SoA Alumnus Ben Saks to Debut Documentary FLOAT at Cleveland International Film Festival

By Kathryn Reilly

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School of Architecture alumnus Ben Saks co-wrote and co-produced the documentary FLOAT, which is to World Premiere at the 43rd edition of the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF), with several other festivals to follow. Three screenings are scheduled from April 5-6, 2019. FLOAT explores the ultra-competitive sport of elite, stunningly-designed indoor model airplanes, as a wild-card newcomer threatens to knock a teammate off his world champion throne.

“Designing, building, and flying the planes is truly an experience that requires patience and zen-like focus,” says Saks, who is also a subject in the film. He is in his second decade with F1D and has competed in national and world championships. Since graduating from the SoA, Saks has worked in a variety of capacities in film, design, architecture, and business. Saks’ work has been published in the W.S.J., G.Q., Elle, and Tech Crunch.

The film is directed by Phil Kibbe, who met Saks while they were attending Shaker Heights High School. The Cleveland-natives are debuting the first feature documentary about this subject matter. FLOAT is screening in the “Local Heroes” Competition as well as in the “Film is Art” Sidebar at the CIFF. FLOAT, described as King of Kong meets Jiro Dreams of Sushi was filmed on location in seven countries over eight years in places ranging from Kent, Ohio to Tokyo, Japan. Immersive filmmaking guides audiences into cavernous yet beautiful indoor spaces and highlights the delicate aircraft floating within their crystalline walls.

Screening Information

  • Tower City Cinemas: Friday, 05 April 2019 at 7:40pm & Sunday, 07 April 2019 at 9:00am

  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History: Saturday, 06 April 2019 at 5:30pm

For more information about the FLOAT documentary, visit the FLOAT website and view the recent feature on Colossal.

About the Cleveland International Film Festival
The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community. The Cleveland International Film Festival is a leader in helping the world discover the power of the film arts to educate, entertain, and celebrate an inclusive human experience.

Kathryn Reilly is a third-year Professional Writing student in the Carnegie Mellon University Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.