Film Festival

Last weekend I had the chance to see a few good films at the Cleveland International Film Festival. I've been going to this annual event for years, and it remains the best film festival that I've been able to attend. Granted, I haven't been to any of the 'premier' festivals, like Sundance, Toronto or Tribecca. Cleveland, though, has a lot of unique things going for it that makes it a great event that I'm not sure could exist in a lot of other places.

(from thegilmanator on Flickr)

Tower City Cinemas is the perfect location for the festival. It's a decent downtown theater with eight screens. And since the cinema itself is rarely busy, it's not unreasonable for the event to take over the entire complex for its 10 day run. The centralized location creates an atmosphere, as it allows movie lovers to spend an entire day seeing films in one place and interact with other film buffs. The sheer mass of people creates an environment that couldn't exist if the films were spread out among a handful of different theaters.

In all the years I've been going to the Cleveland Film Festival, I've never been locked-out of a film that I wanted to see. It really doesn't matter if you're a celebrity, a VIP, a major donor or someone who just wants to take in a film. If there's something you want to see, you can find a way to see it.

Of course, it would be a shame if something happened and Tower City Cinemas couldn't host the festival in the future. Or if the event's popularity turns it into an exclusive affair that regular people struggle to find tickets for. But right now, it's the perfect equilibrium. I hope they can maintain that equilibrium for years and years.