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Rhode Island Fest Lauds “Eating Out” and Zach Braff

Rhode Island Fest Lauds "Eating Out" and Zach Braff

Rhode Island Fest Lauds “Eating Out” and Zach Braff

by Adam Burnett

Natalie Portman and Zach Braff in “Garden State.” Braff, who directed the film, won the festival’s Crystal Vision award for a debut filmmaker. Photo credit: K.C. Bailey/Camelot Pictures.

The 8th annual Rhode Island International Film Festival announced this year’s competition winners with Q. Allen Brocka‘s gay romantic-comedy “Eating Out” taking the award for best feature and Scotland’s Simon Dennis‘ silent film-influenced family-drama, “Iota” winning best foreign film. RIIFF, which took place from August 10-15, hosted screenings and other events in the state capital, Providence as well as other venues throughout the state. This year, the event received 1,328 entries in competition, of which 265 titles were chosen as finalists and screened at the festival.

In other prizes, Patrick Shen‘s “Flight From Death: Quest for Immortality,” an analysis of society’s relationship with death, won for best documentary. Dr. Maryanne Galvin‘s documentary “The Pursuit of Pleasure,” a look at modern feminism, took home the special Providence Film Festival award.

Nyle Cavazos Garcia was awarded as best director for his seedy Hollywood drama “Clean,” while Kevin Langdon Ackerman won best directorial debut for his country noir short “Lonely Place.” The Crystal Vision award for a debut filmmaker went to Zach Braff for his popular feature, “Garden State,” and Mexico’s Dany Saadia was awarded for best screenplay for his short “Genesis 3:19.”

Andrew McCarthy‘s “News for the Church” won best short and Christopher Mullin‘s “Blue” won best animated short.

A special Lifetime Achievement award was given to Chinese-American character actor Kim Chan for his “contributions to Asian heritage in American cinema.” RIIFF is an official Academy Award qualifier for the short film category.

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