Lights. Camera. Azione. Or De actie. Or some really complicated Mandarin Chinese phrase. Yes, the 29th-annual Cleveland International Film Festival is coming to Tower City March 10 through 20 (www.clevelandfilm.org). And the Cleveland Film Society's Marcie Goodman, Patrick Shepherd and Bill Guentzler have been working for months to keep you in the dark. Holding a $6 bag of popcorn.
What's the hardest part about coordinating the festival?
Marcie: How much of it is out of our control. For example, the weather. We pray for rain and 40 degrees. No snowstorms. No spring fever. We want movie weather.
What are the criteria for selecting a film?
Bill: I spend a lot of time traveling to other festivals. Plus, we have a call for entries. Then we have committees that watch the films and decide what will work best for our audience. I probably saw 500 movies last year.
The most difficult country to deal with.
Bill: The French usually wind up being very difficult. What a shock.
Your favorite kind of movie?
Marcie: Trust me, I'm no movie snob. I saw "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle."
Subtitles or dubbed voices?
Patrick: No dubbing. Dubbing is bad. Very bad.
Ever missed out on a film that you regret?
Bill: We were offered "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," but it was too late for the program. And to tell you the truth, it sounded kind of silly. Who knew?
If an East Sider saw a film made by a West Sider, would that be considered a foreign film?
Pat: Absolutely. We just wouldn't tell them.
What's the best movie ever shot in Cleveland?
Marcie: The best movie shot in Cleveland that people don't know was shot in Cleveland: "The Deer Hunter." And the best movie about Cleveland that wasn't shot in Cleveland: "Major League."
Is it OK to eat haggis and cold peas while watching a Scottish film?
Patrick: Personally, I'd go with Twizzlers.
Marcie: Twizzlers? Ugh. Raisinets.
A movie from this year's festival that people will be talking about six months from now.
Bill: "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things."
Patrick: Incredibly tense and grueling to watch. But amazing.
Like "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle."
Marcie: I'm a big fan of immature humor, what can I say?