Mission & Objective

The Short. Sweet. Film Fest. strives to showcase up and coming filmmakers at the local, national and international levels who strive to advance the art of film.

About the Film Fest

In today’s film climate it is hard to showcase short films. Many festivals focus on features and it seems like this art of shorts is dwindling to silly videos about kittens on the internet. Even though we love kittens (who doesn’t?) here at the Short. Sweet. Film Fest., we love short films more.

With eight festivals under our belt, our goal for our ninth annual film festival is to showcase films under 30 minutes to the growing art scene in the greater Cleveland area and highlight the works of student to veteran filmmakers across the country.

Students should submit to the short student film category to receive a significant discount off of the submission fee.

We are looking for the best short films locally, nationally, and internationally. So send them our way!

Our festival will take place in the Alex Theater at the Metropolitan at the 9 hotel in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Filmmakers and patrons can stay at the hotel at a discounted rate and enjoy food and beverages throughout the festival.


About the Judges

Mike Suglio
Mike Suglio is a Cleveland native and filmmaker himself.  After graduating from Mentor High he attended Case Western Reserve University where he studied theatre, political science, and psychology as an undergrad and then continued on to receive his M.B.A.  During his time at CWRU, Mike directed a feature length documentary, The Struggle for Existence, a film that explores how the Cleveland Natural History Museum and the Creation Museum approach science.  He continued on to direct several other short films, including his most recent, A Tribute to the Fallen, which was shot on location in Negros Oriental, Philippines. As a filmmaker he loves sharing his films with others and is extremely happy to provide an opportunity for other filmmakers to share their films to the Cleveland community.  Mike Suglio is also a professor at the School of Film & Media Arts at Cleveland State University and on the Board of Directors of Independent Pictures.

David Tarbert
Dave Tarbert is an Emmy Award and 8-time Telly Award-winning producer/director/cinematographer/editor/talent who began his television broadcasting career as Channel 5’s Man on Music, the first feature reporter covering exclusively music and entertainment for a major-market TV station. He’s still active on Cleveland’s airwaves, most recently as the host/producer for the popular series, Dave’s Big Fun on a Small Budget on FOX 8. As Executive Producer of new-media production company, Tarbert Television, Dave has created acclaimed digital video projects for the MetroHealth System, RTA, Ford Motor Company, Key Bank, Cleveland Clinic, and Ronald McDonald House among others. He’s currently a Family Room Coordinator for the Ronald McDonald House at Cleveland Clinic Children’s and Adjunct Professor at CSU’s new School of Film & Media Arts. In his free time, he enjoys tennis, golf, traveling and cheering on the Indians, Cavs, Browns and his alma mater’s University of Kentucky Wildcats.

Cyprian Piroch
Cyprian Piroch is a lifelong Cleveland area resident. He is a graduate of Ash Ra Tempel University. As a film buff, writer and filmmaker, he has been an ardent supporter of independent and world film genres since the early 1970s. In the Fall of 2013, he co-produced the documentary “a Tribute to the Fallen”, which explores a Filipino man’s journey to uncover WWII artifacts from battlegrounds and share them with the world. His future home puts him in Negros Oriental, Philippines, where he will continue to write and produce films, showcasing the rich and vibrant stories and culture.

Alex Sherman
Born and raised in Mentor, Ohio – Alex discovered Cheers in high school and he’s been writing and studying comedy and storytelling ever since. After four years at Baldwin-Wallace University, Alex landed a job with Current TV producing short documentaries all around the world. There’s a tiny bar in Thailand where everybody knows his name. From there he moved to LA and worked in post-production on Yo Gabba Gabba, Real Husbands of Hollywood and The Avengers. Eventually he made his way into a writer’s room and has written for the shows People of Earth, Final Space, Upload and is currently working on ABC’s Bless This Mess.

Past Judges

Linda C. Ehrlich
Linda C. Ehrlich—writer, teacher, editor–has published extensively about world cinema and about traditional theatre in such journals as Film Quarterly, Cinema Journal, Senses of Cinema, Film Criticism, Ethnomusicology, Cinema Scope, Framework and Journal of Religion and Film, among others. Cinematic Landscapes, her first book (co-edited with David Desser), is an anthology of essays on the interface between the visual arts and cinemas of China and Japan (University of Texas Press, 1994; reprint in 2008). Her second edited book, The Cinema of Víctor Erice: An Open Window, appeared in the Scarecrow Press Filmmakers’Series (#72) in 2000 (with an expanded paperback edition in 2007).

Philip J. Skerry
Philip J. Skerry is Professor Emeritus at Lakeland Community College and adjunct instructor at Cleveland State University. He has taught courses in English and film for over forty years. Dr. Skerry is the author of Psycho in the Shower: The History of Cinema’s Most Famous Scene (Continuum Press, 2009); Dark Energy: Hitchcock’s Absolute Camera and the Physics of Cinematic Spacetime (Bloomsbury Press, 2013); and Defining America: Ten Essays on the Western Film (Sidestreeet Press, 2015). He lives with his wife, Amy, a therapist, in Beachwood.

Alberto Zambenedetti
Alberto is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies and an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Cinema Studies at Oberlin College. He is the editor of World Film Locations: Florence and his scholarship has appeared in journals such as Short Film Studies, Studies in European Cinema, and Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance. Since 2001, he has been writing reviews and essays for Gli Spietati, Italy’s premier online film magazine. Alberto has collaborated, in front and behind the camera, with filmmakers Soren Bailey, Karen Wang, Dan Kinber, and Chiara Armentano.