bleeding" (USA).
Sponsor: The Callahan Foundation
Cash Award Value: 15,000 U.S. Dollars

ReelWomenDirect Award
Based on audience vote, the ReelWomenDirect award recognizes women directors in an industry historically dominated by men. Previous winners include Dawn Porter for her film "Trapped" (USA) and Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli for "Frame By Frame" (Afghanistan/USA).
Sponsor: Deborah Bachman Ratner
Cash Award Value: 10,000 U.S. Dollars

Central and Eastern European Competition
The Cleveland International Film Festival's first competition is a juried award and awards the Best Central and Eastern European (post-Soviet Bloc) Narrative feature. Previous winners include "The Fool" (Russia) and "A Good Wife" (Serbia).
Sponsor: The George Gund Foundation
Cash Award Value: 10,000 U.S. Dollars

Nesnadny + Schwartz Documentary Competition
A juried competition celebrating the CIFF's focus on Documentaries. Past winners of this award are "Stray Dog" (USA) and "Mom and Me" (USA).
Sponsor: Nesnadny + Schwartz
Cash Award Value: 7,500 U.S. Dollars

New Direction Competition
Screening within this competition are films created by emerging filmmakers who we believe will redefine the future of filmmaking. The award is chosen by a jury of industry professionals. Last year's winner was "The Fits" (USA).
Sponsor:Cover My Meds
Cash Award Value: 7,500 U.S. Dollar
This prize is shared with other categories.

American Independents Competition
Based on audience vote, the Best American Independent Film award recognizes the merit of an American Independent Film, or a Narrative Feature with an American director. Previous winners include "The Young Kieslowski" (USA) and "Coming Through the Rye" (USA).
Sponsor: Lauren Rich Fine and Gary Giller
Cash Award Value: 7,500 U.S. Dollars

Local Heroes Competition
Based on audience vote, the Best Local Hero Film recognizes Narrative and Documentary features made in Ohio, by Ohio filmmakers or Ohio natives. Previous winners include "Forced Perspective" (USA) and "Madtown" (USA).
Sponsor: Mike and Nicki Cancelliere
Cash Award Value: 7,500 U.S. Dollars

Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition
Based on audience vote, the Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition celebrates films with a conscience, particularly films that deal with activism and social justice issues. Previous winners include "Limited Partnership" (USA) and "Jim Brown's Amer-I-Can Dream" (USA).
Sponsor: The George Gund Foundation
Cash Award Value: 7,500 U.S. Dollars

Global Health Competition
Based on audience vote, the Global Health Competition includes films that delve into human health-related issues (both mental and physical) and films about the health of the environment. Previous winners include "Becoming Bulletproof" (USA) and "The C Word" (USA).
Sponsor: Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine
Cash Award Value: 7,500 U.S. Dollars

Music Movies Competition
Based on audience vote, the Music Movies Competition showcases Documentaries and Narratives with music themes. Previous winners include "Take Me to the River" (USA) and "What Would Beethoven Do?" (USA)).
Sponsor: Jules and Fran Belkin
Cash Award Value: 7,500 U.S. Dollars

FilmSlam Student Choice Award for Best Feature
This award is determined by our FilmSlam audience of about 9,000 high school and middle school students who watch a selection of age-appropriate films weekday mornings of the festival. Previous winners include "Becoming Bulletproof" (USA) and "Romeo Is Bleeding" (USA).
Cash Award Value: 2,000 U.S. Dollars

Short Film Awards
All awards have a 1,000 U.S. Dollar cash prize. The Best Live-Action Short Award, Best Animated Short Award, and Best Documentary Short Award winners will qualify for consideration in the short films category of the Annual Academy Awards.

Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film

Best Live-Action Short Award

Best Animated Short Award

Best Documentary Short Award

Best International Short Award

Best Comedy Short Award

Best LGBT Short Award

Best Ohio Short Award

Best Student Short Award

Best Women's Short Award

The Clover and Maggie Award: In Celebration of Life

The Spalding and Jackson Award: In Celebration of Joy

Programmer's Choice Award

FilmSlam Student Choice Award for Best Short

Rules & Terms

-We ask that all entrants submit their films through FilmFreeway.com or directly through the CIFF website. Please see below and check our Call for Entries FAQ on our website at www.clevelandfilm.org/call-for-entries for further detailed instructions on how to submit your film to CIFF.

-CIFF is once again accepting WEB SERIES and NEW MEDIA content free of charge! If your submission meets the criteria for either of these categories (please see descriptions in the category sections), you MUST email us directly at submissions@clevelandfilm.org prior to submitting, with a description and example(s) of your content. If, after review, your content does meet the criteria for either category, we will then provide instructions to submit directly through the CIFF website. IF YOU SUBMIT WEB SERIES OR NEW MEDIA CONTENT DIRECTLY THROUGH FILMFREEWAY WITHOUT EMAILING SUBMISSIONS@CLEVELANDFILM.ORG FIRST, YOUR SUBMISSION WILL BE CONSIDERED INVALID AND DELETED.

-Productions made after June 1, 2015 may be submitted, with the exception of those works previously submitted to the CIFF. No works previously submitted to the festival will be considered.

-Entries previously screened in Cleveland or aired on television in Cleveland or are available on the web (ie Youtube, Vimeo) prior to the Festival will not be considered.

-Do not submit works in progress. Do not submit industrial or instructional works.

-All linear films under 45 minutes are considered short films.

-All films must be submitted as either an online screener or vimeo link for consideration by the Selection Committee. If links are password-protected, passwords must be valid through April 9, 2017 or your submission will be considered INVALID and will be DELETED.

-After submitting, please check your FilmFreeway account to make sure that your submission meets our requirements and has been accepted for consideration. It is your responsibility to make sure all requirements are met and necessary information is given. Within one week after your submission date, you'll receive a confirmation email that we've received your submission, as well as any potential notifications of further information we need from you.

-All feature films submitted must be available for exhibition in one of the following formats: DCP (preferably unencrypted) or as a CIFF-approved ProRes digital file. BLU-RAY AND DVD WILL NOT BE SCREENED FOR EXHIBITION.

-All short films submitted must be available for exhibition as a CIFF-approved ProRes digital file. Short films will be transferred temporarily onto CIFF’s secure and private hard drive system for presentation in one or more of our compiled short programs. BLU-RAY AND DVD WILL NOT BE SCREENED FOR EXHIBITION.

-CIFF-approved ProRes digital files are defined as .mov files encoded with ProRes 422 or ProRes 422(HQ). We will not accept ProRes LT, 4444, or Apple Animation Codec files, among other files not listed. Exhibition files must be sent to the CIFF office on hard drives that will be returned post-festival. If your film is accepted, please clarify with CIFF if your file meets our requirements as soon as possible.

-Films selected for the 41st CIFF will be announced no later than Friday, February 28, 2017.

-Filmmakers are responsible for the shipment of the exhibition copy to the CIFF by the requested deadline. The CIFF will cover outbound shipping only.

-The CIFF reserves the right to use images from films selected in Festival marketing purposes (web, print media, and television).

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