Rhode Island International Film Festival To Screen 235 Films During 13TH Annual RIFF EVENT

By: Jul. 24, 2009

With films and filmmakers arriving from across the globe, the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) kicks off its 13th annual event August 4th-9th, 2009. This year 235 feature length, documentary and short films - from 57 countries - will be screened over a six-day period In locations throughout the state, all vying for top awards. Out of over 7,000 film festivals worldwide, RIIFF is one of only 63 Academy Award qualifying Festivals. This year's films have been selected from a record entry base of over 3,000 submissions.

The Festival will be presenting a Lifetime Achievement Award to acting legend, Ernest Borgnine with the world premiere of his most recent feature film, "Another Harvest Moon." In attendance will be fellow cast members Anne Meara with her husband, Jerry Stiller; Piper Laurie and Doris Roberts. For more information, visit http://www.film-festival.org/Borgnine.php.

The Nathanael Greene Humanitarian Award will be presented to actor, William Shatner at a special evening hosted by the Festival, the Rhode Island Council on the Humanities (RICH) and Rhode Island College. Billed as, "William Shatner Unplugged" the event will feature a question and answer session with the audience and a screening of Kevin Layne's "William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet". For more information, visit http://www.film-festival.org/WilliamShatner.php.

The Festival will salute composer Klaus Badelt ("Pirates of the Caribbean") with the presentation of the Crystal Image Award at the Opening Night Festivities, August 4th. Mr. Badelt will be the keynote speaker at the annual Rhode Island Film Forum on Friday, August 7th and his music played throughout the acclaimed Providence art event, "Waterfire" on Saturday, August 8th which draws over 100,000 participants. For more information, visit http://www.film-festival.org/KLAUS.BADELT09.php.

NBA sports legend, Wat Misaka will be presented the first-ever, Roger Williams Independent Voice Award on Saturday, August 8th prior to the screening of Bruce Alan and Christine Toy Johnson‚ "Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story." Wat Misaka was the first Asian American pro basketball player to be drafted into what is now the NBA in 1947. He helped break the ethnic barrier when the national political climate was still fixated on World War II. For more information, visit

This year, RIIFF will be screening 235 films representing work that were shot and produced in 57 countries. The Festival will include 38 World Premieres and 21 US/North American Premieres. There will be 17 narrative feature films, 71 documentaries and 147 shorts in all genres. Sidebar presentations include: The RIIFF Japanese Film Festival; Providence GLBT Film Festival; The Providence Film Festival (Local Filmmaker Focus); Kidseye‚ International Film Festival; From The North Country: Films From Canada; ...Down Under: Films From Australia And New Zealand; THE Roving Eye Film Festival; Providence World Panorama; The Providence Underground Film Festival; New England Student Film Festival, Vortex Sci Fi & Fantasy Film Festival; and Fascinating Rythym: Music On Film.

"It has been a pretty sensational year for us," said RIIFF Executive Director George T. Marshall, "Entries have been up 22% over last year and have been entered from all over the world. The films submitted this year have run the gamut in themes, styles and filmmaking techniques. If there is anything that stands out it‚ both the growing number of entries in the Sci-Fi and Horror genres and the over all quality now that the HD revolution has taken hold.

"The film work that was entered this year has been amazing. It's been extremely challenging for our judges to limit their film selections. The quality has been that strong. There is no question that during this year's Festival we will have some very thoughtful new cinematic work that will inspire and encourage audiences to respond."

For the third year in a row, the Festival's opening night will be at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC), the elegant and historic 3,300-seat theater in the heart of downtown Providence. The evening will mark the screenings of major new work; several will be world and United States premieres.

Since RIIFF is one of only 63 film festivals worldwide that is accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) the Opening Night has become a crowd-pleasing "Salute to the Art of the Short Film". Last year, more than 2,500 people attended the event.

The festival will also continue with its partnership program for statewide non-profit organizations. Dubbed "RIIFF Community Outreach," the program oversees the donation of 800 Opening Night tickets to local non-profit organizations. The program provides an important fundraising and marketing opportunity and helps to introduce new audiences to the festival.

"If we bring to our event more people in the community and introduce them to what we're doing, then we can encourage them to keep coming back," Marshall said. "We want them to discover something beyond the next Hollywood sequel and to take a risk in supporting independent filmmakers. At the same time, non-profit organizations have an opportunity to be part of a fundraising event which will generate much needed revenues."

For 2009, RIIFF is also introducing a new partner program which links specific film screenings and non-profit organizations.

"This is a new program we hope others will follow," stated Adam Short, RIIFF Producing Director.

"We have spent months working to create events that will benefit several Rhode Island non-profits that incorporate a film screening, a pre or post party and media exposure. All of these events will split-the-gate with the non-profit. Our goal is to create a model for non-profit arts and social service groups to work together in a cohesive fashion in which everyone benefits."

Participants in what RIIFF is calling a "pilot program" are the International Institute of Rhode Island with a screening of "Home Across Lands" directed by John Lavall; the Rhode Island Commission for the Humanities (RICH) and Rhode Island College with a screening of "On the Lake: Life and Love in a Distant Place," directed by David Bettencourt; the Armenian Historical Association of Rhode Island, screening "The Lark Farm" (La masseria delle allodole) directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani; and the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation with a special Closing Night program called "Hip Hot and Short."

RIIFF has received national and international recognition. It was listed in the Providence Business News as one of the Top 20 year-round events in Rhode Island. The Boston Globe's Newenglandtravel.com named RIIFF as one of the top five New England film festivals. And, in 2008, it was listed in Moviemaker Magazine as one of the "Top 25 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee."

The Festival willl not be short on name actors gracing the screen or working behind the camera: David Arquette, Doris Roberts, Anne Meara, Ernest Borgnine, Jane Lynch, Michael Musto, Richard Gere, Joan Allen, Christopher Lloyd, David Ogden Stiers, Alfred Molina, Jason Alexander, Isabella Rossellini, John Lithgow, Ricky Schroder, Annie Leibovitz, Cybill Shepherd, Piper Laurie, Richard Schiff, Sky Soleil, Steven Soderberg, Darryl Hannah, Mira Sorvino, Seymour Cassel, George Clooney, Kathleen Turner, Samuel L. Jackson, Will Patton, Tiger Woods, Charlie Sifford, Jim Dent, Calvin Peete, Arnold Palmer and Tom Everett Scott,

RIIFF 2009 films have come from Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan,, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Palestine Territories, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Serbia/Montenegro, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain,, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. 57 countries will be represented.

This year's film festival will take place at multiple venues statewide, including: Providence and Kingston. These include the Columbus Theatre Arts Center; Providence Performing Arts Center; the Cable Car Cinema; Showcase Providence Place, Bell Street Chapel; Gallery Z; RISD Museum; Brown/RISD Hillel, URI Feinstein Campus Theatre; Providence Public Library; Providence Biltmore Hotel, and the Courthouse Center for the Arts (Kingston).

RIIFF has also become an important event for filmmakers to network and connect with industry people. "What I've learned is there are thousands and thousands of film festivals, but only a few really matter, and RIIFF is actually a film festival that counts," said filmmaker Eric Latek of Phantazma Pictures (Sweet Dreams). According to Latek, it was through his experiences at RIIFF that led him to sign on to two television shows.

Local Filmmaker Spotlight - Independent filmmaker Jake Mahaffy will present two programs of his award-winning short films and features. Jake Mahaffy studied Filmmaking at RISD and the Russian State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow, co-founded the 'Handcranked Film Projects' in Boston, and is now developing a new Filmmaking program at Wheaton College, MA as an Associate Professor. Mahaffy's low-budget films have screened in festivals throughout the world including Sundance (2004/06/08/09). He has received support for his filmmaking from Sundance, Cannes, Guggenheim and other festivals and foundations. He lives in Providence with his family.

Rhode Island Film Forum, the event will take place August 7, 2009 at the URI Feinstein Campus, Providence. The Rhode Island Film Forum is designed to provide a networking platform, spur dialogue and get answers to your questions from those who make decisions. For more information, visit http://www.film-festival.org/RIForum09.php.

Scriptbiz‚ slated for August 3, 2009 at the Renaissance Providence Hotel, this popular symposium addresses the ins and outs of screenwriting. Scriptbiz‚ is a two-day workshop that covers the nuts and bolts of being a scriptwriter. For more information, visit http://www.film-festival.org/scriptbiz.php.

The RIIFF Technology Forum, in collaboration the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This new program is scheduled for Thursday, August 6, 2009. The Forum is a day-long series of workshops focused on the emerging marketing and distribution trends in digital and web-based technologies. For more information, visit http://www.film-festival.org/TechForum09.php.

Additionally, RIIFF will feature these break out programs:

"Producing the Animated Feature Film" with Hollywood producer, Ron Tippe

"Made in Rhode Island" location tour

Some of the RIIFF 2009 Features to the screened at the Festival include: Another Harvest Moon (USA) directed by Greg Swartz and starring Ernest Borgnine; Bitter/Sweet (Thailand) directed by Jeff Hare starring James Brolin; Fifty Dead Men Walking, directed by Kari Skogland with Sir Ben Kingley and Jim Sturgess; Fruit Fly (U S A) directed by H.P. Mendoza; Issiz Adam (Turkey), directed by Cagan Irmak and starring Cemal Hunal; La Masseria Dellee Allodole (The Lark Farm) (Italy), directed by: Paolo Taviani; Like Dandelion Dust (U S A) directed by Jon Gunn, starring Barry Pepper, Cole Hauser, Kate Levering, Kirk B.R. Woller and Mira Sorvino; Love and Savagery (Canada/Ireland), directed by John N. Smith and starring Allan Hawco and Sarah Greene;
"Not Dead Yet (USA), directed by Sam Hull and starring Susan Hess Logeais, Alexander Blaise, David Ogden Stiers, Seymour Cassel; Prince of Broadway (USA), directed by Sean Baker; Promeny (Italy/Czech Republic), directed by: Tomas Rehorek; Stand Up (China) directed by Clara Xing; The Satyr of Springbok Heights (South Africa) directed by Robert Silke; The Vicious Kind (USA) Directed by Lee Krieger and starring¬? Adam Scott, Alex Frost, Brittany Snow and J.K. Simmons; War (USA) and Wellness (USA) directed by Jake Mahaffy.

The RIIFF 2009 Documentary Features include: Abandon All Hope (USA/Italy) directed by: Boris Acosta; Amerika Idol (Serbia/Montenegro/Canada) directed by Barry Avrich; Art & Copy (USA), directed by Doug Pray; Assume Nothing (New Zealand) directed by Kristy MacDonald; Beyond Greenaway: The Legacy (USA), directed by Sue Gilbert; Castle on High: An Undergrad Election Drama (Czech Republic, USA), directed by Michael Morgenstern; Claiming the Title: Gay Olympics On Trial (USA) Directed by Jonathan Joiner and Robert Martin; Comrades (South Africa/ United Kingdom) directed by Poppy Simpson and Dagmara Tatarczyk; Drawing on Fate - Artist: Toshio Kajiyama (Japan) directed by Noriaki Saito; Faded Glory (USA) directed by Richard Cohen; Faded Glory (USA), directed by Richard Cohen; Feat: 63 Marathons in 63 Days (USA), directed by Deborah Carr; Fish out of Water (USA), directed by Ky Dickens; Going Home (South Korea, U S A) directed by Jason Hoffmann; Home Across Lands (USA), directed by John Lavall; Home is Where You Find It (USA) directed by Alcides Soares; HomeGrown (USA), directed by Robert McFalls; HouseQuake (USA) directed by Karen Price; Jim Thorpe, The World's Greatest Athlete (USA), directed by Tom Weidlinger; Laughology (Canada, India, Tanzania, U S A, United Kingdom) directed by Albert Nerenberg; Life Is a Banquet (USA) directed by Jonathan Gruber; MOMz Hot Rocks (USA), directed by Kate Perotti Mugabe and the White African (Namibia, South Africa, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe) directed by: Lucy Bailey and AnDrew Thompson; My Son the Pornographer (Canada/Czech Republic) directed by Peter Campbell; Nightmares in Red, White and Blue (USA) directed by Andrew Monument; No.4 Street of Our Lady (Israel, U S A, Ukraine) directed by Barbara Bird, Judy Maltz, Richie Sherman; Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam (U S A/Viet Nam) Directed by: Tammy Nguyen Lee; Our Disappeared / Nuestros Desaparecidos (Argentina, U S A) directed by Juan Mandelbaum; Out in the Silence (USA) directed by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson; P.S. Kr**yer, Sikken fest! (Denmark), directed by Anna von Lowzow; Rocaterrania (USA), directed by Brett Ingram; Rock Prophecies (USA), directed by John Chester;¬? School Play (USA) directed by Eddie Rosenstein, Rick Velleu, Shadow Billionaire (USA), directed by Alexis Spraic; Smile 'Til It Hurts: The Up With People Story (USA) directed by Lee Storey; So Right So Smart (USA) directed by Michael Swantek and David Robinson; Stage IV - A Journey Into the Unknown (USA), directed by Hanneh Rudkilde; Stubblejumper (Canada), directed by David Geiss; and Swimming with Lesbians (USA), directed by David Marshall.

Additional documentaries include: Ten 9 Eight (USA) directed by Mary Mazzio; The Day After Peace (United Kingdom / Afghanistan, Argentina, Congo, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ghana, India, Israel, Kenya, U S A, United Kingdom) directed by Jeremy Gilley; Tapped (USA) directed by Stephanie Soechtig; The Future Makers (Australia/Peru) directed by Maryella Hatfield; The Good Mother (France) directed by Sarah Klein; The People v. Leo Frank (USA), directed by Ben Loeterman; Garbage Dreams (USA), directed by Mai Iskander; The Station (USA) directed by Peter Crowley; Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story (USA), directed by Christine Toy & Bruce Johnson; Playground (USA), directed by LIbby Spears; Uneven Fairways (USA), directed by Dan Levinson; Up from the Bottoms: The Search for the American Dream (USA) directed by Jim Schaub; Home is Where YOu Find It (USA) directed by Alcides Soares; War Against The Weak (Germany, Poland, U S A) directed by Justin Strawhand.Who Killed Chea Vichea? (Thailand/U S A ) directed by Bradley Cox; and William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet (USA) directed by Kevin Layne.

Many of the RIIFF Short Films screening at this year's Festival will be making their Premieres, among those are: A Bike Ride (U S A) directed by Bernard Attal; A Perfect Harmony (Singapore) directed by Christopher Broe; Abuelo (U S A) directed by Mary Ann Kellogg; An Unfinished Romance (Australia) directed by Alison Heather; Annie Leibovitz "So, There You Go" (U S A) directed by Douglas Sloan; Around the Block (U S A) directed by Valerie Harrington; Astoria, Queens (U S A) directed by Kyle Coker; Corrections (Australia) directed by Bob Franklin; Danse Macabre (Canada) directed by Pedro Pires; Die Seilbahn (Switzerland) directed by Claudius Gentinetta; Diplomacy (U S A) directed by Jon Goldman; Flight to Sinai (Ireland) directed by Cecilia McAllister; Flat Love (Spain, U S A) directed by Andres Sanz; Fluorescent Gray (U S A) directed by Leo Age; Gargoyle (South Africa) directed by Kelsey Egan; Glock (U S A) directed by Tom Everett Scott; Hector Corp. (U S A) directed by Gary Lee; How My Dad Killed Dracula (U S A) directed by Sky Soleil; In Control (Canada) directed by Ana de Lara; James (Ireland, United Kingdom) directed by Connor Clements; Lightheaded (U S A) directed by Mike Dacko; Lost and Found (United Kingdom) directed by Philip Hunt; Lost Paradise (France, Israel) directed by Oded Binnun, Mihal Brezis; Love (United Kingdom) directed by Cristian Solimeno; Lulaland (Germany) directed by Jan Hellstern; Magellan (U S A) directed by Sebastian Davis; Mariachi (U S A) directed by Elena Julia Greenlee; Meeting Laura (Germany) directed by Felix Stienz; Mother Time (United Kingdom) Written by Jacob Proctor; N**dutgang (Norway) directed by Tomas Solli; Off Season (United Kingdom) directed by Deena Lombardi; Open Air (U S A) directed by Shira-Lee Shalit; Oscar & Jim (United Kingdom) directed by Iain Weatherby; Parental Control (United Kingdom) directed by Damien Cullen; Passage (U S A) directed by Shekhar Kapur; Princess Margaret Blvd. (Canada) directed by Kazik Radwanski; The Bake Shop Ghost (U S A) directed by Lorette Bayle; The Butler's In Love (U S A) directed by David Arquette; The Ground Beneath (Australia) directed by Rene Hernandez; The Heart of Amos Klein (Denmark, France, Israel, Netherlands) directed by Michal Kranot, Uri Kranot; The Incredible Story Of My Great Grandmother Olive (United Kingdom) directed by Alberto Rodriguez; The Macabre World of Lavender Williams (U S A, Spain) directed by Nicolas Delgado; The Stars Don't Twinkle In Outer Space (United Kingdom) directed by Peter Thwaites; The Taxidermist (United Kingdom) directed by Bert &Bertie; The water was dark and it went forever down (Australia) directed by Miranda Edmonds, Khrob Edmonds; Underwear (U S A) directed by Tomer Gendler; and Worth (U S A) directed by Kathi Carey.

The Rhode Island International Film Festival is supported in part by the City of Providence, the Providence Tourism Council, the Providence Department of Arts, Culture & Tourism, Wjar TV10, The Providence Phoenix, Sony, HB Communications, WBRU, NewEnglandFilm.com, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Amtrak, URI's College of Arts and Sciences, URI's Feinstein College of Continuing Education, PMA Industries, the URI Film Media Program, Rule Broadcast/Boston Camera, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Art New England Magazine and contributions from members and community supporters.

The Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) discovers and empowers filmmakers. Held in Providence, and locations throughout the state of Rhode Island, RIIFF is one of only a handful of festivals worldwide that is a qualifying event for the Academy Awards (i.e. "Oscars"). RIIFF incorporates gala celebrations, premiere screenings, VIP guests, industry seminars, educational programs, and award ceremonies into a weeklong extravaganza. Cited as one of the "Best International and Short Film Festivals in the United States," RIIFF is New England's largest film festival, screening a record 236 films. Its innovative programming, cultivated industry ties, and loyal audiences have made the Festival a strategic and desirable platform for film premieres, drawing hundreds of independent filmmakers from around the globe. This year's Festival takes place August 4-9, 2009.

The Flickers Arts Collaborative, an organization with 28 years of experience presenting major artistic events as well as independent and foreign films to the public, produces the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Advance ticket sales for screenings and special events are available through the RIIFF website (www.RIFilmFest.org). Student, group, and senior discounts are also available but only in advance. To purchase tickets or obtain more information about any aspect of RIIFF, call 401- 861-4445; or write RIIFF, 268 Broadway, Providence, RI 02903; email info@film-festival.org. or log onto www. RIFilmFest.org.

For more information, write RIIFF, P.O. Box 162, Newport, RI 02840. Telephone: 401-
861-4445. E-mail: info@film-festival.org, website: www.RIFilmFest.org


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