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Movie mania!

The lowdown on the 14th Annual Rhode Island International Film Festival
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  August 4, 2010

Film_waking-sleeping_main
ANIMATED The Disney crew in Waking Sleeping Beauty.

MovieMaker magazine calls it one of the "Top 25 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee." It's the 14th annual Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival, which runs from August 10 to 15. Twenty-two narrative features, 66 documentaries, 106 shorts, and 18 animations will be screened in Providence, Newport, and Barrington.

This year more than 4200 submissions came from around the world, and the 200-plus accepted films include 35 world premieres and 23 North American premieres.

Shorts are the strong suit of the RIIFF, that category making it the only Oscar-qualifying festival in New England. There are more than 7000 film festivals worldwide, but only 65 are credentialed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their awards.

The opening night highlight will be the world premiere of the documentary Behind the Hedgerow: Eileen Slocum and the Meaning of Newport Society, by David Bettencourt and G. Wayne Miller (see above). Other local films include Old House Soul, Truth, and Sleather.

A regular feature of the festival, the screenplay workshop ScriptBiz will be held on August 11. Participating will be writer/director Chris Sparling and Thomas Cobb, the local author of the film-adapted novel Crazy Heart.

In a special event, the Salute to the World of Disney Animation, the premiere of the documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty, directed by Don Hahn, will be shown on August 12. The screenwriter of the film, Patrick Pacheco, will take questions from the audience.

The annual RIIFF Creative Vision Award will be given to actor Jonathan Katz, best known for the voiceover of his lookalike Dr. Katz on Comedy Central.

Tickets for most films are $10. For the festival program and other information, go to RIFilmFest.org.

Here are some highlights.


NARRATIVE FEATURES

Black, White and Blues (91 minutes), directed by Mario Van Peebles, written by Morgan Simpson and George Richards. An aspiring black singer-songwriter tries to overcome his stage fright on a road trip. Paff Theatre at the URI Providence campus, Thursday, August 12 at 6 pm.

A Marine Story (95 minutes), written and directed by Ned Farr. A lesbian Marine officer returns from Iraq to her conservative hometown. At the GLBT opening night reception at Bell Street Chapel, Wednesday, August 11 at 6 pm.

Sleather (89 minutes), directed by Anthony Ambrosino, written by Ambrosino and Nicholas Delmenico. The comedic adventure of a young man encouraged by two friends to try for fame. It's the first feature film produced by the Rhode Island Film Collaborative. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Saturday, August 14 at 7 pm.


DOCUMENTARIES

Old House Soul (50 minutes), directed by Don Manley and Michel Schtakleff. Rhode Island architectural preservationist Steve Tyson is profiled. His restorations have included churches in Wickford and an 18th-century building owned by the Providence Art Club. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Saturday, August 14 at 5 pm.

Waking Sleeping Beauty (86 minutes), directed by Don Hahn. Two insiders at the Walt Disney animation studio in the mid-'80s draw a picture of turbulent conflict between the old guard and scrappy young innovators. Brown/RISD Hillel, Saturday, August 14 at 7 pm.

Gerrymandering (81 minutes), written and directed by Jeff Reichert. This perfectly legal procedure for politicians to control the outcomes of elections is explained. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Friday, August 13 at 4 pm.

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