Over a six-day run, from August 7 to 12, 2018, the 22nd Annual Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival will screen 293 films that include 84 World/United States Premieres from 48 countries.

The festival will host the premieres of local films such as Pat Heywood and Jamil McGinnis’ “Fall River,” Clayton Vila’s “Back to Life: The Torin Yater-Wallace Story,” URI Film Professor, Reshad Kulenovic’s “Blood & Moonlight,” Selene Means’ “The Time Is Already,” Ali Migliore’s “After Her,” Denali Tiller’s “Tre Maison Dason,” Gene Pina’s “Warrior,” Tim Gray’s “Survivors of Malmedy: December 1944” and many, many more.

Starting on Tuesday, August 7th, a special year long “Celebration of Women in Film and Arts” will be launched (#WomenInTheArts). To celebrate this achievement, the Festival is dedicated this year’s event to Dr. Winifred E. Brownell, a groundbreaking educator and Dean Emerita of the Arts and Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. Her visionary work propelled the University to become a leading hub for film media studies and nurtured the Festival during its infancy, spurring it to become the internationally acclaimed event that it is today. The Festival is also establishing a $2,000 annual scholarship in her name that pays recognition to her career championing the arts and humanities at the University of Rhode Island and a leading female voice in higher education.

RIIFF is one of 10 Festivals in the world that is an Academy Award qualifier in the Live Action, Animation and Documentary Short categories and a qualifier with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).


GILBERT STUART ARTISTIC VISION (LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT) AWARD will be presented to Joseph M. Alves, an American film production designer. He designed the three mechanical sharks for the movie Jaws (1975). Alves also designed three features for Steven Spielberg, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction and won the BAFTA for Best Art Direction for his work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The RIIFF SCREENPLAY COMPETITION AWARD will be presented to Barry Brennessel from Silver Spring, MD whose screenplay is entitled “ANH SANG.”

The 2018 PRODUCER’S CIRCLE AWARDS are presented annually to members of the community who have actively worked to support and promote the mission of the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival. This year’s recipients include:

Michael Braca, photographer;

Judge Frank Caprio, Municipal Judge and television personality;

Dr. J. Scott Oberacker, RIIFF Educational Outreach Director; and

Niko Stamatakos, business sponsor/supporter


TIGHT SPOT | Directed by: Kevin Haefelin | 4 min. Switzerland, USA, 2018
Shining the shoes of a walk-in customer, a shiner discovers his client’s dark secret.

ZION | Directed By: Floyd Russ | 11 min. USA, 2017
Zion is a short documentary about the life of Zion Clark, a young wrestler who was born without legs and grew up in foster care.

CAROLINE | Directed By: Celine Held and Logan George | 12 min. USA, 2018
When plans fall through, a six-year-old is faced with a big responsibility on a hot Texas day.

FALL RIVER | Directed by: Pat Heywood and Jamil McGinnis | 7 min. USA, 2018
Through the intimate reflections of one extraordinary woman, Fall River tells the story of a family’s tragedy, the once-thriving city they inhabited, and how hope can blossom in unexpected places. In the search for closeness, for comfort, for history — what does it mean to be from somewhere?

THE COLLAR | Directed by: Viktoria Runtsova | 23 min. Russian Federation, 2017
A modest young woman buys the new collar for her clothing. But the collar starts to rule her life leading to an important decision.

MARGUERITE | Directed by: Marianne Farley | 19 min. Canada, 2017
An aging woman and her nurse develop a friendship that inspires her to unearth unacknowledged longing and thus help her make peace with her past.

GEOFF | Directed by: Michael Rouse and Will Kenning | 20 min. United Kingdom, 2017
Bridging Fear with Love and Peanuts.

TYRANNOSAURUS FUNK | Directed by: Sandra Boynton | 4 min. United States, 2017
A confident T. Rex singing about the particular joys of being king of the dinosaurs.

FERN | Directed by: Johnny Kelly | 6 min. United Kingdom, 2017
A woman loses her husband, and finds a houseplant.

ONE SMALL STEP | Directed by: Bobby Pontillas | 8 min. USA/China | 2018
Luna, a young Chinese American girl, dreams of becoming an astronaut. Supported by her humble father, Luna endeavors to make her dreams come true.


A number of events that RIIFF will hold during the week are targeted toward helping novice and professional filmmakers improve and refine their skills. One of the most popular events is the annual RHODE ISLAND FILM FORUM, to be held on Thursday, August 9, at the Biltmore Hotel Ballroom in collaboration with the RI Film & Television Office, the University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communication and Media, Johnson and Wales University, Providence College, and Roger Williams University.

This year’s special guest is director and production designer, Joe Alves (IMDB). Alves will receive the 2018 Gilbert Stuart Visionary Artist Lifetime Achievement Award. Joseph Alves is an American film production designer best known for his work on the third of the Jaws films, and for directing Jaws 3-D. Alves designed three features for Steven Spielberg, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction and won the BAFTA for Best Art Direction for his work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Alves worked on Jaws 2 in the capacity of both production designer and as second unit director, and he was visual consultant on Carpenter’s Starman.

The SCRIPTBIZ SCREENPLAY PITCH SEMINAR returns on Friday, August 10 for its 19th edition, showcasing this year’s Grand Prize Screenplay Competition winner “ANH SANG.” Barry Brennessel from Silver Spring, MD. The SCRIPTBIZ workshop is a great place for aspiring screenwriters looking to make an impact with their work by receiving constructive critique and advice from people with experience in the field. The director of the program, Andrew Lund, Esq. filmmaker and entertainment lawyer, is an Associate Professor and Director of the Integrated Media Arts MFA Program in the Film & Media Department at Hunter College of the City University of New York. The extensive list of panelists will include writer Chris Sparling, actor/director, Tribeca Film Festival Program Director, Sharon Badal; writer/director, Alfred Catalfo; and British actor/director, Freddie Fox.

This year the Festival will re-launch its popular Morning “Coffee Talks” entitled “THE CREATIVE PROCESS IN 60 MINUTES: Journeys in Filmmaking” with leading directors, actors, writers, composers and members of the industry at the Hotel Providence. Audience members, and, up-and-coming filmmakers attending the Festival would have the opportunity to learn about the development and evolution of the films screened at the Festival, the process and journey filmmakers have taken to make it in the industry and the growing importance of the international box office.

Additionally, on Thursday, August 9th at 8:00 p.m. Flickers’ acclaimed television series “doubleFEATURE,” will provide highlights of this year’s Festival and feature Dr. Winifred E. Brownell, for whom the Festival is dedicated this year. In a compelling interview with Steven Feinberg, audiences will learn how one person can make a difference. Now in its second year, the series is produced by Flickers in partnership with RI PBS and the Rhode Island Films and Television Office.


Directed by: Mihal Brezis | 107 min. Switzerland, 2018
Starring acclaimed British actor Brian Cox as Rory MacNeil, a rugged old Scotsman who reluctantly leaves his beloved isolated Hebridean island and travels to San Francisco to seek medical treatment.

Directed by: Miranda Bailey | 113 min. USA, 2018
A seventeen year-old boy blackmails his father after discovering he has a secret family. Starring two-time Emmy award-winner Anna Gunn, and Emmy award-winner Jim Gaffigan.

FAKE TATTOOS | Directed by: Pascal Plante | 87 min. Canada, 2017
Theo spends his 18th birthday alone, getting drunk at a brutal punk rock show. There, he meets Mag, a marginal teenager who invites him to spend the night at her place. A love story unfolds between them, but Theo has to move to a small town at the end of the summer, far away from a painful past.

MAXIMILIAN (English Version) | Directed by: Nicolas Greinacher | 76 min. France, Switzerland, 2016
With an IQ of 149+, 13-year old Maximilian Janisch is Switzerland’s most famous highly gifted child. After passing the final secondary-school examinations in Mathematics at just 9 years old, Maximilian has jumped forward 3 grades and is now attending Mathematical courses at University level. The film follows Maximilian and his parents through their high-energy daily life and reflects on what it means to be a child prodigy.

Maximilian Janisch will be in attendance.

Directed by: Denali Tiller | 90 min. USA 2017
A story of boyhood marked by the criminal justice system and what it means to become a man in America, TRE MAISON DASAN explores parental incarceration through the eyes of three boys.

eHero | Directed by: Joseph Procopio | 85 min. Canada, 2018
An up-and-coming video gamer faces his greatest challenge yet as he and his team must overcome a fiery gaming superstar, as well as their own battling egos, to win the ultimate video game championship. Featuring Sean Astin.

Directed by: Adam Cushman | 94 min. USA, 2017
After the Second World War, budding film composer Jerry Herst moves to Hollywood to study with infamous master teacher Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Starring Xander Berkeley.

ANJELICA HUSTON ON JAMES JOYCE: A SHOUT IN THE STREET | Directed by: Kieron Walsh | 59 min. Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, USA, United Kingdom, 2018
Anjelica Huston played the lead female role in the movie adaptation by her father, John Huston, of James Joyce’s famous short story, ‘The Dead’. It was the last of the classic movies that the legendary director made, and is regarded as the finest adaptation of Joyce’s work ever produced. In this film, Anjelica uses her background – as a child in Ireland and as an acclaimed actor – to tell the extraordinary story of the life and work of the celebrated, (and, at times, infamous) Irish novelist. She tells of his impoverished childhood in Dublin; of the chaotic years when he struggled to establish himself as a writer of originality and distinction; of the world wide celebrity that followed the appearance of his great novel, ‘Ulysses’; of his epic struggles against censorship and ill health: and of his final desperate flight from the Nazi occupation of France which threatened the life of his only grandchild. As Anjelica relates Joyce’s personal and creative history, other distinguished writers – such as David Simon, John Banville, Jeffrey Eugenides and Edna O’Brien – help to explain why his influence has been so extensive and so profound.

Directed by: Tony Valentino | 49 min. USA, 2018
Takes us across the country to hear directly from the people making our clean energy future achievable. These individuals are working to rebuild what’s broken, rethink what’s possible, and revitalize communities. Highlighted among others is the Block Island Wind Farm.

Directed by: Amy S. Hart, Jeffrey M. Smith| 80 min. USA | 2018 | 1 hr 20 min
Compelling stories of people who regain their health and transform their lives after identifying the ‘secret ingredients’ in their food, and making a bold commitment to avoid them.

Directed by: Alex Pettyfer | 80 min. USA, 2018
A young man cares for his sisters after their mother is imprisoned for murdering their abusive father. When he strikes up an affair with a married woman, long-dormant family secrets bubble to the surface in this noir thriller. Featuring actor/director Alex Pettyfer.

Directed by: Dan Habib | 70 min. USA, 2018
Three pioneering young adults with intellectual disabilities — Micah, Naieer, and Naomie — challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. Featuring noted actor, Chris Cooper.

AMERICAN RELAPSE * | Directed by: Pat Adam McGee Linkenhelt | 105 min. USA, 2018
AMERICAN RELAPSE is a feature documentary about the ripped-from-the-headlines heroin epidemic and the corrupt underground rehab industry that has sprung up around it in Southern Florida. This, on-the-ground documentary follows the day-to-day struggle of recovering addicts Allie and Frankie attempting to place addicts in treatment, but can they stay clean themselves?

Directed by: Lorraine Nicholson | 15 min. USA, 2018
On July 7th 2016, US Law Enforcement used robotic technology to confront and kill a suspect for the first time. Through the mouths of its fictional characters, ‘On Killer Robots’ explores the morality behind this historic step towards automation.

Directed by: Freddie Fox | 18 min. United Kingdom, 2018
An isolated young boy and a decaying old film star are brought together by their shared love of the silver screen – and for a brief moment its magic seeps into their lives. With Charles Dance, James Norton and Jessica Brown Findlay.

On Saturday, August 11th at 12:15, Metcalf Auditorium, RISD Museum, the Festival presents a powerful, thought-provoking and inspiring program entitled: THE POWER OF FILM: Can a Film Change the World? This special showcase centers on films that show how very brave people confront the challenges we all face in just living our lives. Discover how these challenges can push all boundaries. Learn how the power of our shared humanity – the daily struggles and fights we all have – can ultimately lead to a new and more empowering future.

The focal point of the event is a presentation of the documentary film: the feature “The Push” and the documentary short, “A Racing Heart.”

THE PUSH is a documentary film that focuses on Grant Korgan, an adventure athlete and former nanoscientist who became the first spinal-cord injured athlete in history to ski the final degree of latitude to the bottom of the world ~ to Antarctica’s geographic South Pole.

Just five months after marrying the love of his life, Shawna, Grant Korgan went out with his three friends one morning for a day of fun and filming on snowmobiles. After much consideration, he attempted a jump that he had always wanted to take on his snowmobile. Grant’s snowmobile crashed down hard, and Grant broke his back. Despite his prognosis, that he would never walk again, both he and Shawna focused on the goal of 120% recovery. Shawna, a health and wellness expert, took his recovery head-on and with the same drive and tenacity as Grant.

While working on his rehabilitation, Grant was offered an opportunity to join an expedition heading to the South Pole. If he completed the 100 miles using his arms to pull himself on a sit-ski, he would become the first spinal cord injured athlete to reach the South Pole. Grant and two guides headed off to South America. On the ice, they struggled with minus 50 degree conditions, failing solar panels, hypothermia, frost bite, and mental challenges. On January 17, 2012, Grant reached the bottom of our world on the 100th anniversary when Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition arrived at the earth’s most remote spot.

When Grant returned home, the thrill of his achievement turned to reflection about his reality. He had to face his paralysis and realize that going forward he would still have to overcome his inability to use his legs unassisted. But Grant made a profound, inspiring decision, to choose positivity. He focuses on what he is able to do and finds pleasure and comfort in kayaking, downhill skiing, diving, and waterskiing as an adaptive athlete. On August 2015, Korgan broke the record for the human powered circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe by over two hours, finishing the 72-mile paddle in just 14 hours and 15 minutes.

Andrew Dickhout’s “A RACING HEART” introduces us to John Dickhout, a recent heart transplant survivor, who attempts to cross the final goal off of his bucket list as a documentary crew follows him on a weekly basis. His goal; to run a 10k in under 60 minutes, and show the progress he has made in the 2 years since his life was saved. While training, John regales us with stories about his near death experiences, and his desire to prove himself after a stranger and their family’s choice to donate helped to give his life new meaning. Featuring triumph against all odds, what you experience at this screening might just change your life!

Interactive networking events will be held nightly during the span of the six-day festival including our CITY PARTY PUB CRAWL, starting at The Rosendale, 55 Union Street, and ending at EGO, 73 Richmond Street, downtown Providence. Last year’s event drew over 2,000 participants, making the week of the Festival an unparalleled Celebration of Film, Arts and Culture.

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