This decision, which was unanimously approved by the CIFF Board
of Directors at its September 29, 2020 meeting, is based on
science and community circumstances, as well as the state of the
film, theater, and event industries.
During this time of great uncertainty and in the throes of a
resurgent coronavirus pandemic, the organization believes it
is the most responsible option when it comes to the safety of
all those involved – including attendees, filmmakers,
volunteers, trustees, and staff.
“We are very much looking forward to building on the success of
CIFF44 Streams, during which our audience proved that an online
Festival is not only an option, but also the newest component to
making CIFF the best and most accessible experience for our
incredible patrons,” said CIFF Board President Chris Blake.
After quickly pivoting from an in-person Festival to the online
CIFF44 Streams earlier this year, the CIFF’s invaluable
connections to film, filmmakers, and the community remain
unbroken, as well as deepened. The organization is viewing
CIFF45 as a bridge to its future and looks forward to CIFF46
taking place in its new home at Playhouse Square during the
spring of 2022.
CIFF45 will consist of hundreds of films, post-film conversations
and Q&As with filmmakers, balloting, awards, and a slew of
activities to make the online Festival a robust experience for
all involved. The Festival will also include two extra days
(making it a 14-day presentation) for extended viewing and
engagement opportunities. CIFF Speaks (the organization’s
podcast series) will be returning with episodes surrounding and
during the Festival.
The road to CIFF45 also brings a change in the organization’s
artistic leadership with the promotion of Mallory Martin
to Artistic Director, effective October 1, 2020. Mallory joined
the CIFF full-time in October 2011 as Programming Assistant.
Following a number of advancements, she became Director of
Programming and Projection in 2015 and remained in that position
until her most recent appointment.
“We are so very excited for Mallory Martin and for the
organization, knowing that the programming for CIFF45 and beyond
is going to be remarkable. Both the filmmaker experience and the
viewer experience will be exceptional because of Mallory’s
talent and expertise,” CIFF Executive Director Marcie Goodman
“At a time when the entire film industry is facing a
transformation, I am both honored and eager to help lead CIFF
into its new chapters and towards new possibilities. No matter
where the CIFF will live in the future – be it our own living
rooms or Playhouse Square – we remain dedicated to bringing the
best of independent cinema home to Cleveland for many years to
come,” said CIFF Artistic Director Mallory Martin.
replaces Bill Guentzler, who has stepped down from his
role after 22 years with the organization and 15 years as its
Artistic Director (2005-2020). The CIFF is appreciative for
Bill’s decades of dedication to the organization and for all of
the amazing team accomplishments that occurred during that time.
“I couldn’t be more grateful to have spent half my life at CIFF.
While I will no longer be the Artistic Director, I will always
be part of the heart and soul of what CIFF is and stands for —
and CIFF will always be a huge part of me,” noted Bill
Executive Director Marcie Goodman added, “Although the full-time
Festival staff is small, any change is big. However, we fully
support Bill Guentzler as he identifies and follows new hopes
and dreams. And we understand that cannot be done while sitting
in the dark. Plus, we suspect it will be nice for Bill to be
able to watch movies without having to make any decisions about
The 45th Cleveland International Film Festival will
announce its program lineup in March 2021. For more information
on CIFF, as well as its Halfway
to CIFF45 event, Powered by PNC and
taking place October 7 – 10, 2020, visit clevelandfilm.org