IF/Then Shorts Next Stop… The American Midwest

We're thrilled to bring our search for the best short documentary stories of the American Midwest to the Cleveland International Film Festival.

TFI and CIFF jointly selected five finalists, who will pitch their projects to a panel of industry judges. The winning project will receive up to $25,000 in production support from TFI, and will participate in Tribeca Film Institute’s IF/Then Shorts program, which provides one year of mentorship and opportunities for multi-platform distribution.

In addition to the grant, the winner will receive a festival finishing package courtesy of Bruton Stroube. TFI is proud to announce this new partnership with Bruton Stroube, a St. Louis based posthouse that has offered high level film and photography services to the St. Louis area and beyond for the past 40 years.

The pitch will take place on Sunday, April 7, 2019 from 11 AM - 1 PM at the Ritz Carlton, Cleveland and will be open to the public. Please join us! 

Here are the 5 competing projects: 

Director: Cai Thomas
Consulting Producer: Yvonne Welbon
Location of Production: Illinois
For the past 3 years, W. D. Floyd has been in the lives of a group of dynamic, animated, and curious black students that attend a Chicago public school, raising competence and confidence, and promoting self determination in the black community. "360 Nation" follows participants through their last year in the program, as holistic education, reclamation of an abandoned lot, and lil’ miracles transform the lives of black students on Chicago’s divested West Side.

(working title)
Director/Producer: Erika Valenciana
Producer: Anuradha Rana
Location of Production: Minnesota
“Brewer” (working title) is a poetic documentary illustrating the physicality and grit of two female brewers in their male dominated work environment. The film conveys the everyday perseverance it takes to counter the pushback to women’s very existence in the allegedly progressive craft brewing industry, juxtaposing imagery showcasing their abilities against recounted audio and text doubting their aptitude.


Director: Carl Kriss
Producer: Margie Glick
Location of Production: Ohio
When General Motors decides to idle Lordstown Assembly, its main auto plant in Ohio, Tiffany Davis, a fifth grade teacher, and her husband Tom, a line worker at GM, must decide if they should continue to raise their children in Lordstown, where they have lived their whole lives, or accept GM’s offer to transfer to a plant in another state, without an opportunity to return.


Writer/Director/Producer: Kati Rehbeck
Director/Cinematographer/Editor: Robert Orlowski
Location of Production: Wisconsin
Neglected wounds of a Wisconsin family come to light after their beloved cabin is suddenly destroyed in a flood. The filmmaker documents the slow process of rebuilding the cabin while reflecting on uncertain reconciliations between members of her family.


Director: Chris Webb
Co-Director: Conrad Miles
Location of Production: Ohio
“The Session” explores the effect that therapeutic Krump dancing meetings have on the mental and emotional health of people from some of Cleveland’s worst neighborhoods, and how teaching Krump to the next generation has (and will continue to) save lives in this trauma-laden area.