Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cleveland's International Film Festival...

I recently had the opportunity to attend the 33rd Cleveland International Film Festival. I didn't attend the opening or closing ceremonies, that's not my style. However, I was able to attend the entire festival using Media Passes which allowed me into everything, save it wasn't already sold out or had standby seating.

This was the biggest year for the CIFF to date. On Saturday alone they had a record number of 9,500 visitors in one day topping their record from last year by 800. A total of 66,500 movie fans took to Tower City to view some amazing films from around the world. They showed an amazing 320 films from 63 countries in a span of 10 days.

I saw a few really good films. But as a fluke, I came upon a showing of the top winners from the Cannes Film Festival's Gold Lion awards. The Gold Lion is for advertising. This 90 minute foray showed us all the worldwide winners in commercial advertising. I highly enjoyed watching the commercial genius of these advertising firms. So often our commercials are directed to the mindless. These had substance. These were amazing.

I've managed to find a few of the best for you to view here. There were a few that I wished I'd had a pen and paper handy to make notes to myself...but alas, as commercials go, sometimes you remember the commercial but not what they were advertising!

One in particular has me humming the song from it ever since. It's a 2 minute piece for Nomis soccer shoes (or boots as they call them) and it's brilliant. It won in two separate categories.

Damn Boots from Nomis Boots on Vimeo.

And there were a few really clever Crest toothpaste commercials that also won awards. They were edgy and funny...and probably only shown to the European market. I've never viewed them on American TV. The first, and perhaps best one is the bulldozer ad. All of the commercials end with the tagline: "You can say anything with a smile."

This was the second from the Crest series....one where the boyfriend comes home with a lice comb and tells the girlfriend that the new pillow? He found it and now they both have lice. It's pretty damn funny. Gross, but funny. I howled. There were alot of "Eeeeww's" going about the theater, but I thought it was great.

The last of the series is this one. Not quite as good as the other two in my opinion, but hats off to the person that came up with all of these. Fabulous. Pre-nupts will never be the same. I thought I might fall out of my seat laughing!

If you get the chance to attend the film festival next year, I would highly recommend it to anyone. There were many 'art' films that weren't of my taste, but it was a wonderful event and great for the Cleveland area. It was quite refreshing to see how crowded it was early on a Sunday morning, people downtown with their coffee cups in hand, ballots in the other looking for one theater or another to sit down and watch films that many won't even make it to the Cedar Lee.

I didn't have the time allowed to delve in completely with the film festival. I sat next to a gentleman in one theater that told me he had been down to see a few films every day the festival was running! He had managed to take in 33 of the 320 films. Not bad. Much better than me.

Can't wait till next year. Hopefully I'll have more time to devote to the movie buff in me. I'll leave you with the best one by Sylvania Lightbulbs. Enjoy!


  1. Those Crest ones are so funny! At work, they always tell me that I can deliver the worst news with the happiest face. It works!

  2. Thanks for sharing the laughs! Those make the lame ass Burger King ads seem even worse.


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