Browse the Nonfiction Section at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival

A scene from “Knife Skills”

Tue 10/3-Sun 10/8

The eighth annual Chagrin Documentary Film Festival turns the postcard village of Chagrin Falls into a showcase for documentaries. You know what those are, right? Movies that actually don’t derive from Marvel or DC superhero comics.

Yes, there are such things. In fact, the CDFF has become a top-ticket for local filmgoers and has risen in a short span to national prominence.

Examples? Visiting Hollywood royalty Colin Hanks, actor-filmmaker son of Tom Hanks, arrives this year with two of his rock-oriented features. All Things Must Pass, details the spectacular rise and fall of Tower Records, a legendary music-vending chain. Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis profiles the band caught in a notorious Islamic terror attack at a concert in France in 2015.

Oscar-winning documentary director Thomas Lennon also has a duo. Knife Skills focuses on EDWINS, a Shaker Square French restaurant largely staffed by ex-convicts. Sacred, compiled by Lennon from contributions of 40 filmmakers around the world, is a practically God’s-eye-view of humanity’s varying religious traditions.

Special tie-in events (usually keyed to a film’s subject) range from bocce ball to a 5K run to wine tastings/dinners. A new twist for 2017 is a component devoted to “mockumentaries” a la This is Spinal Tap.

The CDFF officially opens Wed 10/4 (though a “preview” happens Tuesday night with selected elite screenings). Theaters and special-events sites range from the Chagrin Valley Little Theater to the old Township Hall to United Methodist Church. An awards presentation takes place Sat 10/7 @ 8pm at the Chagrin Valley Little Theater, though features and specials continue through Sunday. Individual program tickets are generally $10, with discount and membership packages.


[Written by Charles Cassady Jr.]

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