Patrick Shepherd
Patrick Shepherd campaign leader

The 35th Cleveland International Film Festival To Close With: SOUL SURFER


SOUL SURFER, directed by Sean McNamara, is the inspiring true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds to become a champion surfer again. The film features an all-star cast including AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, and Dennis Quaid, with Carrie Underwood in her film debut. SOUL SURFER is set to close the 35th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) on Sunday April 3rd.

A natural talent who took to the waves at a young age, Bethany was leading an idyllic, sun-drenched, surfer girl’s life on the Kauai Coast, competing in national competitions. While experiencing a typical ocean outing, Bethany’s life changed in a heartbeat when a14-foot tiger shark attacked her and threatened to shatter all her dreams. SOUL SURFER takes us on the journey through the aftermath of the attack and shows us how, with her parents’ love and an eye-opening trip, Bethany learns to never give up or give in.

Following the last round of films on Closing Night, join the CIFF for a reception around the fountain at Tower City Center with a brief program announcing the winners of various Festival awards, including the presentation of the Cleveland International Film Festival Legacy Award to CIFF Founder, Jonathan Forman.

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 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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