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Rhode Island International Film Festival

August 13-16, 1998

 

WHY A RHODE ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL?

The buzzwords in tourism and marketing today are "Location, Location." Rhode Island certainly is the right location. Not only does it have an unspoiled natural beauty, it is also rich with historic and cultural treasures. Its relationship with the film industry can be documented back to the early days of the silents, when homegrown product was not unusual and distributed nationwide.

Today, Rhode Island has been rediscovered by Hollywood and the international cinema community. Before the success of "Titanic," filmmaker James Cameron shot his spy-epic "True Lies" in Newport. Steven Spielberg recently completed his acclaimed "Amistad" in locations throughout Rhode Island and southern New England. And, homegrown auteurs and technicians— Michael Corrente, the Farrelly brothers (Peter and Bobby), and Tom Ohanian— have created critical and financial hits based on material either inspired by or shot in the state.

The Rhode Island International Film Festival is a natural by-product of the intense interest that the film medium generates among the viewing public. Film has become a multi-billion dollar industry and each year surpasses the last in box office gross. What other industry crosses the line between commerce and art and still enchants, amazes, puzzles and intrigues? What other industry touches all walks of life and no matter what language is presented on screen? Cinema has become a part of global communications and builds bridges that span culture, age and even prejudice.

The Rhode Island International Film Festival is dedicated to the creation of opportunities for artistic interaction and exchange while bridging the gap between the established entertainment industry and the global creative community. Its goal is to recognize achievement and innovation in a variety of filmmaking and storytelling disciplines while providing an opportunity to secure wider distribution. The Festival's vision is to foster contact among film directors, producers, distributors, backers and the film-going community.

Now in its second year, the Rhode Island International Film Festival has presented the regional and state premieres of international works such as the acclaimed "Irma Vep," and restorations of classic films like Jacques Demy’s "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg." plus the American Premieres of "Les Pots Casses," and "Bonheur d'Occasion," "The Tin Flute" from the Province of Québec. Relationships have been built with Zeitgeist Films LTD, Kino International, Telefilm Canada, New Yorker Films, the National Film Board of Canada, Northeast Historic Films, Gouvernement du Québec - New England, Cité-Amérique International, and the UCLA Film & Television Archives.

The Festival also featured the participation of Hollywood writer/director Bobby Farrelly ("Dumb & Dumber," "King Pin," "There's Something About Mary"), local and regional filmmakers, and dignitaries from the Province of Québec. The 1998 Festival marks an expansion in offerings and a call for entries in all genres. Screenings will take place at multiple sites and include forums, colloquia, and opportunities to meet the filmmakers and special live performances paying tribute to the music of film. We are pleased to announce that Mr. Farrelly has also agreed to serve as this year’s Honorary Chairman.

The Rhode Island International Film Festival takes place in historic Woonsocket, Rhode Island. This untapped area offers excellent screening capabilities, strong community support, and unlimited growth potential. Because of its unique geographic location and cultural-heritage linkages, one of the chief aims of the Festival is the encouragement of an artistic exchange between filmmakers from the New England region and the Canadian provinces.

The presence of Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, other institutions of higher education, and Rhode Island's proximity to New York and Boston, give the Festival a film-literate audience, and provide an ideal forum for filmmakers to show their work. The recent renaissance in the capital city of Providence has brought access to excellent dining, recreation and arts experiences. The size of the state is a chief asset since within an hour’s drive you can experience first-class beaches, inland lakes, or protected woodlands. Rhode Island has mansions in Newport, museums in Providence, beaches in Narragansett and now the International Film Festival in Woonsocket.

The Rhode Island International Film Festival is created and produced by the Flickers Arts Collaborative, in conjunction with the Jubilé Franco-Américain (which takes place August 20-23, one week following the Film Festival), in cooperation with the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, the Stadium Theatre Foundation, Brooks Pharmacy, and the Union Saint Jean-Baptiste.

Organizational Background:

Flickers began life in 1982 as "The Newport Film Society." Its first film screenings officially took place in January 1983 at the historic Van Alen Casino Theatre in Newport, R.I. During its five years exhibiting film, Flickers screened more than 475 titles, of which many were state and regional premieres. The society presented many themed film series. The first International Film Festival in Newport took place through Flickers in 1983. The Society also presented the first Japanese Film Festival in 1984. Encouraging the celebration of film as an important part of our culture, the Society sponsored specialized film series, lectures and forums. Cheslaw Kyanka, founder of the Polish Solidarity Union, spoke at a society screening of "Man of Iron."

The Society presented lectures for colleges and organizations on topics from Italian Neo-Realism to film programming. The Society even organized travel programs to study world media centers in New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, and Athens.

Some examples that demonstrate the breadth of films exhibited include "Amadeus," "Flight of the Eagle," "The Man from Snowy River," "Parting Glances," Truffaut's "Confidentially Yours," Bergman's "Fanny & Alexander," Fassbinder's "Querelle," Franco Zeffirelli's lush "La Traviata," Bertolucci’s uncut "1900," the premiere of the independent film "Coaster," the restored print of Gloria Swanson's epic "Queen Kelly," Fellini’s "And the Ship Sails On," and "My Beautiful Laundrette."

Festival Structure:

The structure for this year's Festival will include multiple screenings of both film and video over a four-day period. The Festival will include the presentation of features, shorts and experimental films, world and international premieres, and retrospectives. Filmmakers will be available for discussion and commentary at an Opening Night Gala Reception. Principal film screenings will take place at the historic Stadium Theatre, a 1200 seat hall with the largest screen in the region (38') and presented in Dolby stereo sound. Video presentations will take place at the newly opened Woonsocket Museum of Work and Culture. The Festival Dates: August 13-16, 1998.

Entries:

Filmmakers may enter their films either in-competition or out-of-competition. Films in competition will be judged by a jury of distinguished industry professionals who will award the Festival's Best Feature, Best Short, Best Editing, Best Director, Best Score, and Best Documentary. Whether in or out of competition, all films will be eligible for R.I. Fest Favorites awards.

For up-to-date information about the Festival, visit Flickers Web Site Flickers

or write or call us at P.O. Box 162, Newport, R.I. 02840 • Tel/Fax: 401.847-7590 •

Or e-mail us at flicksart@aol.com

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