The festival programming will include shorts, student films, features, documentaries and some animation.
As a film festival, the inaugural Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival (GCUFF) will showcase local, emerging talent and established artists who are contributing to the growing population of independent filmmaking with a focus on quality films that promote awareness, appreciation and merit within the African-American community. GCUFF’s programming objective is to educate, entertain and highlight the African –American experience via independent films and documentaries that represent the African-American journey and to encourage Greater Cleveland area students to consider a career in the film industry.
"We are continuing to build our brand and promote our image in Cleveland and the film festival is one more way that SOUP can contribute to building and connecting our urban professionals in Greater Cleveland" said Alton Tinker, President and CEO of SOUP. Tinker serves as the director of funding and sponsorship for GCUFF.
“I am excited and moved beyond words that this “little train that could” is beginning to move down the tracks”, says Neal Hodges of Remington Dreams. “With all the African-American talent that hones from Cleveland (Halle Berry, Kym Whitley, Bill Cobbs, Terrence Howard and Imani Hakim – just to name a few) it’s time to celebrate their achievement, support local filmmakers by screening their work, encourage the youth to pursue a career in cinema and help Cleveland shine as a great location to come and make a movie!” Hodges serves as artistic director.
The festival programming will include shorts, student films, features, documentaries and some animation. GCUFF will showcase films written, starring, produced, directed, scored by an African-American – or – a film that is about the African-American experience.
In order to assure the event’s continued growth and success for years to come, the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Foundation has been established as a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of African American and African Diaspora cinema as well as the education of media arts, says Donna Dabbs of SOUP. The organization's board will consist of community minded citizens and business leaders dedicated to the promotion and marketing of the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival. Dabbs is the executive director for GCUFF.