Saturday, July 21st, 2018

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Chagrin Documentary Film Festival

Gerry and Virginia Schoelch
(Chagrin Documentary Film Festival)

Jean and Gary Hood
(Chagrin Documentary Film Festival)

Shane Gilbert and Jim Knirsch
(Chagrin Documentary Film Festival)

Mary Ann and
Ed Ponce
(Chagrin Documentary Film Festival)

Chagrin Documentary Film Festival

    Boasting 90 films from 26 countries, the inaugural Chagrin Documentary Film Festival was a success in every sense of the word.
    Following the red-carpet awards presentation, a gala held at KraftMaid Experience showroom featured gourmet foods and casual fare provided by local restaurants, including sandwiches stacked with corn beef, fries and coleslaw from Panini’s.
    Festival Founder Mary Ann Ponce looked like a shining star in black and silver with her dapper husband, as they welcomed the many volunteers and patrons. Everyone got into the red-carpet mood — with Mayor Tom Brick and his grandson sporting black ties with “documentary” spelled out in rhinestones.
     Guests grooved to the coolest — the Rev. Mark Simone, of the Federated Church, and his band, Fevered Dreams.
    Binda Singh, who helped bring the films to the festival, was thrilled at its success. Mrs. Ponce said she was very pleased with the outcome and hopes to collaborate on another.
    She said Nancy Haag, her right-arm woman, and Currents, Chagrin Valley Times, Solon Times Publisher Ken Douthit, who won a Spirit Award, were instrumental in the festival’s success.
    Ever since Mrs. Ponce entered her late son David’s and Brock Carter’s film about children with AIDS in South Africa, “the Lost Sparrows of Roodepoort,” in an international film festival in Ireland which won best U.S. documentary, she wanted to honor her son and create a similar event in Chagrin Falls. She’s not only achieved that dream, but has given inspiration to others to dream. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY SALI McSHERRY

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