Rhode Island International Film Festival Underway

Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Ken Abrams, GoLocalProv Lifestyle Contributor

Flickers: The Rhode Island International Film Festival is underway and features a varied collection of films at several locations around the state. This year, the Festival presents over 240 films from 62 countries and 34 US states.

A Leading Festival

In its 18th year, RIIFF’s stature has grown considerably on the national scene. In fact, the RI event is an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences qualifying festival for the “Shorts” and “Documentary Shorts” categories. Last year’s festival produced three Oscar nominations.

In addition to the regular festival, a number of satellite events are happening. The Providence LGBTQ Festival has a number of films scheduled and a unique partnership of French language films is co-presented with the Quebec Film Festival. This year, there’s an expanded Kids-eye festival, featuring great programs for aspiring filmmakers.

Local Talent

There are a number of films playing with local connections including The Newport Effect, a look at the Newport Folk Festival, with musical artists like Mavis Staples, Lucinda Williams and Tom Morello. There’s also Anna, a touching film by Providence producer Eric Latek, about his godmother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

This Time Next Year is a documentary that should resonate with Rhode Islanders. The film tells the story of the effects of Hurricane Sandy on one community that was badly hit, Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The film’s Director is Brown graduate Jeff Reichert and it lists native Rhode Islander Kate Patterson as Associate Producer.

Patterson, a Coventry native and NYU graduate, noted “It’s great to share the film with another community that has such a strong connection to the ocean and has seen their fair share of hurricanes and rebuilding. RIIFF feels particularly special for me since RI is home.”

Documentary Style

A scene from the film, This Time Next Year
The film uses a mixture of verite, first person accounts, and the residents own footage to tell the story of the post-Sandy recovery. Director Jeff Reichert’s family is from Long Beach Island and he got engaged to his wife, Co-Director Farihah Zaman, there. After the storm hit, he knew there’d be a story.

“When Hurricane Sandy hit, we immediately thought of LBI, how vulnerable that strip of land in the middle of the ocean is, how residents would contend with rebuilding, and what it feels like to be so economically and emotionally dependent on the ocean while also being at the whim of its power,” explained Reichert.

Long Beach Island is a classic slice of Americana, where summer vacationers can be treated to a chorus of servers announcing the flavors at the local ice cream shop. The film highlights the struggles faced by the year-round residents as they attempt to prepare for summer tourist season, “make it break time” for the island. It’s told completely in eyewitness fashion, with no narration.

An Inspiring Story

The film is a testimony to the residents of the community. Reichert noted “we decided early on that we didn’t just want to document recovery and the effects of the storm, but also capture the spirit of the island and its community. Hearing from the locals that they felt we had done that was an amazing honor.”

In the movie, the stars are truly the average townspeople; intentionally or unintentionally the film avoids sound bites from politicians or government officials. And although acknowledged as important for recovery, FEMA becomes the enemy the residents learn to despise.

So while waiting for government grants, the community comes together – led by gangs of construction workers, some professionals, most not, who began showing up at neighbors’ homes to work.  This Time Next Year is an honest film, inspiring to see, full of everyday heroes.

Screening

This Time Next Year will be shown Saturday August 9, at 2:45 in URI’s Paff Theatre at 80 Washington St. in Providence. Click here for tickets and more information.  And check out the RIIFF festival genius for information on all the films in town for the festival.

  • Moonrise Kingdom

    2012

    Director: Wes Anderson

    Cast: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray Frances McDormand

    This Oscar nominated film features many local landmarks including Fort Wetherill State Park, Bayfield Farm, and the Conanicut Lighthouse.

     
  • Mr. North

    1988

    Director: Danny Huston

    Cast: Anthony Edwards, Robert Mitchum, Lauren Bacall

    Shot in Newport, this comedy-drama features Anthony Edwards as a con man attempting to break into the 1920s Newport social scene. 

     
  • There's Something About Mary

    1998

    Directors: Peter and Bobby Farrelly

    Cast: Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon, Ben Stiller

    Filmed partly in Providence, this movie was the highest-grossing comedy in 1998. 

     
  • Federal Hill

    1994

    Director: Michael Corrente

    Cast: Nicholas Turturro, Anthony DeSando, Libby Langdon

    Set in Providence's Federal Hill neighborhood, the movie marks the directorial debut of Pawtucket native Michael Corrente.

     
  • Age of Innocence

    1993

    Director: Martin Scorsese

    Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder

    This Oscar winning drama was partly filmed in Portsmouth.  

     
  • True Lies

    1994

    Director: James Cameron

    Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold

    The ballroom scenes in the movie were filmed at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport.

     
  • High Society

    1956

    Director: Charles Walters

    Cast: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra

    Nominated for two Academy Awards, the movie's opening shot features a flyover of Newport’s oceanfront mansions. 

     
  • Thirteen Days

    2000

    Director: Roger Donaldson

    Cast: Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Steven Culp

    This docudrama about the Cuban Missile Crisis was partly shot in Newport. 

     
  • Little Children

    2006

    Director: Todd Field

    Cast: Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Connelly, Jackie Earle Haley

    Shot partly in Providence, this critically acclaimed drama received three Academy Award nominations, including a Best Lead Actress nod for Kate Winslet.

     
  • RIPD

    2013 

    Director: Peter M. Lenkov

    Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon

    A car chase for this action-comedy was filmed in downtown Providence.

     
  • Amistad

    1997

    Director: Steven Spielberg

    Cast: Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Dijimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey

    Shot at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport and the State House in Providence, this drama received four Academy Award nominations in 1998. 

     
  • Outside Providence

    1999

    Director: Michael Corrente

    Cast: Shawn Hatosy, Amy Smart, Alec Baldwin

    Filmed in multiple locations throughout Rhode Island, this movie is an adaptation of Peter Farrelly's 1988 novel of the same name.

     
  • Me, Myself & Irene

    2000

    Directors: Peter and Bobby Farrelly

    Cast: Jim Carrey, Renée Zellweger. Chris Cooper, Robert Forster, Richard Jenkins

    Filmed in Newport, Narragansett, Jamestown, and Galilee, this comedy centers on a Rhode Island State Trooper played by Jim Carrey. 

     
  • Evening

    2007

    Director: Lajos Koltai

    Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Meryl Streep

    The film was primarily set in Newport and included large portions shot at Gooseberry Beach.

     
  • The Great Gatsby

    1974

    Director: Jack Clayton

    Cast: Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston, Bruce Dern

    This Academy Award-winning drama was filmed in Newport at the Rosecliff Mansion on Bellevue Ave.

     
  • Self Storage

    2013

    Director: Tom DeNucci

    Cast: Eric Roberts, Jonathan Silverman, Michael Berryman, Tom DeNucci

    Filmed in a self storage facility in East Greenwich, this horror-comedy marks the directorial debut of Cranston native Tom DeNucci. 

     
  • 27 Dresses

    2008

    Director: Anne Fletcher

    Cast: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Åkerman, Ed Burns

    Shot throughout Rhode Island, locations included the Rosecliff and Marble House mansions in Newport and a beach in Charlestown. 

     
  • Dan in Real Life

    2007

    Director: Anne Fletcher

    Cast: Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, Alison Pill

    Filmed primarily in Jamestown, the movie also features the Point Judith Lighthouse in Narragansett.

     
  • Hachi: A Dog's Tale

    2009

    Director: Lasse Hallström

    Cast: Richard Gere, Joan Allen, Jason Alexander

    Filmed primarily in Bristol and Woonsocket, other locations included the Columbus Theater in Providence and the University of Rhode Island in Kingston. 

     
  • The Education of Charlie Banks

    2007

    Director: Fred Durst

    Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter, Eva Amurri

    Shot partially in Brown University in Providence, the movie marks the directorial debut of Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.

     
  • Meet Joe Black

    1998

    Director: Martin Brest

    Cast: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani

    Warwick's Aldrich Mansion served as the residence of Anthony Hopkins' character in the film. 

     
  • Reversal of Fortune

    1990

    Director: Barbet Schroeder

    Cast: Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, Ron Silver

    Jeremy Irons took home the Oscar for Best Actor for this drama, which was partly shot in Newport.

     
  • Underdog

    2007

    Director: Frederik Du Chau

    Cast: Jason Lee, Peter Dinklage, Patrick Warburton, Amy Adams

    Shot entirely in Rhode Island, filming locations included Hope High School on the East Side of Providence.

     
  • Tanner Hall

    2009

    Directors: Francesca Gregorini, Tatiana von Furstenberg

    Cast: Rooney Mara, Georgia King, Brie Larson

    Shot in Providence and Newport, the film marks the the directorial debut of Brown University graduates Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Furstenberg.

     
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