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CIFF STREAMS + AWBA Film Selections

Viewers will have the opportunity to stream free Cleveland International Film Festival documentaries, all with an Anisfield-Wolfian flavor, from September 29-October 4. Coupled with each film will be an in-depth interview with the director, hosted by Cleveland State University professor Eric Siler. One new film will be released each day, available to screen from 9 a.m. EST through 11 p.m. EST. Read our Frequently Asked Questions below

Tuesday, September 29

“Dope Is Death,” directed by Mia Donovan

DOPE IS DEATH is the story of how the Young Lords and Black Panther Party—two inner-city human rights activist groups— created the first acupuncture detoxification program in America. This compelling documentary profiles a visionary community healthcare program created by the people for the people, which ultimately led to a protocol practiced in over 600 healthcare facilities in the U.S. alone. 78 minute runtime, closed captioning available.

Wednesday, September 30

“Good Luck Soup,” directed by Matthew Hashiguchi

57 minute runtime, closed captioning available

Growing up Japanese-American in a predominantly white Irish-Catholic neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, Matthew wondered what made him different, why he stood out. Years later he set out to document his family’s experiences of being Japanese in America before, during, and after World War II. GOOD LUCK SOUP explores several generations assimilating into a new culture while preserving their own. Grandmother Eva takes the narrative reins. Beginning with the family’s arrival in the early 1900s, we encounter the infamous Japanese Internment Camps during the war, a post-war welcome extended by Cleveland, and the different views and challenges each succeeding generation faces.

Friday, October 2

“Since I Been Down,” directed by Gilda Sheppard

The United States is home to a startling statistic: the country currently has a higher percentage of its population in prison than any other society in the history of western civilization. Yet, mass incarceration does little to address the underlying disparities and realities that drive crime in underserved communities.  SINCE I BEEN DOWN is a documentary that challenges our definition of justice by focusing on a group of inmates determined to create paths to education and healing from within their prison walls. 105 minute runtime, no closed captioning available.

Saturday, October 3

“We Are the Radical Monarchs,” directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton

Don’t expect to see the Radical Monarchs— a scout troop comprising young girls of color in Oakland, California—selling cookies. These troopers earn their badges by learning about social justice movements, from the Black Panthers to Black Lives Matter, and participating in protest and pride marches. Filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton’s WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS follows the inaugural troop, led by co-founders Anayvette Martinez and Marilyn Hollinquest, from their first year as scouts through their graduation. 86 minute runtime, closed captioning available.

Sunday, October 4

Shorts Program 1 + 2

Diverse in tone and theme, these short films (ranging anywhere between 5-30 minutes) share a common focus on racial equity. No closed captioning available.

Shorts Program 1

The Treasures of Mrs. Grady’s Library (3 minutes)
One day he wandered into the library, where he came across a book by African-American author Frank Yerby. The cover piqued his interest, but Olly didn’t want to risk his reputation by letting his classmates see him voluntarily reading. So rather than check out the book, he stole it.

A Conversation with Asian Americans On Race (7 minutes)
Asian-Americans confront stereotypes about their community.

The Tables (15 minutes)
A look at the powerful connection between a pair of outdoor ping pong tables in the heart of New York City and the unlikely group of people they’ve brought together.

The Forgotten (14 minutes)
A young Latino street artist pays homage to unseen, forgotten domestic laborers through an art installation in the Sonoran Desert, in tribute to his immigrant roots.

St. Louis Superman (28 minutes)
Bruce Franks Jr. is a 33-year-old battle rapper, Ferguson activist and state representative from St. Louis, Missouri. Known as Superman to his constituents, he is a political figure the likes of which you’ve never never seen — full of contradictions and deep insights, who has overcome unspeakable loss to become one of the most exciting and unapologetic young leaders in the country.

My Nephew Emmett (20 minutes)
In 1955, a 64 year old African American Mississippi preacher tries to keep two racist killers from abducting his 14 year-old nephew, Emmett Louis Till. Based on a true story.

One Word Sawalmen (19 minutes)
One Word Sawalmem is born from one question: what is one word from your ancestral language which changed your life and which you can offer to humanity to heal our relationship with the Earth?

Shorts Program 2

Can a Museum Help America Heal? (6 minutes)
A visionary director redefines the black experience at the new Smithsonian.

Coffee Shop Names (8 minutes)
Coffee shop aliases are revealed as three co-workers wait for their morning cups of joe.

The Right Choice (10 minutes)
With the help of The Adviser, a husband and wife must answer three seemingly harmless questions to create their perfect designer baby.

The Language of Ball (9 minutes)
A lonely teenager, new to the city, is forced out of his comfort zone one morning on the basketball court.

Mateo’s Story (23 minutes)
“La Historia de Mateo” follows a family from Central America fleeing deadly gang violence with their two small children. When legally seeking asylum, one-year-old Mateo is separated from his father by U.S. immigration. Suddenly a journey to safety turns into a journey of trauma, fear and irreparable damage. Featuring Erika Pinheiro and Olivia Caceres.

The New Homesmiths: I Live in a Tiny House (8 minutes)
Jewel Pearson, an African-American Tiny House trailblazer, sets out to redefine the American Dream within a typically white, hipster community.

Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible (29 minutes)
A boxing gym on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation teaches young girls how to defend themselves in response to over 100 Native American girls and women from Montana having disappeared, been murdered, or their status remains unknown in the past two years.

The Lost Astronaut (13 minutes)
In 1963, Ed Dwight Jr. was poised to be NASA’s first African-American astronaut. Until suddenly he wasn’t. “Almost Famous” is a Breakwater Studios x New York Times Op-Docs series of films featuring people who nearly made history — and were happy anyway.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much are tickets to CIFF Streams + Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards film events?
Tickets are FREE! Please note: each film event must be registered for separately.

When can I register for film events included in the CIFF Streams + Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards program?
Registration for film events opens on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 11:00 AM ET and closes at 9:00 PM ET on each scheduled film event date. If you register for a film event prior to the scheduled release date, you will receive an Eventbrite order confirmation email within a few minutes of registering. On the day before the scheduled film event is released, an Eventbrite reminder email with a streaming access voucher code for streaming film events via Roku, and streaming access link for streaming the film events on all other devices.

If you register for a CIFF Streams + Anisfield Wolf Book Awards film event on the same date it is released, you will receive your Eventbrite order confirmation containing your streaming access within a few minutes of registering.

While each film event must be registered for by 9:00 PM ET on its scheduled release date, you will have until 11:00 PM ET to begin streaming the film and post-film conversation with the director and/or subjects (if applicable). Please check spam/junk folders for email confirmations if you haven’t received your Eventbrite streaming access email. 

When can I stream CIFF Streams film events?
A CIFF Streams film event will be released each day during Cleveland Book Week (September 29-October 4, 2020), with the exception of October 1, 2020. CIFF Streams film events during CIFF Streams + Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards can only be accessed by registering on Eventbrite for specific film events HERE and can only be streamed on their scheduled film event date. Please note, you must separately register for each film event you would like to stream.

Film events for feature length films will be accompanied by a pre-recorded, moderated conversation between the director and/or documentary subject(s) and Cleveland State University professor, Eric Siler. These conversations will stream immediately following the film, there is no need to register for post-film conversations or change online platforms. Please note: Shorts Programs will not be followed by a conversation.

Who can access CIFF Streams film events during CIFF Streams + Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards?
CIFF Streams film events during CIFF Streams + Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards are free and open to everyone. Film events can be streamed online from anywhere within the United States (including Puerto Rico). A majority of the films will have closed captioning. Closed captioning availability is listed under each film event’s description. All pre-recorded conversations will include both a Sign Language Interpreter and closed captioning.

On which devices can I stream film events I registered for?
CIFF Streams film events can be streamed via web browsers on computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. You can stream film events directly through the CIFF Streams channel via Roku TV/stick. You can also cast films to a smart TV via a Chromecast or Apple AirPlay device or connect a computer or laptop to your smart TV via an HDMI cord.

What are the system requirements to stream film events on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones?
You can stream films on PCs running Windows 7 or newer, and Intel-based Macs running OS X 10.12 or newer. You can also stream films on Android tablets and phones using a Google Chrome browser and on Apple iPhones and iPads using a Safari browser. On laptops and desktops you can use Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera browsers. We recommend using the latest version of your browser. Microsoft Internet Explorer is not supported. Click on the streaming access link from your Eventbrite streaming access email to stream films on your desktop or laptop.

How do I stream film events on my iPhone/iPad?
You can stream films using Safari on iOS 11.2 or newer. Please note that you must have “Screen Mirroring” turned off in your settings in order for film events to play. Click on the streaming access link from your Eventbrite streaming access email to stream films on your iPhone or iPad.

How do I stream film events on my Android device?
You can stream content using Chrome on Android 6.0 or newer. Click on the streaming access link from Eventbrite your streaming access email to stream films on your tablet or smartphone.

How do I Chromecast film events?
You can Chromecast film events from a Google Chrome web browser on PC and Mac computers as well as Android devices by selecting the cast button in the bottom right-hand side of the player. Click on the streaming access link from your Eventbrite streaming access email to cast films via Chromecast.

How do I AirPlay film events to my Apple TV?
You can AirPlay film events from most browsers if you have an Apple TV device by selecting the cast button in the bottom right-hand side of the player. Click on the streaming access link from your streaming access email to stream films via AirPlay.

How do I stream film events on my Roku or Apple TV?
From a Roku TV or smart TV with a Roku device connected, search for the CIFF Streams channel from the Roku homepage and download the channel for free. Once the download is complete, select the CIFF Streams channel, follow the onscreen instructions for pairing, and enter the streaming ticket code you received in your Eventbrite streaming access email.

From an Apple TV, only previous CIFF Streams customers who already have the CIFF Streams app on their Apple TV device will be able to stream film events. Enter the streaming voucher code you received in your Eventbrite streaming access email.

Why does video playback stall or not play smoothly?
The CIFF Streams streaming platform uses adaptive bitrate streaming which means the streaming quality will automatically adjust based on your internet speed. If your internet connection is poor or inconsistent you may experience problems during playback. If you’re on Wi-Fi, try moving closer to your router.

Are CIFF Streams + Anisfield-Wolf film events accessible for persons with disabilities?
All but one of the feature films (SINCE I BEEN DOWN) streaming as part of the CIFF Streams + Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards program offers closed captioning. The short films included in the Shorts Program 1 and Shorts Program 2 do not offer closed captioning. All pre-recorded conversations will include both closed captioning and a Sign Language Interpreter.

Who can I contact for further assistance with CIFF Streams film events?
Have questions? Need help? Just email us at