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The 37th Cleveland International Film Festival opened Wednesday evening with locally shot and produced “Kings of Summer”.

The film’s producer Tyler Davidson beamed with pride talking of his family, the film and the Cleveland film festival.

“It’s an emotional experience for me,” Davidson said. “I’ve gotten so much support from the community, I have friends here, family, my grandmother is in town from Boston. So it’s honestly it’s moving, I’m very honored to have the film here tonight.”

The film is a coming-of-age movie in which three boys, fed up with the world try to escape it by building a summer home in the woods. It was shot last summer at northeast Ohio locations including Warrensville Heights and Chagrin Falls.

The festival added a 12 day this year on the heels of record attendance at last year’s film festival when 85,000 attended.

The festivals’ associate director, Patrick Shepherd, said the extra day is response to our area’s film appetite.

“We’re just accommodating all the demand for people who love independent and international film,” said Shepherd, who joined the festival 15 years ago.

The menu of films includes 180 feature films and 165 short subjects, not bad for a festival that began in 1977 with only eight movies.

Jonathan Forman was the man who started the festival. At Wednesday night’s gala, he gushed when talking about the people who took up the challenge and ran with it.

“There are people running it now doing an incredible job,” he said. “Marcie Goodman, Bill Guentzler, Patrick Shepherd, dozens of people, hundreds of volunteers, it’s absolutely incredible.”

One woman attending her first CIFF, Patricia Wooten, did so as she prepares to see herself in a film showing at the festival.

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