I started attending the Cleveland International Film Festival in 1983. One of the best films that year was Night of a Thousand Stars. Not actually sure if that was its title. Do remember, though, that it was a delectable film about Italy. I was hooked and have made it to the festival almost every year since.
Cleveland actually has many things to commend it, but honestly, I think the CIFF is its most commendable. Incredibly well-organized with hundreds of delightful volunteers — and the films! I’ve never been disappointed.
And there is an interesting side story to my loving this event. For many years, I’ve seen the same person come wheeling into a film on her bed. I saw her first in 1984, maybe. She is probably about 10 or so years older than I am and the size of a 10-year-old. Last time I saw her, I mentioned that I’d been seeing her off and on at the festival since about 1984. She just smiled. Her daughter was with her that time. It’s always gratifying to see that she gets rolled in to the front of the theater. By this time, I would imagine she gets free tickets. Hope so. What a tribute to the festival that this woman with considerable health issues makes such an effort to get to the films.