International Film Festival Rhode Island
Established in 1997, the Rhode Island International Film Festival, produced by the Flickers Arts Collaborative, is an annual effort happening in the Providence and Newport, Rhode Island to showcase fresh talents in the filmmaking sector. This Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts and Science (AMPAS)-accredited film festival has become an art-house for a wide selection of films, regardless of niche and genre, giving chances to independent filmmakers around the globe to showcase their talents.
The RIIFF is the only film festival in the United States that takes place statewide, meaning films included in the festival are distributed and can be seen around Rhode Island, from the movie theatres to university theatres. Aside from film screenings, the RIIFF also offers panels, seminars, filmmaking workshops, and an online festival. With an annual attendance that goes up to 25,000 viewers, RIIFF attracts filmmakers and film enthusiasts around the world. These attendees would expect to see a bunch of independent narrative features, documentaries and shorts from talents the different parts of the globe. This is a rare big chance not only for the filmmakers to set a world premiere in the film festival, but also a chance for the viewers to step out of the mainstream film culture for a bit and take a fresher breath of air as they take a glimpse offered by these wonderful storytellers and visual artists. With film selections that go up to more than 300 (shorts and features combined) viewers may have a hard time deciphering what film would they view to fulfill their art-hungry hearts.
The geographic location and cultural-heritage linkages of the film festival are considered its unique elements. Rhode Island’s nearness to Canada served a symbiotic relationship to the two, giving the chance for artistic exchange and a showcase of filmmakers from the two regions. One of the film festival’s major sponsors is Tourisme Quebec. Rhode Island is also thankful for its proximity to New York and Boston and other institutions of higher education which includes Brown University, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University and Rhode Island School of Design, making the festival filled with an audience wherein the majority is composed of film-literate individuals. With this, the film festival is ideal for more convenient dialogue among filmmakers and audience.
RIIFF is well-known for hosting the world premiere of the Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller-starred film and Bobby Farrelly-directed film, There’s Something About Mary, in 1998. Other films that were screened in the festival in the past were John Williams’ Hibernation, Walt Disney’s The Little Matchgirl and Marry Mazzio’s Lemonade Stories. It also attracts various talents of the filmmaking industry who would then participate in a conversation that deals with the aspects of the art. RIIFF also acknowledges people who have offered significant contributions in the industry via the Festival Lifetime Achievement Awards. Recipients of the awards include filmmaker Blake Edwards and actress Julie Andrews.