CLEVELAND — Organizers of the Cleveland International Film Festival announced Monday that the 45th annual festival will take place entirely online on April 7 through April 20, 2021.
The decision was made and unanimously approved by the board of directors on Sept. 29.
The organization said given the time of uncertainty we are all living in and the state of the film, theater and event industry, the board felt it was in the best interest of filmmakers, attendees, volunteers and staff to move to an online platform.
“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 in a news release.
The organization said it is looking forward to CIFF46 taking place at its new home at Playhouse Square during the spring of 2022.
Next year's festival will consist of hundreds of films, post-film conversations and Q&As with filmmakers, balloting awards and other activities to provide the full experience of the festival online.
The festival will be extended for two extra days for extended viewing.
In addition to changes to the 2021 film festival, the Cleveland International Film Festival promoted Mallory Martin to artist director, replacing longtime director Bill Guentzler, who stepped down after 22 years.
“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.
The 45th Cleveland International Film Festival will announce the lineup on March 2021.