Patrick Shepherd
Patrick Shepherd campaign leader

The 35th Cleveland International Film Festival To Open With: HAMILL


HAMILL, directed by Oren Kaplan, is an inspirational story of hope, perseverance, and the unbreakable belief in one’s dream. Starring Russell Harvard, Raymond Barry, Shoshannah Stern, and Michael Anthony Spady, the film is set to open the 35th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) on Thursday, March 24th.

Based on a true story of a wrestler from Loveland, OH, HAMILL, is a sports drama depicting the struggles and successes that Matt “The Hammer” Hamill faces on the way to becoming a wrestling champion. Born deaf but raised among those with the ability to hear, Matt uses his perceived disability as an asset and becomes the first deaf wrestler to win a National Collegiate Championship as well as an inspirational force to the hearing and deaf alike.

Tickets to the Opening Night Gala, sponsored by Dollar Bank, are $125 per person ($100 for CIFF members). The Gala includes the film at 7:00 p.m. at Tower City Cinemas, followed by a HAMILL party at 9:00 p.m. at MK Ferguson Plaza in Tower City Center. Special guests TBA.

For more information on the 280+ films that will be shown between Opening Night and Closing Night of the 35th Cleveland International Film Festival, log on to the week of February 21st. Tickets go on sale to members only on Friday, March 4th and to the general public on Friday, March 11th. Advanced ticket prices for most films are $10 per film for CIFF members and $12 for non-members. Tickets will be available online at, by telephone (1.877.304.FILM), at the CIFF store in the lobby of Tower City Cinemas, or by mail using the Program Guide order form. Program Guides will be available throughout the region, including all Dollar Bank locations, the week of February 28th.

The Cleveland International Film Festival receives public support with local tax dollars from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture to preserve and enrich our region’s artistic and cultural heritage.

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