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Lonesome Jim breaks records at Cleveland Fest opening

Opening Night film, LONESOME JIM, sells out four theaters

LONESOME JIM, the new film directed by Steve Buscemi, opened the 29th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) on Thursday, March 10, 2005. Over 1100 film lovers attended the Opening Night festivities, breaking all previous attendance records of the CIFF. And for the first time, the opening night film was sold out on four screens at the festival’s venue, Tower City Cinemas on The Avenue at Tower City Center in downtown Cleveland.

LONESOME JIM’S director Steve Buscemi, producer Galt Niederhoffer, and screenwriter James C. Strouse were in attendance at the Opening Night party

“What a thrilling start to our 29th year. We could not have hoped for more gracious guests in Steve, Galt and Jim. We feel like the luckiest organization in the world to receive so much support from the film-loving community in Cleveland” noted Marcie Goodman, Executive Director of the Cleveland Film Society.

Producer Galt Niederhoffer added “We thank the CIFF for giving us the best moment of our lives.”

The film, a comedy directed by Steve Buscemi, stars Casey Affleck, Liv Tyler, Mary Kay Place, and Seymour Cassel. Jim (Casey Affleck) is an aspiring 27-year-old writer who left the barrens of Indiana for New York City. Like most young writers who don’t have a clue, Jim left behind a rich array of material to write about. This revelation, among others, takes him awhile to figure out when he returns home to “have a breakdown” at the feet of his mother (Mary Kay Place) — a perennial font of sunshine who refuses to let anything ruin her good mood, including her petulant husband (Seymour Cassel) or her moribund son (Kevin Corrigan), who has also moved back home with his two daughters. Jim’s hopes of being laid up and idle are dashed when his brother is in a car crash and his mother needs help with the family business. Jim’s life brightens a bit when he begins dating Anika (Liv Tyler), a no-nonsense nurse with an adorable son. She even “ruins” Jim’s “wall of shame” — images of his favorite depressing writers — by putting a smile on Hemingway’s face. Is all this quirkiness enough to quench Jim’s thirst, or is he hitting the road again?

Founded in 1977, the Cleveland International Film Festival is the premier film event in the region. For eleven days every March, the Film Festival presents a full survey of contemporary filmmaking from around the world. Over 100 feature films and more than 80 short subjects from over 50 countries are shown to an audience that is expected to surpass 40,000.

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