Film fest brings world cinema to Tower City

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

The 37th Cleveland International Film Festival opens Wednesday at Tower City Cinemas.

This year’s lineup features 178 feature films and 164 short subjects from 65 countries.

The opening night film on Wednesday will be “The Kings of Summer,” which was shot in the greater Cleveland area last year and was produced by Chagrin Falls native Tyler Davidson. “Summer,” the story of three teenage boys who decide to build a house in the woods for themselves, earned some rave reviews when it premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival. And considering the last two films that Davidson produced – 2011’s “Take Shelter” and 2012’s “Compliance” – both appeared on my top 10 lists, “Summer” has the potential to be one of the fest’s better opening night attractions.

For those who can’t attend the opening gala, “The Kings of Summer” is scheduled to open in Cleveland on June 7, but the festival will be the only chance to see many – make that most – of the other offerings.

Because of my love for the comic strip “Calvin & Hobbes,” I’m curious to see “Dear Mr. Watterson,” a documentary that explores the enduring popularity of the strip that ran from 1985 to 1995.

The entire festival lineup can be found at, which is also where tickets can be purchased. Tickets are $14 for most screenings (opening night is $125), but college students with a valid ID can get free admission to 18 select films during the day on April 9 as part of a special College Day. Details can be found on the fest’s website.

Juror awards for the Butler Institute of American Arts’ 75th Area Artists Annual exhibition were announced Sunday at the show’s opening reception.

Best in show honors went to Allan Charles Orr of Youngstown with Christopher Leeper (Canfield) receiving first prize, Richard Fisher (Leetonia) receiving second prize, Rabecca Signoriello (New Castle, Pa.) earning third prize and Richard Mitchell (East Palestine) and James O’Malley (Struthers) being recognized for juror’s special mention.

Honorable mentions were awarded to Michael Ahren, Youngstown; Mary Lou Alexander, Hubbard; Corinne Bishara Bako, Boardman; John Buchenic, Hubbard; Sean Butler, Canfield; William Danielson, Youngstown; Frank D’Isa, Youngstown; Mary Kay D’Isa, Youngstown; Carol Gallo, Girard; Bryce Herrington, Hermitage, Pa.; Tazim Jaffer, Girard; Carl Leet, Hubbard; Ann Miller, Warren; Michelle Miller, Sharon, Pa.; Gary Taneri, Warren; and Marianne Whitehouse, Youngstown.

The juror this year was Stephanie Smith, professor of art history at Youngstown State University. The exhibition runs through April 7.

Reports of Lil Wayne’s failing health may be exaggerated. The rapper announced an extensive summer tour with T.I. and Future this week, including shows at First Niagara Pavilion on July 16 and Blossom Music Center on Aug. 7. Look for ticket info in the coming weeks.

And for those feeling nostalgic for the ’90s, the Summerland Tour featuring Everclear, Live, Filter and Sponge is coming to Stage AE in Pittsburgh on June 19. Ticket info TBA.

And here’s a clue about the band that will be opening the 2013 River Rock at the Amp concert series at Warren Community Amphitheatre (which I feel safe in revealing since the band has posted it to its website). For that May 25 date, concertgoers won’t need a “Stairway to Heaven,” only a parking place near Mahoning Avenue.

Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle.

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