In a first-time collaboration, the Wexner Center will serve as the host venue for the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) Columbus Preview Party, followed by a screening of The Secret of the Grain on Friday, March 6.
For this free public reception at 6 PM, special guests Amy Juravich, Linda Taylor, and Clay Lowe of WOSU’s “Open Line Weekend”—along with representatives from the CIFF and the Wexner Center—will join patrons for mingling, snacks, a cash bar, and previews of some of the festival’s films. Attendees will have the chance to win prizes, including CIFF All-Access passes and an overnight hotel stay in the Ritz-Carlton Cleveland.
The preview party will be followed by a screening of The Secret of the Grain (Abdel Kechiche, 2007) at 7 pm in the Wexner Center’s state-of-the-art Film/Video Theater (tickets are $7, $5 for members, students, and seniors). Showing as part of the Wex’s contemporary film series (with an additional screening the following night), the movie follows the life of an Arab patriarch in a small French town as he tries to open a small restaurant, only to be faced with resistance from the local bureaucracy; it swept the 2007 César Awards (the French Oscars), and The New York Times called it “bustling and brilliant.”
Now in its 33rd year, the 11-day CIFF begins in Cleveland March 19 and features hundreds of films from around the globe. As part of the partnership, the Wexner Center will be sponsoring one of the festival’s film screenings there: Night and Day by Korean director Hong Sang-soo (whose films were featured in a retrospective at the Wex in 2006). Wexner Center film curator Chris Stults will be introducing the film on Saturday, March 21 at Tower City Cinemas in downtown Cleveland. Stults notes, “We’re thrilled to be involved in this renowned regional festival this year, and we hope this leads to a continued, fruitful partnership between our two organizations.”
Patrick Shepherd, CIFF associate director, says, “We’re always keeping our eyes open for like-minded institutions dedicated to presenting independent film, and the Wexner Center, our newest regional partner, is definitely one of those.”
Support for the Cleveland International Film Festival Columbus Preview Party is provided by WOSU, The Other Paper, C Magazine, and Whole Foods.