Chagrin Documentary Film Festival

Chagrin Falls, OH

October 7 – 11, 2020


About the Festival

The Chagrin Documentary Film Festival is dedicated to educating audiences and empowering talented filmmakers to tell their stories.

The Festival is a five day celebration of the art of documentary film, at venues in and around the century village of Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

This inspiring event draws audiences from all over Northeast Ohio, the US and the world to experience documentary films and the compelling art and culture they highlight.



Fevered Dreams Productions was originally founded by Chagrin Falls High School Alumnus and filmmaker, David Ponce, as his film production company. David was inspired to tell the story of Sparrow Village, an AIDS orphanage in Johannesburg, South Africa in a documentary entitled “The Lost Sparrows of Roodepoort”.

Even as he faced his own battle with leukemia, David wrote: “Nothing is as important to me as producing a work that is true to Sparrow and showing those who have not visited, just what the human spirit is capable of when faced with something immensely dark and frightening.” David succumbed in 2006 before his film could be completed. With the help of his friend Brock Carter and Chapman University/Dodge College of Film Assistant Dean Michael Kowalski, “The Lost Sparrows of Roodepoort” was completed and has become an award winning documentary. Fevered Dreams Productions has become a nonprofit organization dedicated to allowing talented filmmakers to tell their unique stories.

In 2019, Chagrin Documentary Film Festival celebrated its 10th Anniversary and welcomed a record 13,200 audience members to the picturesque town of Chagrin Falls from Oct 2nd – 6th, 2019. For the 7th year in a row CDFF has been named on of Moviemaker Magazine’s Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.

“This is more than just another film festival. The people who started it and continue to sustain it believe in the power of documentary storytelling and its potential impact. The Festival itself is well-run, has staff that communicates well pre-festival and during. But more importantly, there’s a spirituality and warmth about all the festival staff and volunteers that make you feel more than welcome and that you’ve been friends forever.” – Dianne Fukami – Director Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story – 2019 Winner “Service Above Self” Award and Best US Documentary


Connect with Chagrin Documentary Film Festival:

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This article was written by Chagrin Documentary Film Festival at the request of The Documentary Life.


Producer and Content Creator, Stephanie Vincenti

Stephanie has worked in the narrative and documentary feature film industry for over 12 years. She is also a producer and content creator for The Documentary Life.

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