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Patrik-Ian Polk, David K. Ream (1949-2017)
Patrik-Ian Polk, David K. Ream (1949-2017)

Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) named pioneering LGBTQ filmmaker, Patrik-Ian Polk its second DReam Catcher Program and Award recipient.

The DReam Catcher Program and Award celebrates LGBTQ artists through the recognition of an LGBTQ filmmaker at each Festival. It was established in 2019 to honor the life and memory of David K. Ream (1949-2017), who was a beloved and long-serving CIFF trustee.

Polk will spend his time in Cleveland meeting with organizations in Northeast Ohio whose missions support the LGBTQ community. He will also meet with LGBTQ and film school student groups. The DReam Catcher Award will be presented to Polk as part of the CIFF44 Closing Night Ceremony on Sunday April 5, 2020.

Polk is an award-winning writer-director-producer-composer known for his films and TV series exploring the Black LGBTQ experience. He’s often referred to as the “Father of Black Gay Cinema,” having created the groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind, gay black series Noah’s Arc in 2005 for MTV/Logo.

He most recently served as Co-Executive Producer and writer of STARZ’ summer 2020 drama series P-Valley ;and the 2019 series finale of BET’s Being Mary Jane, starring Gabrielle Union and Michael Ealy, for which Polk has received two NAACP Image Award 2020 nominations. His feature film credits include: BLACKBIRD (2015), starring Oscar®-winner Mo’Nique; THE SKINNY (2012), starring Jussie Smollett; and the award-winning NOAH’S ARC: JUMPING THE BROOM (2009). Polk’s feature directorial debut, PUNKS, premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, won the Best Independent Feature Film Award at the 24th Cleveland International Film Festival in 2000, and will have a 20th anniversary screening at this year’s CIFF as part of the DReam Catcher program.

The 44th Cleveland International Film Festival will be held March 25 – April 5, 2020.

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