Rhode Island Film Festival Celebrates Short Films on Opening Night
by Brian Brooks
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized the Rhode Island International Film Festival as a qualifying festival for the short film category last year. In celebration, this year the event will kick off tomorrow with a series of short films from around the world. The six day event, which call itself New England's largest, will feature 185 films from 37 countries. Shorts screened on opening night will include the east coast premiere of director Kenneth Branagh's "Listening," the second he has directed and the first he has written. The festival describes the films as a story "at a spiritual retreat where a man and a woman encounter one another whilst searching for their won inner peace."
Also featured in the program is the animated "Destino" by French director Dominique Monfery, which will be a U.S. premiere. The film is the 'completed' version of a work commissioned in 1946 by Walt Disney to surrealist Salvador Dali which was never completed. Two years ago, Roy Disney commissioned Monfery ("The Hunchback of Notre Dame") to finish it. Director Steve Zakman's "Autopsy Room Four" will have its world premiere at the fest, based on the short story by Stephen King along with Eva Saks' "Colorforms." Saks is the winner of the Warner Bros. Pictures production award and also received a Student Academy Award. Australian director Tony Rogers will premiere his short "The Cook" in the U.S. at the festival about a conflict on a sheep station, while Japanese director Hirofumi Nagaike will premiere his mystery short, "Flying."
Other feature highlights include Greg Pak's Hamptons International Film Festival film "Robot Stories," and Dan Ireland's "Passionada." Also screening is Ben Coccio's Atlanta and Florida film festivals winner, "Zero Day." The festival expects over 200 filmmakers and producers to attend the event which runs through August 10th.
[For more information, please visit: http://www.film-festival.org.]