Crowd watching movie in theater at Cleveland International Film Festival (photo by Tim Smith)

Cleveland International Film Festival 2023

This longtime favorite moved to Playhouse Square in 2022, where it returns this year for an 11-day showcase of films from around the world. 

For more than three decades, the Cleveland International Film Festival brought the work of moviemakers from around the globe to downtown’s Tower City Cinemas. In 2022, the festival found a new rhythm in Cleveland’s theater district, merging the bold vision of the films featured with the grandeur of Playhouse Square’s elegantly restored theaters.

The 47th annual Cleveland International Film Festival returns March 22, with more than 100 features and nearly 200 short films from around 70 countries scheduled to be presented over the event’s 11-day run at Playhouse Square.

“We had over 330 filmmakers last year, and for many of them it was their first festival in three years or so, as well,” says Marcie Goodman, executive director of the Cleveland International Film Festival. “I just love that they got to screen their films at Playhouse Square.”

The action kicks off with an opening-night screening and celebration, and films are shown throughout each day at five Playhouse Square venues over the course of the festival. Once the in-person event concludes April 1, ticketed online screenings of films featured at the festival continue from April 2 through 9.

The Cleveland International Film Festival highlights a wide diversity of filmmakers, but it also stays connected to its roots by including local creators as well as films that hail from Central and Eastern Europe.

“The good thing about film as an art form is that there’s so many options,” Goodman says, “so we kind of feel like we have something for everyone.” 

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