Ten short films are slated to launch the tenth annual Rhode Island Film Festival, taking place this year August 8 - 13 in Providence and other cities throughout the New England state. This year's line up includes 283 features from 40 countries with 27 world premieres and 19 U.S. premieres. Rhode Island director, writer and actor, Michael Corrente ("Brooklyn Rules") will be receiving RIIFF's annual Creative Vision Award during the opening night festivities, while actors David Strathairn and Edward James Olmos are expected to attend.
Three animated films will be part of the opening roster, including director Roger Allers' ("The Lion King") East Coast debut, "The Little Matchgirl" as well as Henry Sellick's ("The Nightmare Before Christmas") "Moongirl" and computer generated short, "One Rat Short" by Alex Weil. RIFF is one of 60 festivals worldwide that qualify for Academy Award consideration in the shorts category.
RIFF sidebars will continue to play prominently this year. The programs include the Providence Jewish Film Festival and the Providence Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in addition to The Providence Film Festival, which showcases work by local artists; and the Jubile Franco Americain which salutes work by French Canadian filmmakers.
RIFF's world debuts include "Fat Rose and Squeaky" directed by Sam Irvin, featuring Cicely Tyson, Jo Anderson and Julie Brown, and Frederic Lumiere's world premiere, "Tomorrow is Today" with Scout Taylor-Compton, David Brown, Marc Hefti and Luke Pennington. "Caffeine" from director John Cosgrove also has its world debut with Mike Vogel, Mena Suvari, Katherine Heigel, while Australian film, "Wil" by Jeremy Weinstein and Tim Disney's (son of Roy) U.K. production, "Tempesta" features Paul Guilfoyle, Rutger Hauer and Malcolm McDowell are in the line up.
The horror genre will be feted in this year's edition with "The Great Yokai War" by Japanese director, Takashi Miike as well as the world debut of "Header," by Archibald Flancranstin. Also vying for some audience thrills is the H.P. Lovecraft inspired, "Call of Cthuhlu," by director, Andrew Leman.
Fifty-two docs will screen at this year's fest, which the festival calls "the largest in New England." The feature documentaries include Tim Morse and Karen Morse's Holocaust story, "Secret Courage;" Peter Josyph's, "Liberty Street: Alive at Ground Zero;" Catherine Ryan and Gary Weimberg's "Three Women and a Chateau;" Steve Palackdharry's "Journey to Justice;" Mary Mazzio's story of American entrepreneurship, "Lemonade Stories;" Dean Budnick's North American premiere, "Wetlands Preserved: The Story of an Activist Rock Club," featuring Pearl Jam, 311, Moe, Phish, Blues Traveler, Bob Weir, Dave Matthews and Hanson. Others in the doc line up are: Marcus Mandal's "Karen Blixen: Out of This World" featuring Meryl Streep; "The Shape of Water" directed by Kum-Kum Bhavnani, and narrated by Susan Sarandon; the U.S. premiere of Frank Robak's "Statistics" and an original and "telling look" at the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gays with the U.S. military in Stu Maddox's "Bob and Jack's 52-Year Adventure."
"Our goal this year has been to produce an opening event that will leave audiences wanting more," commented RIIFF executive director, George T. Marshall in a statement. "What better way to celebrate our 10th anniversary than to break old molds and create an evening that we believe is daring and definitely original."
[For more information and a full line up, visit the festival's website.]