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Cleveland International Film Festival shares 2023 dates, recap of this year’s hybrid attendance

"From the Hood to the Holler"
"From the Hood to the Holler" won the Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award for Best Film at the 46th annual Cleveland International Film Festival.

The Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) announced today its first hybrid festival drew 77,531 people, both in person and online. That compares to a reach of 100,000 viewers for the online festival last year and similar peak attendance at pre-pandemic festivals held at the now-closed Tower City Cinemas.

In-person attendance for this first festival at Playhouse Square was 28,567 visitors, with the rest of viewers streaming films online.

“In our minds we started at zero,” said CIFF Executive Director Marcie Goodman. “The last time we were in person was three years ago. There was no pandemic. We had been at that location for 29 years. Over these three years, people's viewing habits have changed dramatically. When we were last in person, there was Netflix and nothing else for the most part.”

In addition to presenting 146 feature films and 182 shorts, the festival hosted more than 300 filmmakers from around the world.

Showing those films on big screens inside the historic Playhouse Square venue was a highlight, Goodman said.

Isabela Carroll
Ideastream Public Media
People gather for the 46th annual Cleveland International Film Festival inside Playhouse Square in Cleveland.

The next festival is already scheduled for March 22 - April 1, 2023, at Playhouse Square. It is too soon to say whether there will be an online portion next year, Goodman said. That will be influenced by film distributors and the industry.

The festival will open its call for submissions for 2023 over the summer.

Carrie Wise is the deputy editor of arts and culture at Ideastream Public Media.