It was fifteen years ago when FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) started rolling. The following year, RI natives the Farrelly brothers hit the scene with There’s Something About Mary and RIIFF has been a golden star ever since.
RIIFF is one of 65 festivals around the world where featured shorts can qualify for an Academy Award nomination. The six day event starts this Tuesday August 9th at various venues throughout the Ocean State with premiere works in the capital city of Providence. Join RIIFF for the Opening Night Premiere and Gala Celebration. The eve will spotlight’s the very best short film submission like Elfar Adalsteins’ Sailcloth, Frederic Casella’s Tooty’s Wedding or John Salcido’s Cataplexy and more big screen flicks
This year, the RIIFF will honor Paul Sorvino with its Lifetime Achievement Award. The Goodfellas and The Cooler star will be presented with the festival’s highest honor following a screening of his latest film, Lily of the Feast, on August 11.
The post party will be happening in hip contributing local restaurants including Andrea’s, El Rancho Grande, India, Nice Slice plus Boston’s own Harpoon Brewery and Empire Soda of Bristol are just two that will be providing refreshing beverages.
This is the largest public film festival in New England, so take a ride down 95 South and check out our future filmmakers at the 15th annual Rhode Island International Film Fest. Tickets are still available for the savvy event, which is ranked as a one of the Top 12 Film Festivals in the United States. Check out RIIFF dot com for tickets, passes and all the events.
If you’re looking for a place to celebrate the most important night in Hollywood, than look no further than the RIIFF Presents Oscar Night America 2011 taking place on Sunday, February 27, 2011 at the regal VMA Arts & Cultural Center in Providence, RI.
Because the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) has long been New England’s only qualifying festival for short films, it is appropriate that it is one of the only 50 official parties sanctioned by the Academy to host an official Oscar telecast viewing party on Oscar Night.
Along with the Oscar telecast, there will be a silent auction with prizes including a spa treatment, hotel getaway, and festival passes to RIIFF in August. Proceeds will benefit RIIFF and its community outreach and educational programs including the Youth Film Jury, the Providence GLBT Film Festival, and the Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival. There will also be a red carpet for attendees to walk and special guests including award winning documentarians, Stacia Teele and Don Manley, writer/director Dan Hannon, and one of the producers of the Pirates of Caribbean franchise, Francine DiChiara.
Tickets to the event are can be found at their website. You can also take a peek at some of their current silent auction prizes online. For those interested in an Oscar ballot, they can be found here.
With the kickoff of Sundance, there begins another year of film festivals. While festival season doesn’t really pick up until late spring, there are plenty of entry deadlines that will approach before you know it. For your own sanity and wallet, it’s always better to submit earlier than later, so here are some competitions with upcoming deadlines to look out for.
First up: The Boston Cinema Census, an annual showcase at the famous Brattle Theatre of the most interesting and innovative works produced by local emerging filmmakers. To qualify, films must have been shot wholly or partially in New England, or have New England residents on its crew. Corporate, industrial films or PSAs do not qualify. The winner gets their film shown at the Brattle Theatre, so although there is no monetary compensation, unlike the other competitions listed, there is no entry fee. The deadline to submit through Withoutabox is February 15, 2011, so hurry!
Although the early deadline for the Rhode Island International Film Festival has passed, the regular deadline is still far ahead. RIIFF, which we have had the pleasure of attending, is one of the few film festivals in the world where winning short films can qualify for the Academy Award. If you think your short has what it takes to qualify for an Oscar or just needs to be seen in New England, make sure to submit by May 15 through Withoutabox to get the cheaper pricing options for submission.
For all of you screenwriters, The Maine Studio’s second annual Scriptsation call for entries began on January 16 and will take digital copies of your teleplay, feature or short film script. The winner of Best Overall Script will receive $500 and a consultation for production by The Maine Studios. Make sure to submit through their site by May 31 for the entry fee of $30.
The annual Boston Film Festival, known for attracting star filmmakers, has also started accepting entries for their fall festival. Submissions can be done through Withoutabox by June 11 or an application is available on their website.
Alternatively, for those interested in having some prestige to posting your film online rather than being shown in a theater or facing the financial burdens of entry fees, The Quarterlife Quarterly, a new online publication, is now taking submissions. The Quarterlife Quarterly will also accept fiction and nonfiction writing, music, photo essays and other projects of artistic merit, so if you have other side projects besides your films, it provides a perfect opportunity to showcase your other talents. Submissions are due by February 22 and can be sent to [email protected]
One more suggestion to those who make shorts on a more international scale, the 8th “Concours de Courts” is accepting short films under 22 minutes. Other entry requirements for this fun French film festival dedicated to shorts are that films must either be silent or have french subtitles (it being a French festival and all…). It does not cost anything to enter on their site, as long as short films are postmarked by Valentine’s Day, February 14th; so you still have time to hit that Google Translate button and take advantage of having an international audience see your creation!
Don’t forget that there are plenty of other festivals and competitions out there that are seeking submissions. If you would like a complete list of all 54 festivals within New England, make sure to check out our Film Festivals page and keep an eye out on each festival’s homepage for submission deadlines.
The Rhode Island International Film Festival ended this past Sunday, August 15after having had over 240 filmmakers registered from 51 different countries and showcased over 200 cinematic works, including 35 World and 23 North American Premieres. These films were chosen from a record of over 4200 international submissions.
The festival kicked off last Tuesday with an exciting night of outstanding short films. RIIFF’s opening night short films have become a massive draw since the festival achieved accreditation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) as an Oscar-qualifiying festival in the Short Film category.
This year’s top prizes went to the French short, Tout Ma Vie, directed by Pierre Ferriere, Norman, a feature directed by Jonathon Segal and the documentary Afghanistan: Defying Silence directed by Stacia Teele and Ed Robbins. Two films tied for Best Short Documentary: Jennifer Stoddart’s One Thousand Pictures: RFK’s Last Journey and Travis Senger’s White Lines and the Fever: The Death of DJ Junebug. The winner of Best Short Film is now eligible to receive an Academy Award nomination for the 2010-2011 season. The festival also presented a Creative Vision Award to comedic actor, Jonathan Katz, and screened his recent hilarious animated short, “Death Row Diet.” A full list of awards can be found on RIIFF’s website.
Films were shown mostly in Providence with some programs also being held in Newport. One of RIIFF’s many goals is to promote Rhode Island’s community of artists and filmmakers, therefore, there was an outdoor merchant fair featuring many artisans from the New England area and an H.P. Lovecraft Walking Tour highlighting some of the local areas mentioned in the well-known fantasy and horror author’s books.
RIIFF also held its annual ScriptBiz Workshop program for aspiring screenwriters. Writer/director Chris Sparling, author of Crazy Heart, Thomas Cobb, and Emmy Award winning director, screenwriter, producer and distributor, Michael Sergio participated in this year’s topic of “Make Your Own Success As a Writer.” Between Takes Coffee Talks, RIIFF’s morning gatherings for filmmakers were also well attended and informed many of the new forms of distribution, the process of making a personal documentary and the tricks of working with a RED camera.
Highlights of the film festival include locally made Sleather, which had a huge turnout. The film’s premiere filled most of the 1,900 seat theater at the VMA Arts and won the Audience Award Grand Prize. Waking Sleeping Beauty, a documentary about the turmoil during the 1980s at Disney Animation also played to packed audiences. The film’s writer, Patrick Pacheco, and RIIFF’s Programming Director, Ron Tippe, who had worked at Disney during the time that the film profiled, gave great insight on Roy Disney, Michael Eisner, and Jeffrey Katzenberg as well as what it was like to work at Disney.
Along with the movies playing in the main theatre, many great GLBT films were featured at the Bell Street Chapel, a Unitarian Universalist church. Jewish themed shorts and features were on view at the Brown/RISD Hillel.
For more information on the films screened at the festival and RIIFF’s upcoming horror film festival, make sure to check out their website. If you are interested in learning more about the other festivals in the New England area, check out our festivals page and let us know if there is a festival that you would like profiled.
If you’ve been reading any of our coverage of the FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), one thing you can gather by now is that RIIFF loves to support its local communities and independent filmmakers. Sleather, is another example of RIIFF supporting its local filmmakers and will enjoy its world premiere this Saturday at 7PM. A comedic adventure for the whole family, Sleather, follows three friends who are determined to make one of the members of their group famous.
A movie made by people from Rhode Island and that takes place in the great Ocean State, Sleather is a triumph in DIY filmmaking and proves that filmmakers do not necessarily have to go to film school to be successful in the entertainment industry. Sleather’s director, Anthony Ambrosino, and writer-producer, Nick Delmenico were gracious enough to sit down with Hollyywood East Connection and tell us how their film that was seven years in the making ended up premiering at one of the top festivals in the United States.
Both Rhode Island natives, Ambrosino and Delmenico are not film school grads and in fact had never worked in the entertainment industry until they decided to make Sleather because it seemed like a fun thing to do. Their naivety ended up helping them in the end because now Ambrosino and Delmenico are full fledged New England filmmakers who have worked on everything from friends’ shorts to blockbuster films.
Armed with lots of humility, Ambrosino and Delmenico enlisted the help of the Rhode Island filmmaking community and learned how to produce on the spot. They traded services with other artists and have insisted that because of all of this help, Sleather is truly a “community made film.” When asked about how receptive the state of Rhode Island was to making Sleather, both agreed that the State Film Office was very cooperative and that communities were excited to see films being made in their state. They also cited the film tax credit as another helpful factor in completing Sleather.
To gain more experience, Ambrosino and Delmenico worked on as many projects as they could because it gave them a better understanding of the filmmaking process. In fact, Ambrosino states that over the years, he has worked in all of the departments to get a better understanding of what goes into making a film. He encourages others to do the same and cites that as an extremely important factor of being a great director.
As for advice for other budding filmmakers, Ambrosino cannot emphasize enough to anyone who is considering making a movie to “just go out and do it.” Just attempting to make a film will make you a better filmmaker. Ambrosino encourages others to have “blind faith in what you try and accomplish” and to “go create” because “eventually you will get what you want.” In fact, he said that all of his lessons on filmmaking have been learned by “screwing up.” Ambrosino also wanted to remind others that “when you’re trying to improve, focus on the negative” because sometimes criticism can be extremely helpful in improving your film or your style.
After their premiere this Saturday, Ambrosino and Delmenico are hoping to find distribution for Sleather and are gearing up to release six short films from other amazing New England filmmakers like Kris Avedisian, Dave Trodella, Mark Fogarty, Nick Beaubien and Eric Weindel.
Make sure to check out the world premiere of Sleather on Saturday, August 14 at 7PM at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence, RI. It is a great opportunity to support local filmmakers and meet Ambrosino and Delmenico in person. Tickets can be purchased online or at the theater’s box office. More information on Sleather can be found on the film’s website.
Although we’ve covered many other film festivals, if you’re a genre filmmaker, this next festival seeking submissions might be more up your alley.
Taking place October 21-24, 2010, the Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival has been listed among the “Top Horror Fests in the Country” and is New England’s largest Horror Film Festival. The festival screens thrillers and titles that fit the horror genre at the Bell Street Chapel and other haunted venues.
As a side-bar of the acclaimed Rhode Island International Film Festival, this Fest accepts shorts, features and videos produced after 2007. Filmmakers may enter their films in or out of competition, but all films will be eligible for the Fest Favorites Awards which include Favorite Feature, Animation and Short Awards.
The entry fee to submit is $45 for both shorts and features until August 15th. A fee of $55 is required for late entries after August 15th. Be sure to hurry because the final deadline for submitting is September 1st. To submit your film, download and fill out an application online.
Keeping with the Rhode Island International Film Festival’s dedication to filmmakers, all proceeds from Horror Fest will be dedicated to the Patricia Neal Scholarship Fund, which is designed to help Rhode Island college students pursue an education in film. So not only do you have the opportunity to be a part of an amazing festival, but you also get to support filmmakers.
More information on the Patricia Neal Scholarship Fund and the Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival can be found on their website. If you are interested in attending or submitting to other festivals in the New England area, be sure to check out our complete list of festivals on Hollywood East Connection.
Next week, August 10 through the 15, one of the the largest New England film festivals will take place in venues throughout Providence, Rhode Island. And although we’ve previously mentioned the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), it is worth mentioning again simply for the fact that it is is one of the top 10 short film festivals and top 10 international film festivals in the United States.
RIIFF is one of the most important New England film festivals for filmmakers because it is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category for the Annual Academy Awards. In fact, out of more than 7,000 film festivals, only 65 have this recognition. Some shorts to look out for this year are La Premiere, which features James Earl Jones and is about the Lumiere brothers and their invention of The Kinetoscope, Kirsten Dunst‘s Bastard, which also played at the Cannes Film Festival and The Mouse That Soared, an animated tale about a flying circus mouse who reflects on his life.
Along with some of the world’s best short films, viewers can also expect to see a lot of well-made documentaries. Some interesting ones include RIIFF’s opening night premiere of Emmy nominated G. Warren Miller’s new documentary Behind the Hedgegrow: Eileen Slocum and the Meaning of Newport Society, which offers an exclusive glimpse into the private world of aristocratic Newport, RI society, Waking Sleeping Beauty, a film that chronicles how Disney animators revived animated feature films in the 1980s, and Do It Again, a journey of a Boston Globe music writer who makes it his personal mission to reunite The Kinks one more time.
RIIFF’s programming is also unique because it offers a wide range of diverse programming including Jewish, musical, animated and GLBT themed films that play throughout the week in their own venues. Viewers should keep an eye out for Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story, a documentary about the impact baseball has had on American Jews, Wagner and Me, a film featuring actor Stephen Fry and the controversial composer Robert Wagner, and the Hip, Hot GLBT shorts series happening almost ever night of the festival.
RIFF also offers a panel series featuring different filmmakers and industry insiders. This year’s series explores “The New Art of Distribution,” “The Documentary Film Experience” and “Shooting with ‘The Red.’” More information on attending these panels can be found on the RIIFF website.
Acclaimed artists and filmmakers are also honored each year at RIIFF. Past recipients include Zach Braff, Richard Jenkins, Blythe Danner, and Ernest Borgnine. This year’s winners will include actor Jonathan Katz and artist Jon and Betty-Jane Berberian.
Tickets and passes are already on sale for RIIFF on their website or can be bought at the door.
If you’re interested in RIIFF, but can’t make it out this year, Hollywood East Connection will be there! Let us know if you are interested in coverage on any specific films, topics or filmmakers.
To keep tabs on other New England film festivals, be sure to check out Hollywood East Connection’s film festival page — the only complete list of festivals in New England.
The 33rd Annual Boston/New England Emmy competition will be announced May 22 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
One of this year’s first time nominees is Eagle Peak Media’s documentary On the Lake, directed by David Bettencourt and produced by G. Wayne Miller. Centering on the tuberculosis epidemic in early 1900s America and globally today, the documentary was inspired by a series Miller wrote for the Providence Journal, where he is a staff writer. The articles centered on a Rhode Island state hospital that opened in the early 1900s and served as a sanitarium for tuberculosis patients.
In response to his first Emmy nomination, writer/producer Miller said, “We are honored to be considered for this award, and we thank the Academy’s independent judges. It’s a testament to the dedication and hard work of our entire crew.”
Next up for Miller and and Bettencourt, their first feature-length film, Behind the Hedgegrow: Eileen Slocum and the Meaning of Newport Society, will premiere this August at this year’s Rhode Island International Film Festival.
If you’re interested in watching On the Lake, it still broadcasts on PBS and is available through Netflix, Amazon and other outlets. For more information, visit the film’s website.
For more information on Eagle Peak Media productions and their upcoming projects, visit their website.
With so many film festivals happening around the world, it is hard to know which ones deserve your time or effort. New Englanders are in luck, however, and need to look no further than their own state for some of the best festivals. Recently rebranded, FLICKERS: The Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), is one of those that should not to be missed.
Known for discovering new filmmakers and having a strong shorts program, RIIFF takes place in venues around the Rhode Island area and is the only United States Festival that is truly statewide in its presentation. Created in 1997 by a non-profit film society in Newport, Rhode Island, RIIFF was put on the map in 1998 when it premiered previous honorary chair, Bobby Farrelly’s, hit, There’s Something About Mary. Although that movie guaranteed years of comedy submissions, the festival is one of only a few in New England that accepts works of any type. RIIFF is also one of 65 festivals around the world where featured shorts can qualify for an Academy Award nomination.
Since its inception, the festival has become well known for discovering new talent and screening films that you would not necessarily see at other festivals.
When we interviewed Executive Director and CEO of the festival, George T. Marshall, he told us that the “mission is to get new filmmakers noticed.” Unlike many other festivals that screen some solicited films, RIIFF is built entirely on submissions that come directly from filmmakers. Last year, the festival received 3400 submissions and this year, Marshall is expecting that number to be even higher.
Mr. Marshall also explained that the festival is so dedicated to filmmakers, that once someone submits their film, they receive regular updates and have access to numerous resources on the RIIFF website. There is even an “Adopt-a-Filmmaker” program offered for strapped for cash filmmakers. This program is supported by generous RIIFF patrons who host filmmakers at their home during the festival.
During our interview, Marshall repeatedly emphasized the importance of the New England film community to “work in cohesion” instead of competing against each other. These and other programs prove that RIIFF is clearly dedicated to supporting its filmmakers and the greater film community in Rhode Island and New England.
Along with the annual festival in August, RIIFF hosts a yearly Film Forum and a variety of other events for the New England community. Some upcoming events include their Providence Oscar Night America Celebration (one of 50 in the U.S. sanctioned by the Academy), a GLBT Expo and their Annual First Look Screening, which previews some of the short films set to premiere at this year’s festival.
RIIFF also provides many other opportunities to get involved for those who have more time. Throughout the year, RIIFF hosts a series of “You Be the Judge” nights, where the audience is left to determine whether certain films make the cut to screen at the annual festival. If you have more time to dedicate, you can also intern or volunteer at the festival. RIIFF is driven by interns and volunteers who help out with many aspects of the festival including programming, community outreach, and development/fundraising.
For those interested in submitting to the festival, you can print out a submission form through their website or submit through Withoutabox.com. The regular deadline for submissions is May 15, while June 1 is the late deadline and the extended deadline is June 15. For more information on interning, volunteering or attending any of RIIFF’s upcoming events, be sure to check out their website.
The Rhode Island International Film Festival is looking for independent filmmakers to compete in a new National Filmmaking Competition called the Seven Day PSA. This is a ‘feel good’ competition for non-union filmmakers who will have seven days to produce 20, 30 and 60 second public service announcements (PSA) for randomly selected non-profit organizations. This competition not only benefits the creative filmmakers who will receive a broadcast credit or even an Emmy if their PSA is chosen, but it helps these non-profit organizations raise awareness at a national level.
These organizations are struggling to get the resources to produce public service announcements and without these announcements it’s hard to raise money and public awareness. This competition is a win-win for all. If you think you have an idea for a PSA that will spark attention nationally in the New Year you have until January 10th to submit an application. Find your team of non-union actors, writers and filmmakers who want to compete for national exposure. As with many filmmaking competitions, there is a small standard fee of $120.00 for each team. This event is being hosted in Providence, RI and future events are currently being planned throughout New England. This is an opportunity to challenge yourself and build your resume in the New Year. For more information go to the Seven Day PSA.
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