This year is quite the milestone for the Cleveland Film Society as the city celebrates the 40th anniversary of their highly cherished Cleveland International Film Festival.
Akronlife Magazine was on hand for opening night as the festival ignited with Good Ol' Boy, a fun loving family comedy starring Jason Lee. The charming film followed a ten-year-old from India growing up in 1970's America as he struggles with first love, overbearing parents and even arranged marriage. The crowd seemed to really enjoy the easy-going and humorous picture as did the Akronlife staff in attendance.
The weekend brought forth a few divided opinion films, or films which we particularly didn't care for though others at the festival did, as well as a few hidden gems that really impressed us. Among our favorites over the weekend were Women in Oversized Men's Shirts and My Blind Brother.
Women in Oversized Men's Shirts is a darling film that screened as part of the Women of the World side bar and will also be competing for the ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman, which will be presented to a woman director at the Closing Night Reception, accompanied by a $10,000 cash prize. The fascinating and irresistibly watchable film from Norway follows three woman - an aspiring young writer stumbling into a new romance, a pregnant performance artist possibly suffering from a midlife crisis and a 60-something warehouse manager who continues to look back at her once promising past - as they push on through the hurdles of life. Never a dull moment in this must-see film.
My Blind Brother played as part of the Local Heroes Competition and coincidentally (or do we see a pattern here) was also helmed by a female director, which qualifies her for the Reel WomenDirect Award. The picture was filmed throughout Northeast Ohio and was produced by Tyler Davidson’s Cleveland-based Low Spark Films. Director Sophie Goodhart brilliantly casts a handful of charismatic actors like Jenny Slate, Nick Kroll, Adam Scott and Zoe Kazan in a film that follows two brothers at war over the same girl. Actress Jenny Slate is the standout here as the focus of love triangle, who manages to even charm her way into the hearts of the viewers.
Stay tuned for a recap of Knight and Day in Akron as well as closing night festivities.