CLEVELAND, OH – With notable film festivals such as South By Southwest and the Bentonville Film Festival being cancelled or rescheduled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the upcoming 44th Cleveland international Film Festival has decided that the show must go on.

One of the largest—and oldest film festivals—in the country, CIFF is among the most well-respected and highly regarded alongside the likes of Tribeca, Sundance and the Toronto Film Festival. With a slate of 500 films from 80 countries, and it being the last year that the festival will be held downtown at Tower City before moving to its new permanent home at Playhouse Square, per a recent press release issued stated that in spite of increasing fears over COVID-19, that safety and personal well-maintenance is key.

“Safety is always a top priority at CIFF, and we remain committed to making the Festival a space of safety and well-being for our attendees, guests, volunteers, and staff. Our partners at Bedrock have enhanced environmental cleaning practices, and are working to install hand sanitizer stations throughout the complex. We are following the communications from the Ohio Department of Health, along with additional organizations and individuals in the field, to ensure we are following the recommended guidelines.

Per the advice of health experts, we encourage everyone to take part in the day-in and day-out practicalities of staying healthy, including regular hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you are ill. We will take additional measures to increase health-related messaging throughout the Festival.”  

With a wide array of films being shown downtown in Tower City and in both the West Side location at Gordon Square Arts District and the Cedar Lee District in Cleveland Heights on the East Side, the 44th Cleveland International Film Festival has potential to be a very special one.

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