Chagrin Documentary Film Festival Announces Selected Films for 7th Annual Fest in October, 2016.

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Chagrin Documentary Film Festival to screen 76 films representing 24 countries at the 7th Annual Festival from October 5-9. Tickets go on sale September 1.

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2016 Chagrin Film Fest

“It has been our founding mission to empower talented filmmakers. We are proud to share their stories with our enthusiastic and engaged audience."

The Chagrin Documentary Film Festival will screen 76 films during its seventh annual event October 5-9 at venues in and around Chagrin Falls. The selected documentaries represent the work of filmmakers from 24 countries and focus on a wide range of thought-provoking topics.

Tickets go on sale September 1 at

Multiple festival winners have been nominated for Academy Awards, while the festival itself has been named one of Movie Maker Magazine's Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee for the fourth year in a row. The magazine credits festival staff with drawing in local interest groups to related documentaries.

Film buffs will be able to choose documentaries from eight categories this year. They include:

Emerging Filmmaker:
“This category reflects our commitment to giving a voice to the first time filmmaker,” said Festival Director Mary Ann Ponce, who founded the festival in 2010 to honor her son, David. “It has always been our mission to empower talented filmmakers and to share their stories with our enthusiastic and engaged audience."
The films include: Chasing the Win - Directed by Chris Ghelfi and Laura Sheehy (USA); Following Seas - Directed by Tyler Kelley and Araby Williams (French Polynesia, USA); I Approve This Message - Directed by Jesse Strauss (USA); Kilimanjaro Warriors: A Monumental Goal for Recovery - Directed by Bevan B. Bell (USA); South Bureau Homicide - Directed by Mark Earl Burman and Mike Cooley (USA) This is Honduras​ - Directed by Taylor A. Purdee, Executive Producer, Brandon Jackson (Honduras, USA).

Environmental Films:
Films which highlight an environmental or ecological theme include: Atlantic - Directed by Risteard O’Domhnaill (Canada, Ireland, Norway); Baobabs Between Land and Sea - Directed by Cyrille Cornu (France, Madagascar); A Last Stand for Lelu - Directed by Tamo Campos and Farhan Umedaly (Canada); Our Local Epic - Directed by William Taggart (USA); Sustainable - Directed by Matt Wechsler (USA).

Feature Documentaries:
These films include documentaries on any subject which are longer than 40 minutes in length.
This category includes: Heroes on Deck: World War II on Lake Michigan - Directed by John Davies (USA); One Size Fits All - Directed by Samuel Garcia Sanchez (USA); The Slippers - Directed by Morgan White (USA); What Would Beethoven Do? - Directed by Jonathan Keijser (USA); Women Outward Bound - Directed by Maxine Davis (USA).

Human Spirit:
This category celebrates stories of those who are met with seemingly insurmountable challenges, and yet overcome. They are meant to inspire all of us. These films include: Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America (USA), - Directed by Matthew Ornstein (USA); Breakfast at Ina’s - Directed by Mercedes Kane (USA); The C Word - Directed Meghan O’Hara (USA); Gold Balls - Directed by Kate Keckler Dandel (USA); The Hollywood Shorties - Directed by Ryan Steven Green (USA); Popcorn Sutton: A Hell of a Life - Directed by Neal Hutcheson (USA).

The International Documentary:
This category includes films which are either filmed outside of the US or highlight an important international issue. Accepted films include: Atlan - Directed by Moein Karrimoodini (Iran); Blood Lions - Directed by Nick Chevallier and Bruce Young (South Africa); Condemned to Live - Directed by Noemi Veronika Szakonyi and Mate Artur Vincze (Hungary); Craving Cuba, A Documentary Film - Directed by Zuzelín Martín Lynch and Rick Lynch (Cuba, USA); Kandahar Journals - Directed by Devin Gallagher and Louie Palu (Afghanistan, USA); Return to Zanskar - Directed by Daniel Bull and Bryan Liptzin (India); Sands of Silence: Waves of Courage - Directed by Chelo Alvarez-Stehle (USA).

Social Awareness Documentaries:
These films cast a light on current and compelling issues meant to raise public awareness. These films include: Fred and Emile - Directed by Christian de Rezendes (USA); My Hiccups are Gone - Directed by John Schaffer (USA); Off the Rails - Directed by Adam Irving (USA); Romeo is Bleeding - Directed by Jason Zeldes (USA); Shelter in the City - Directed by Terence Donnellan (USA); Unslut: A Documentary Film - Directed by Emily Lindin (USA, Canada); Wrestling Alligators - Directed by Andrew Brendan Shea (USA).

Local Interest:
The stories which focus on our own backyard, Ohio, will engage local history buffs or just those film goers who are proud of their home state. These films include: All It Takes - Directed by Drew Dickler and Jake Hochendoner (USA); The Blur - The Dwight Anderson Story - Directed by Branson Wright (USA); Draw Hard - Directed by Jon Nix (USA); Good Luck Soup - Directed by Matthew Hashiguchi (USA); A Good Ship and Crew Well-Seasoned: The Fitzgerald and Her Legacy - Directed by Phil Marisey (USA); Hang on Sloopy: The Movie - Directed by Brian Grady and Dave Whinham (USA); The History of Chase Brass - Directed by Joseph Jurecki and Travis Pollert (USA); Nancy Corrigan - Sky Blazer - Directed by Gillian Marsh (Ireland, USA); The Swingos Celebrity Inn - Directed by Andrew Marquard (USA).

Student Films:
Ponce said this category is especially close to her heart, since it is made up of aspiring filmmakers searching for an audience. They are directed by high school, college and post -graduate students and include: Kansuksa - Directed by Bryce Cyrier (Laos, USA); Pizza Man, Roaming - Directed by Ryan Chester (USA); The Valley of Salt - Directed by Christophe Magdy Saber (Egypt).

Special Presentations:
“We have invited these films to screen at the festival because of the important issues our society is facing or for the noteworthy impact they can have by bringing these stories to Northeast Ohio,” said Ponce.
Special presentation films include: Presenting Princess Shaw - Directed by Ido Haar (USA); Uncle Gloria - Directed by Robyn Symon (USA); Under the Gun - Directed by Stephanie Soechtig (USA); Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro - Directed by Max Lewkowicz (USA).

Short Documentaries:
This category includes films on any subject matter with a length of less than 40 minutes. These films include: Bunee: The Boy from Constanta - Directed by Bunee Tomlinson (USA); Empowerment is the Key - Directed by Hollie Brubaker (USA); The History of Intimacy - Directed by Sangsun Choi (USA); Home at Dawn - Directed by Guille Isa and Billy Silva (Peru); Joshua Tree: Threatened Wonderland - Directed by Bill Wisneski (USA); The Ken Burns Effect - Directed by Tia Shuyler (USA); Last Day of Freedom - Directed by Dee Hibert-Jones and Nomi Talisman (USA); The Learning Alliance - Directed by Muhammad Umar Saeed (Pakistan); The Legion of New North - Directed by Justin Liberman (USA); Message in a Bottle - Directed by Daniel Schmidt (USA); Mumbai Mornings - Directed by Veena Rao (India); The Nike Chariot Earring - Directed by Karen Audette (USA); The Ocularist - Directed by Chelsie Corso and David Foster (USA);Of Duckpins and Destinies - Directed by Andy Kelemen and Mike Rubino (USA); The Rain Will Follow - Directed by Eugene Richards (USA); Shipping Home - Directed by Sam Smartt and Chris Zaluski (USA); The Spirit of Cincinnatus Growing with Cincinnati - Directed by Lauren Pray (USA); Starring Austin Pendleton - Directed by Gene Gallerano and David H. Holmes (USA); Thailand's Seafood Slaves - Directed by Environmental Justice Foundation (Thailand); Through the Thick - Directed by Nino Leitner (South Africa); Through the Wall - Directed by Tim Nackashi (USA, Mexico); Wasfia - Directed by Sean Kusanagi (Nepal); Where Are We Going? - Homeless in Sacramento - Directed by Marta Quinn and Madeline Rackerby (USA).

About the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
The Chagrin Documentary Film Festival is presented by Fevered Dreams Productions, a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to empowering filmmakers to tell their stories.

Cash awards totaling $15,000 will be presented to the winning film’s directors, including $5,000 to the overall David Ponce Best of the Fest winner . The top Emerging Filmmaker will claim $2,500 in prize money. All other category winners will each take home $1,000.

The Chagrin Documentary Film Festival is made possible by grants from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and the Ohio Arts Council and generous support from:
Presenting Sponsor: Medical Mutual of Ohio; Platinum Sponsors: Cohen and Company; Gold Sponsors: Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Chagrin Valley Times/Currents, Sequoia Financial; Silver Sponsors: Hotcards Inc., Rock The House, University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center; Spotlight Sponsors: The Adcom Group, Automated Packaging Systems, Jewish Federation of Cleveland - Israel Arts Connection, Cleveland Magazine, Neverbounce, South Franklin Circle; Supporting Sponsors: Black Box Venues, Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop, Cleveland Clinic, Digital Alchemy, Gamekeeper’s Taverne, Greater Cleveland Film Commission, Hamlet Village Retirement Community, Hilton Homewood Suites, Hotel Indigo, Huntington Bank, Junction Auto Family,Lowes Greenhouse, Florist & Gift Shop, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Peppertree Capital, Rotary of the Chagrin Valley, Transition Studios, Wells Fargo Advisors; Community and Film Partners: Avalon Castings, Chagrin Falls Township Hall, The Chagrin Falls Historical Society, Chagrin Valley Jaycees, Chagrin Valley Little Theater, Cleveland International Film Festival, The Federated Church, Global Cleveland, Great Lakes Brewing Co., The Inn at Walden, Keep It Local Project, LLC, The Robert Halliday Co., True Vision Marketing, United Methodist Church of Chagrin Falls.

To become a Festival sponsor, volunteer, or learn more about the Film Festival’s schedule and activities, visit

For more information, contact: Chagrin Documentary Film Festival at 440-247-1591 or at chagrindocfest(at)gmail(dot)com.

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