CHAGRIN FALLS -- With 68 films from 22 countries, the third annual Chagrin Documentary Film Festival opens Wednesday and closes Sunday.
The festival gets underway at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Chagrin Valley Little Theater, 40 River Street, with a showing of "Where Dreams Don't Fade," a chronicle of the trials and tribulations facing long distance runners in Kenya.
The film was co-directed by University Heights native and University School graduate Martin Mudry.
The Chagrin Documentary Film Festival will feature at least a dozen films that have ties to Northeastern Ohio. The 68 films being shown were chosen from about 300 entries.
Some films even have more local interest, like "17 Candles," directed by Ted A. Batchelor, "Blossom Time," directed by Sali McSherry and Parker Maimbourg and "Ghost Radio," directed by Taylor McDaniel.
Chagrin Documentary Film Festival Facebook Page
Flags from many of the countries showcased in the festival already adorn downtown Chagrin Falls. The Opening Night Oct. 3 showing is already sold out.
Fevered Dreams Productions, the force behind the festival, is dedicated to allowing talented filmmakers to tell their unique stories.
Fevered Dreams Productions was founded by the late Chagrin Falls High School alumnus and filmmaker David Ponce as his film production company.
David was inspired to tell the story of Sparrow Village, an AIDS orphanage in Johannesburg, South Africa in a documentary entitled "The Lost Sparrows of Roodepoort."
Even as he faced his own battle with leukemia, David wrote: "Nothing is as important to me as producing a work that is true to Sparrow and showing those who have not visited, just what the human spirit is capable of when faced with something immensely dark and frightening."
David succumbed on Sept. 12, 2006 before his film could be completed. With the help of his friend Brock Carter and Chapman University/Dodge College of Film Assistant Dean Michael Kowalski, "The Lost Sparrows of Roodepoort" was completed and has become an award-winning documentary.
"The Lost Sparrows of Roodepoort"
The festival was founded by his parents, Chagrin Falls residents Mary Ann Quinn Ponce and her husband, Ed, as a tribute to David.
There are also special events during the festival, including The Red Carpet Gala at The Hillbrook Club starting at 11:30 a.m. with Cleveland's own Jan Jones and Chagrin Falls Councilwoman Jan Evans covering the red carpet.
Masters of Ceremony for the event are Ivan Schwarz, director of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission and Dewey Forward, Proprietor of the Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop.
Tickets for the Red Carpet Gala are $60.
Read complete festival schedule
Tickets are $10 for a program of films, $25 for a day pass and $65 for an all festival pass, and can be purchased on the festival website and at First Federal of Lakewood, 2 E. Washington St., and Chagrin Falls Township Hall, 83 N. Main St.
Here's where the films will be shown
Contact the festival office at 440-247-1591 for more information.