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Cleveland International Film Festival Partnering with TFI for IF/Then Shorts Pitch

New York, NY – WEBWIRE

The Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) and Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) are thrilled to host TFI’s IF/Then Shorts American Midwest pitch for the second year in a row. Six filmmakers living and/or working in the American Midwest will pitch their short documentaries at CIFF44 in spring 2020 for a chance to win $25,000 and a year of mentorship. 

The program calls for original stand-alone pitches of short documentaries (running 10-20 minutes) about the American Midwest that explore a range of socially, politically, and culturally relevant topics. The 12 eligible states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

TFI and CIFF will jointly select up to six finalists who will be invited to pitch their projects to a panel of industry judges on Sunday, April 5, 2020 during the closing weekend of CIFF44. The winner will be announced that evening during the CIFF44 Closing Night Ceremony.

In addition to $25,000 in production support, allowing the filmmakers to complete their short documentary, winners will get one year of mentorship through TFI’s IF/Then Shorts program. The winners will also receive a post-finishing prize package, provided by Bruton/Stroube Studios. 

“Through this partnership with CIFF, we’re able to highlight filmmakers from the region who are telling stories about the Midwest, for the Midwest,” said Amy Hobby, Executive Director of Tribeca Film Institute.  “We’re excited to head back to CIFF for this pitch.” 

Marcie Goodman, CIFF Executive Director, said, “We are deeply honored by TFI’s decision to return to the CIFF for the American Midwest pitch. And we cannot wait to welcome more talented filmmakers to CIFF44.”

The winners of last year’s pitch was the hometown team of Conrad Miles and Chris Webb for their film THE SESSION, which is currently wrapping post-production.

Applications are due Monday, January 20, 2020 at 11:59 PM ET. Finalists will be notified in late February 2020.

For full IF/Then Shorts American Midwest application information, please visit ;


Tribeca Film Institute is a New York-based nonprofit organization founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff after 9/11 as a means to bring a community together through the power of film. Today, TFI works across the U.S. and globally to ensure that filmmakers and creators have the tools and resources they need to tell their stories, connect with audiences, and build thriving careers. We do all of this in service of the storyteller in order to break barriers to access, exposure, and sustainability that result from imbalances in representation and power. Working in documentary, scripted, and immersive media, TFI supports more than 225 storytellers each year through grants, mentorships, labs, and workshops valued at more than $2.25 million. For more information about TFI, please visit ;


CIFF44 will take place March 25 - April 5, 2020 at Tower City Cinemas. This academy-qualifying Festival is expected to include approximately 200 feature films and more than 220 short films, representing close to 70 countries. Over 400 guest filmmakers from around the world will be in attendance and eligible for over $130,000 in cash prizes. For information on the CIFF, please visit

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