Black Girls Prepare to Embrace Curiosity? Zoe's CIFF Picks

Every year since I can remember, I’ve created a movie watch-list for the Cleveland International Film Festival. 2018 is no different.

Film festival enthusiasts from around the globe will be headed to The Land to fuel their film appetites at the 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival April 4-15.

My holiday.

Members of CIFF got access to the online program guide a week before the hard copy hit the streets. I spent time last Saturday picking my movies online. I then stopped by Mitchell’s Ice Cream this past Monday to grab a few copies of the program guide and enjoy a free scoop of a fav - lemon black raspberry frozen yogurt. Thanks, CIFF.

The program guide is nostalgic, reminding me of my early festival days, before the Internet was everything when I’d snuggle up with a hot beverage, a pen, and paper to map out my movie watch-list.

While it’s a must to have a few program guides on hand, nothing compares to the online version that makes scheduling a watch-list a cinch.

  • One. Most movies now have Youtube or Vimeo trailers directly in the guide, subtitles to boot.Trailer watching creates an anticipation that tickles my curiosity. It’s one of my favorite things to do before the festival.

  • Two. Movies are categorized in several ways, making the hunt convenient. I lean toward  Sidebars.

  • Three. Speaking of convenient, with a click of a button you can create an instant watch-list and purchase your tickets. (Online tickets include a surcharge so consider going to Tower City to buy them in person. Oh and members get a discount on their tickets so think about joining before buying.)

⚠️My CIFF42 Picks

I love a movie with a plot twist and some thrill. Dark comedy is good, but not too silly. I’m open to exploring movies from just about anywhere, but not ones that are too abstract. I have to be in a certain headspace to watch documentaries, but there are a few that intrigue me. Most important, I’m way fond of movies with dialogue displayed at the bottom of the screen.

My list is in alphabetical order with country or countries of origin and not language. I also included their Sidebars sub-category.

  1. A Day | South Korea | Sidebars: After Hours & Pan-Asian Cinema

  2. Ask the Sexpert* | USA | Sidebar: Pan-Asian Cinema

  3. Blue My Mind | Switzerland | Sidebar: After Hours

  4. Disappearance | Netherlands, Norway | Nordic Adventure

  5. Handia | Spain | Sidebar: Cinema en Espanol

  6. I Am Not A Witch | UK, France, Zambia, Germany | Sidebars: African Diaspora & Women of the World

  7. In Syria | Belgium | Sidebar: Voices of the Arab World

  8. In the Shadows | India, Germany, UK | Sidebar: Pan-Asian Cinema

  9. Killing Jesus | Columbian, Argentina | Sidebar: Cinema en Espanol

  10. La Familia | Venezuela, Chile, Norway | Sidebar: Cinema en Espanol

  11. Marlina the Murder in Four Acts | Indonesia, France, Malaysia,Thailand | Sidebars: After Hours, Pan-Asian Cinema, Women of the World

  12. Newton | India | Sidebar: Pan-Asian Cinema

  13. Shelter | Israel,German | Sidebar: Jewish and Isreali Vision & Voices of the Arab World

  14. Shorts Program 12 | Various countries | I really want to see 1745.

  15. Spoor | Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Czech, Sweden | Sidebar: After Hours

  16. The Judge | Palestine, USA | Sidebars: Voices of the Arab World & Women of the World

  17. Tigers are not Afraid | Mexico | Sidebars: After Hours & Cinema en Espanol (#1 PICK)

  18. What Will People Say | Norway, Germany, Sweden | Sidebar: Nordic Adventures & Pan-Asian Cinema

There are more that I’d love to see, but I’ll stop here. I probably won’t, of course, get to see all of these, so I’ll be on the lookout for them at Cedar-Lee or Capitol Theatre during the rest of the year.

I’m sure there’ll be other great films screened at CIFF where people speak English. Unfortunately, I won’t see any of them let alone add them to my watchlist. (Disclaimer: British, Canadian, and Australian English films count as foreign to me, even though I can understand most of what is being said.)

Sorry, not sorry.

Check out our past posts about CIFF, especially if you’re a film festival newbie. Shana and I offer helpful tips to make the most of your festival experience.

Now, go and enjoy the festival this year! And include at least one movie with dialogue at the bottom of the screen from a country other than the one you’re from. Let us know what you plan to see and maybe we will catch you there! Vive la cinema international! Vive la CIFF!