The Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) and Playhouse Square are elated to announce that in 2021 the Festival will permanently move to Playhouse Square – marking a new chapter for two of the region’s most beloved cultural gems.

“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.”

Festival attendees will have the opportunity to screen films in some of the most historic and stunning venues in Northeast Ohio – including the Allen Theatre, KeyBank State Theatre, Mimi Ohio Theatre, and Connor Palace – in addition to having access to dozens of dining and nightlife establishments in the Playhouse Square District.

“By moving to Playhouse Square, the CIFF gets to remain in our beloved downtown Cleveland and under one phenomenal roof,” said Executive Director of CIFF Marcie Goodman. “We will have the privilege to be part of a thriving arts district where the sum of our Film Festival and Playhouse Square parts, along with the other resident companies, will be profoundly strong. The time is right for us to make the move in 2021 and to position ourselves within an incredible entertainment complex with multiple-sized venues and enormous capacity. It will be thrilling for us to create a different audience experience, from intimate to grand, as we honor Playhouse Square’s past, which was built on cinema. We cannot wait for our future to begin!”

The move to Playhouse Square, which follows a 14-year run at the Cedar Lee Theatre and a 30-year run at Tower City Cinemas, will mark the Festival’s third home in the organization’s history.

“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.”

The largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York, the not-for-profit Playhouse Square is Northeast Ohio’s destination for Broadway and more great entertainment. Playhouse Square is a champion of arts education and downtown Cleveland, and proud to be the home of Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest. The CIFF will become Playhouse Square’s newest resident company.

The 44th Cleveland International Film Festival will be held March 25 – April 5, 2020 at Tower City Cinemas. For the past five years, CIFF’s attendance has topped 100,000, while hosting more than 600 screenings during its 12-day run. Over 400 guest filmmakers from around the world visit Cleveland each year to be part of the Festival. CIFF44 program details will be available at on Friday, February 28, with Program Guides hitting the streets the week of March 2. Tickets will go on sale to CIFF Members on Friday, March 6 and to the public on Friday, March 13. For more information, please visit

The Cleveland International Film Festival is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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