Cleveland International Film Festival

The festival is quickly approaching and today I want to share my “strategy” with you so you can conquer and enjoy the festival as much as I do.

Living in Cleveland  the winter can often be gray and chilly, but then March arrives and the films start rolling into town and Viola…the Cleveland International Film Festival is here…all is sunny and grand!

The festival of artistic films brings so many different emotions, from a matinee filled with possibilities, a weeknight romantic comedy, perhaps a deep documentary is more your style. Short attention span? A selection of short films will do. There really is something for everyone.

There are so many great films that I literally plan my attack weeks in advance. It takes me hours to scour the entire program guide. As a member I have the opportunity to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the public which is awesome. But how do I choose? Here goes nothing….

So, I go through the well-design program book, reading every description, director and plot. Then once something hits my fancy, I color in the daily time table with every time slot the particular film is available. (note the crazy pictures!) Then, I pass my selections around to a handful of friends and have them mark which films and times would A) interest them and B) work within their schedule.

I usually take an afternoon off to hit some of the flicks only I want to see (Craft & Cracks in the Shell.) I will maybe see one super late movie (maybe All Alone?) I never miss a French film (Nana, The Art of Love & 17 Girls) and then there are the tug-at-your-heart- strings documentaries (Baby Factory, Family Portrait in Black and White and Of Two Minds), gotta squeeze them in.

So back to my chart…I begin placing dots over the color blocks when it is of interest to others and the films with the most dots win! I hope to see a dozen films to quench my thirst for the festival, you? What are you going to see? How do you plan your festival? I’m always looking for another type of process this color and dot system seems silly but to me it works.

Looking forward to seeing you at the movies! Happy Film Festival, March 22-April 1st, 2012