Since 2003 at CIFF27, the Festival has honored directors who have made a lasting impact on film with its Director’s Spotlight Award. The purpose of this program is to showcase directors with distinguished careers by featuring a retrospective of their past films and screening their most recent work available. Over the years we have celebrated filmmakers who have had their talent embraced around the country and the world. This year we are proud to present the Director’s Spotlight Award to Steve James.
James has been a favorite among CIFF audiences since his film STEVIE screened at CIFF27 in 2003, followed by NO CROSSOVER: The TRIAL OF ALLEN IVERSON at CIFF34 in 2010, and THE INTERRUPTERS at CIFF35 in 2011.
At this year’s Festival, we are thrilled to screen ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL (2016), AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR (2008), HOOP DREAMS (1994), and LIFE ITSELF (2014).
James is recognized as one of the most acclaimed documentary filmmakers of his generation. He regularly collaborates with the Chicago-based nonprofit production studio Kartemquin Films. The first such collaboration was “Hoop Dreams” (1994), which was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Film Editing. The film was also the winner of every major critic’s prize as well as a Peabody and Robert F. Kennedy Award. It was most recently selected for the Library of Congress National Film Registry.
His current projects at Kartemquin include “Generation Food,” a transmedia collaboration with author Raj Patel that looks at solutions to fixing the broken global food system, and To Bridge the Divide, a series that follows the stories of a dozen students grappling with how to address what is commonly called a “racial achievement gap.”
The Director’s Spotlight Award is presented with generous support from Lauren Rich Fine and Gary Giller.
The 41st Cleveland International Film Festival, presented by Dollar Bank, will take place March 29th – April 9th at Tower City Cinemas and select neighborhood screening locations. CIFF41 program details will be announced on Friday, March 3rd at clevelandfilm.org. Program Guides will be available at all Dollar Bank branches, and throughout the area, the week of March 6th. Tickets will go on sale to CIFF members on Friday, March 10th and to the general public on Friday, March 17th.
The Cleveland International Film Festival is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.