CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland International Film Festival announced Wednesday it is canceling the 44th annual event from March 25 to April 5 due to coronavirus concerns.
More than 100,000 visitors attended the CIFF annually for the past five years.
“While we are saddened that our film loving audience will not have the opportunity to experience CIFF44’s amazing films and talented filmmakers, we understand the city’s obligation to protect the health and safety of all residents,” a statement from CIFF reads. “We regret not having the opportunity to celebrate our three decades at Tower City Center. But we look forward to presenting CIFF45, April 7-18, 2021, at our new and permanent home in Playhouse Square. This is a difficult situation for all involved. We are grateful for your understanding, loyalty, and continued support during this challenging time.”
For 30 years, the CIFF has been based out of Tower City in downtown Cleveland’s Public Square.
The film festival will permanently be based in Playhouse Square, beginning in 2021.
“Marcie Goodman and her team have built a juggernaut of a festival that is a real point of pride for Northeast Ohio and recognized as one of the best internationally. They bring the world to Cleveland, through the films they program and through the audiences and filmmakers who travel from around the globe to be a part of it,” said Playhouse Square President and CEO Gina Vernaci. “We heartily welcome CIFF to our family of resident companies.”
Films will be screened at Playhouse Square’s iconic theatres, including the Allen Theatre, KeyBank State Theatre, Mimi Ohio Theatre, and Connor Palace.
“The Cleveland International Film Festival has been a pivotal part of the city’s cultural fabric for an incredible 44 years, and it has been our honor at Bedrock to host the event during part of its 30-year tenure at The Avenue Shops at Tower City Center,” said Ken Till, Bedrock Vice President, Development. “We wish the Festival and its leaders the very best in their new location."