CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Sunday night marked the end of the 41st annual Cleveland International Film Festival. The event, which began on March 29, drew in 106,504 attendees this year. Festival officials said that is an attendance record, and is triple the amount of visitors 16 years ago.
The final night included a closing reception and award ceremony. One of this year's most prestigious awards, the Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award for the Best Film, was handed out to the film Big Sonia.
The 2017 CIFF hosted more than 190 feature films and at least 210 short films from filmmakers from over 70 countries worldwide. The very first festival was held in 1977 with only 8 films shown at Cleveland Heights' Cedar Lee Theatre. The attention and attendance the first fest garnered was an indicator that the Cleveland International Film Festival could be successful for a long time.
The film festival already has dates set to return to Cleveland next year. The CIFF is expected to be held at Tower City again, beginning April 4 and running through April 15, 2018.