CIFF Review: ‘Wonder Women!’Written by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
CLEVELAND — Can you name a female superhero? If so, can you name more than one?These were some of the questions raised during “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.” This impressive and well-made documentary was screened on April 6 at the 37th Cleveland International Film Festival.
In the film, director Kristy Guevara-Flanagan examines the role of superheroines, particularly Wonder Woman and her evolution over multiple decades. The strong woman reflects her time period and the film does well to highlight each change.
Also featured in the film are interviews with icons from the feminist movement, including Toledo native Gloria Steinem.“Wonder Women!” highlights the mythical beginning of Wonder Woman in comic books as well as the television series starring Lynda Carter.
Other superheroines mentioned during the quick 107 minutes are Charlie’s Angels, the Bionic Woman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even the Spice Girls.
The editing, flow of the film and even the graphics are very impressive.
Be sure to watch this film when it airs April 15 on WGTE-TV, Toledo’s local PBS station.
Guevara-Flanagan is part of the festival’s Focus on Filmmakers program, which is sponsored by a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
CIFF received a three-year $150,000 grant in 2011 — the only festival in the country to receive the grant from the Academy, which is known for its Oscars.
This year, the focus is on the Latino community. In 2011, the focus was on African Diaspora films and filmmakers. Next year, the focus will be on the LGBT community.
Guevara-Flanagan also had another film screened at the festival, “Going on 13.” Organizers they discovered the film prior to seeing “Wonder Women!” and wanted to screen both at CIFF.
Tower City Center is the place to be here in downtown Cleveland. Across the street is the new Horseshoe Casino. A block away is Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cavaliers, and Progressive Field, home of the Indians.
For 12 days, the cinemas here at the center are home to the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF). On April 6, four day into the festival, the hallway outside of the cinemas were abuzz with anxious ticketholders ready to see their next film.
Each day, more than 30 films are screened here — with a total of 180 feature films and 165 short films from 65 different countries.
On a typical day there will be more than 30 films screened between 9 a.m. and midnight. On Fridays and Saturdays, there are late-night screenings that start around 11:30 p.m.
CIFF is the largest film festival between New York and Chicago, according to the festival’s associate director Patrick Shepherd.
The festival has been at Tower City Cinemas since 1991, according to Shepherd. Back then, the attendance for the festival was around 15,000. In 2012, attendance for CIFF was more than 85,000, a record.
More are expected to attend this year after organizers added another day to the festival.
Toledo Free Press is a media sponsor for the 37th Cleveland International Film Festival. More information and a schedule for the festival can be found online at clevelandfilm.org. (For a $2 ticket discount, use code: TOLEDO).