The 25th annual Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), running Aug. 9-15, is a major destination on the Festival circuit and recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a Qualifying Festival in all short film
The 25th annual Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), running Aug. 9-15, is a major destination on the Festival circuit and recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a Qualifying Festival in all short film categories. It is the only festival in New England with this accolade. The festival welcomes stellar filmmaking talents from all over the world to beautiful Providence, one of America’s oldest and most beloved cities.
This year, responding to the impact of COVID-19, the festival will take a hybrid approach utilizing area drive-in theatres and intimate outdoor screening venues. Virtual programming will also take place online.
RIIFF embraces both filmmakers and screenwriters with the sort of warm-hearted spirit that fosters long-lasting friendships, sparks exciting creative projects, and inspires artists to return again and again. Last year, six films from the festival received Oscar nominations, and two – “Colette” directed by Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard, and “If Anything Happens I Love You” directed by Will McCormack and Michael Govier – won for Best Documentary and Animation Short, respectively. To date, there have been 76 Oscar nominations from the festival and 13 wins.
Along with film screenings at the Rustic, Misquamicut and the Waterfire Arts Center, online webinars, industry workshops, special tributes, virtual coffee talks, filmmaker interviews, and post film screening Q&A’s, the 2021 festival will feature a dynamic array of programs and events for both filmmakers and festival audience members. This programming includes the acclaimed Scriptbiz Seminar, the Rhode Island Film Forum, interviews on the festival’s weekly Rhode Island PBS series, “doubleFEATURE,” the Youth Film Jury, KidsEye Screenings, a virtual Awards program and the announcement of this year’s Winifred Brownell Scholarship Fund award winner.
The full festival schedule will be available by the week of July 25 and will be evolving throughout the festival, with new programming appearing daily. Links to films will appear on their scheduled play dates and remain live for a period of seven days.
This year’s festival is dedicated to the memory of Gloria Andrade, mother of long-term Flickers’ board member Lawrence Andrade. A special celebration of her life will take place during Flickers official opening night celebration on Tuesday, Aug. 10, at the Rustic Tri-View Drive-In in North Smithfield.
According to George T. Marshall, Flickers executive director, “Gloria Andrade was a loyal and fervent supporter of the Festival. We felt it important to celebrate her contributions and call attention to someone who made this a better world for all of us. After the year plus of lockdowns due to COVID, we want to call attention to those we lost, acknowledge their loss and to most importantly celebrate their lives.”
Steven Feinberg, executive director of the Rhode Island Film & Television Office said, “My favorite week of the year has finally arrived. We salute Flickers and the prestigious Rhode Island International Film Festival for celebrating 39 exciting years of excellence. Six films from last year’s festival – including the amazing ‘Collette’ – went on to be nominated for the elusive Academy Award! What an amazing journey!”
According to Shawn Quirk RIIFF program director, “Annually we are treated by the quality of the various productions from around the globe; these films bring the world to Rhode Island and enlighten us in our cultural outlook. There is nothing more exciting and invigorating than being exposed to the incredible work created by these impassioned filmmakers.”
Over its seven-day run, the festival will be available online plus in-person screenings at various outdoor and drive-in venues. A record 400 films will be available, including multiple world/United States premieres from an entry base originating from 103 countries and 34 states in the U.S. The films for this year’s festival were selected from a record entry base of 6,843 submissions.
To celebrate the Ocean State and its vibrant beach culture, the Festival unofficially kicks off on Monday, Aug. 9, with a special Preview Night hosted at the Misquamicut Drive-In, 316 Atlantic Ave., Westerly, by Seaside Pharmacy and the Rhode Island Film and Television Office. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and car’s positioning in the lot will be on a first-come first-served basis. Tickets must be ordered online and cash payments will not be accepted.
It is a retro night at the movies when the festival officially kicks-off at the Opening Night Gala Double Feature Screening on Tuesday, Aug. 10, at 8 p.m. at the Rustic Tri-View Drive In, 1195 Eddie Dowling Highway, North Smithfield. The hosts for the evening include WLNE ABC-6, Michael Drywa, Esq., RIIFF’s Advisory Board President, and Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the RI Film & Television Office. The festival will be showcasing a dynamic lineup of international short films followed by a feature film. The first program will be RIIFF’s signature salute to short films. Advance tickets must be ordered online and cash payments will not be accepted.
A salute to local and New England filmmakers is on tap Thursday, Aug. 12, at 8 p.m. at the Rustic Tri-View Drive In. The host for the evening is Feinberg. Advance tickets must be ordered online and cash payments will not be accepted.
Thanks to sponsorship from the Sony Corporation, RIIFF will be screening films outdoors in the city of Providence at the Waterfire Arts Center, located at The ALCO: American Locomotive Works, 475 Valley St., Providence. Programming will begin at dusk.
There will be screenings Monday through Wednesday at the Rooftop at the Providence G. Showcases will include animated shorts, locally produced feature films, as well as an evening devoted to Quebecois cinema “Cine-Quebec,” which will be presented in partnership with the Quebec Delegation of Boston, The Rhode Island Historical Society, and The Museum of Work and Culture. Screenings will take place Monday through Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.
RIIFF will feature a special showcase of local filmmakers and their work, the Providence Underground Film Festival, at the Dusk Lounge, 301 Harris Ave., Providence, in partnership with Motif Magazine. The showcase of locally made short films will start at sundown on Wednesday night, Aug. 11.
Most of this year’s online programming will be free except for several world premiere titles available at $2 per the RIIFF streaming platform. Drive-in double features are $20 per carload. Advance drive-in ticketing can be found at www.rifilmfest.org.