Over its six-day run Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) screened 295 films and on Sunday announced the Award Winners for its 36th Anniversary Celebration.
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). The winners of RIIFF’s Live Action, Animation and Documentary Short Grand Prizes hold a special honor: they become the Festival’s nominees for Academy Award consideration.
The award for LIVE ACTION SHORT went “Marguerite,” directed by: Marianne Farley, Canada, 2017. “Marguerite,” is the story of an aging woman and her nurse who develop a friendship that inspires her to unearth unacknowledged longing and thus help her make peace with her past.
The award for ANIMATED SHORT went to “One Small Step” directed by: Bobby Pontillas | China/USA, 2018. “One Small Step” is an animation that tells the story of an ambitious young girl who aspires to be an astronaut with the support of her humble father.
The award for DOCUMENTARY SHORT went to “Father K” directed by Judd Ehrlich | USA, 2018. The story concerns Palestinian Lutheran Pastor Khader El-Yateem who decides to become NYC’s first Arab-American elected official and the political establishment writes off his candidacy as a fantasy. But they underestimate “Father K”, who’s determined to unite Bay Ridge, the conservative Brooklyn neighborhood he calls home that is also the heart of the city’s Middle Eastern community. As Father K’s trailblazing campaign picks up steam, he must confront the harsh realities of electoral politics while trying to hold onto the optimism and hope that made his unlikely candidacy possible.
2018 Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival AWARDS
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
GRAND Prize: (RIIFF’s Official Academy Nomination)
“Marguerite” | Directed by: Marianne Farley | Canada, 2017.
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: “I almost always try to avoid the word “beautiful” when I critique art, but I guess sometimes you simply can’t reject it for any other critical terms. This is a deeply beautiful film, even with its frightening glimpses of the infirmity of old age. The script and editing could not be more perfect.”
FIRST Prize: “The Collar” | Directed by: Viktoria Runtsova | Russia, 2017.
Tied with: “Woe is Me” | Directed by: Simon Cartwright | United Kingdom, 2018.
BEST SHORT ANIMATION
GRAND Prize: (RIIFF’s Official Academy Nomination) “One Small Step” | Directed by: Bobby Pontillas | China/USA, 2018.
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: “Delightful. Brilliant. Touching. It left me in tears
FIRST Prize: “Two Balloons” | Directed by: Mark C. Smith | USA, 2017.
Tied with: “Negative Space” | Directed by: Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata | France, 2017.
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
GRAND Prize: (RIIFF’s Official Academy Nomination) “Father K” | Directed by: Judd Ehrlich | USA, 2018.
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: “Documentaries are only as strong as their subject, and Father K is an inspirational subject. In these times it’s important to remember that causes can be ignited by individuals but are sustained by communities. This is an important film.”
FIRST Prize: “Zion” | Directed by: Floyd Russ | USA, 2017.
Tied with: “Guns Found Here” | Directed by: David Freid | USA, 2018.
GRAND Prize: “The Etruscan Smile” | Directed by: Mihal Brezis & Oded Binnun | United Kingdom, Switzerland, USA, 2018.
FIRST Prize: “You Can Choose Your Family” | Directed by: Miranda Bailey | USA, 2018.
Tied with: “BACK ROADS” | Directed by: Alex Pettyfer | USA, 2018.
BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
GRAND Prize: “AMERICAN RELAPSE” | Directed by: Pat McGee & Adam Linkenhelt | USA, 2018.
FIRST Prize: “The Push” | Directed by: Brian Niles & Grant Korgan, | USA, 2018.
Tied with: “Snow Birds” | Directed by: Joannie Lafrenière | Canada, 2017.
FILMMAKER OF THE FUTURE AWARD
Presented to a filmmaker whose vision excites audiences and judges alike about the potential to produce compelling and successful films in the future.
Delphine Le Courtois, Director, “Upset Body” | Canada, 2018.
Michael Rouse, Actor/Director, “Geoff” | United Kingdom, 2018.
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: “Original, moving, peaceful and lovely story complemented by a perfectly balanced and sensitive portrayal by Michael Rouse. In 20 minutes, he conveys the pathos of a sensitive soul who must overcome his greatest fear with passion and warmth.”
Celine Held, Actor/Director, “Caroline” | USA, 2018.
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: “A masterful performance filled with nuance and truth; one that stays with you long after the last frame has faded.”
BEST COMEDY SHORT
GRAND Prize: “We Are the Freak Show” | Directed by: Philippe Lupien & Marie-Hélène Viens | Canada, 2018.
FIRST Prize: “Chuchotage” | Directed by: Barnabas Toth | Hungary, 2018.
Tied with: “Fern” | Directed by: Johnny Kelly | United Kingdom, 2017.
GRAND Prize: “Interstitial” | Directed by: Shunsaku Hayashi | Japan, 2017.
FIRST Prize: “Triptych” | Directed by: Katia Lom | United Kingdom, 2018.
GRAND Prize: Pascal Plante, “Fake Tattoos” | Canada, 2017.
FIRST Prize: Maggie Kiley, “6ate7” | Australia, 2018.
Tied with: Ray Nomoto Robison “An Affair Remains” | USA, 2018.
DR. J. GERALD LAMOUREUX AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
Presented to a filmmaker and artist who represents the spirit of cultural exchange between the United States and Canada. “Modified” | Directed by: Aube Giroux | Canada, 2017.
DIRECTORIAL DISCOVERY AWARD
GRAND Prize Feature: “Rust Creek” | Directed by: Jen McGowan | USA, 2017
GRAND Prize Short: “Hero” | Directed by: Freddie Fox | France, United Kingdom, 2018
GRAND Prize: Olivier Gossot, Cinematographer/DP, “Fauve” | Directed by: Jeremy Comte| Canada, 2018
FIRST Prize Sarah Cunningham, Cinematographer/DP, “Flowers” | Directed by: Baptiste Petit-Gats | France, 2018
Tied with: Kelly Jeffrey, Cinematographer/DP, “Hunting Incident” | Directed by: Matthew James Thompson| USA, 2018
CINEMA WITHOUT BORDERS AWARD
“Saving My Pig” | Directed by: Frank Dobrin | Bulgaria, 2018
THE CALL TO ACTION AWARD
A film promoting advocacy or awareness of a pressing social or cultural issue
GRAND Prize: “American” | Directed by: Richie Adams | USA, 2018
FIRST Prize: “Requiescat” | Directed by: S.J. Main Muñoz | Costa Rica, USA, 2018
THE NEXT GENERATION AWARD
Celebrating New Voices And New Perspective In Cinema “eHero” | Directed by: Joseph Procopio | Canada, 2018
PRIX DU CINEMA SUISSE
“Maximilian” | Directed by: Nicholas Greinacher | Switzerland, 2016
THE MARLYN MASON AWARD
New voices, new perspectives by women in film
GRAND Prize: “The Lost Ones” | Directed by: Les Egares | France, 2018
FIRST Prize: “Mary Goes Round” | Directed by: Molly McGlynn | Canada, 2017
VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY
Exploring narratives that showcase the dynamics of youth
GRAND Prize:“Warriors of Sanita” | Directed by: Luca Nappa | United Kingdom, Italy, 2018
FIRST Prize:“The Boy Who Wanted to Fly” | Directed by: Jorge Muriel | Spain, 2018
RIIFF NEW ENGLAND DIRECTOR’S AWARD
GRAND Prize:“Good Morning” | Directed by: Elaine Mongeon | USA, 2017
Tied with: “Warrior” | Directed by: Gene Pina | USA, 2017
RIIFF DIRECTOR’S CHOICE AWARD
“The Boy At Platform 3” | Directed by: Michael Daniel Vetter | Germany, Switzerland, 2018
HEARTS, MINDS, SOULS AWARD
Celebrating Films that Reflect the Jewish Experience.
GRAND Prize: “Life Will Smile” | Directed by: Drey Kleanthous | Greece, Israel, United Kingdom, 2017
FIRST Prize: “The Driver is Red” | Directed by: Randall Christopher | USA, 2017
Tied with: “Oma” | Directed by: Bill Kirstein | USA, 2017
GRAND Prize: Amelia Allwarden, Editor, “Lunch Ladies” | Directed by: J.M. Logan | USA, 2017
FIRST Prize: Reema Senguptam, Editor, “Counterfeit Kunkoo” | Directed by: Reema Sengupta | India, 2017
Tied with: Mindy Elliott, Editor, “Pie” | Directed by: Adria Tennor | USA, 2018
GRAND Prize: “Find Me” | Directed by: Tom Huang | USA, 2018
FIRST Prize:“We Win” | Directed by: Michael Stahl-David | USA, 2018
Tied with: “One Cambodian Family Please for My Pleasure” | Directed by: A.M. Lukas | USA, 2018
FLICKERS’ AMBASSADOR AWARD
Presented to an individual who inspires and empowers communication and cultural understanding.
Michele Noble, Director, “Reclamation: The Rise at Standing Rock” | USA, 2018
FLICKERS’ INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Given annually to films or filmmakers who inspire social change and community outreach and strive to better the world in which we live.
GRAND Prize: “QUAKERS: The Quiet Revolutionaries” | Directed by: Janet P. Gardner | USA, United Kingdom, 2018
FIRST Prize: “2nd class” | Directed by: Jimmy Olsson | Sweden, 2018
PROVIDENCE FILM FESTIVAL AWARD
Presented annually to a New England director whose work brings cinematic excellence to an international audience.
“TRE MAISON DASAN” | Directed by: Denali Tiller | USA, 2017
ALTERNATIVE SPIRIT AWARD (LGBTQ) SHORT
GRAND Prize: “A Man My Son” | Directed by: Florent Gouëlou | France, 2018.
FIRST Prize: “Fran This Summer” | Directed by: Mary Evangelista | USA, 2018.
Tied with: “#hashtag” | Directed by: Atzin Ortiz Gonzalez | Mexico, 2017.
ALTERNATIVE SPIRIT AWARD (FEATURE)
GRAND Prize: “Retablo” | Directed by: Alvaro Delgado Aparicio | Peru, 2017.
FIRST Prize: “Funny Story” |Directed by: Michael Gallagher | USA, 2017.
ALTERNATIVE SPIRIT AWARD (DOCUMENTARY)
GRAND Prize: “One Leg In, One Leg Out” | Directed by: Lisa Rideout | Canada, 2018.
FIRST Prize: “Empire on Main Street” | Directed by: Jessica Congdon | USA, 2018.
KIDSEYE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS
Presented to a film that resonates with the filmmaker within both children and adults alike.
BEST CHILDREN’S ANIMATION
GRAND Prize: (Feature) “Sgt Stubby – American Hero” | Directed by: Richard Lanni | France, Ireland, USA, 2018
GRAND Prize: (Short) “Tyrannosaurus Funk” | Directed by: Sandra Boynton | USA, 2017
FIRST Prize: “Rising Waters In Underwood Springs!” | Directed by: Mathieu Auvray | France, 2017
GRAND Prize: “Space Girls” | Directed by: Carys Watford | United Kingdom, 2017
FIRST Prize: “The Extraordinary World of Cecily Blinkstop” | Directed by: Jennifer Potts | USA, 2018
GREEN PLANET AWARD
Celebrating the vision of man’s shared humanity and achieving sustainability on our planet.
GRAND Prize Feature: “Secret Ingredients” | Directed by: Amy S. Hart & Jeffrey M. Smith | USA, 2018
GRAND Prize Short: “The Kodiak Queen” | Directed by: Rob Sorrenti | United Kingdom / Virgin Islands (British), 2018
VORTEX SCI-FI & FANTASY AWARD
GRAND Prize: “The Comet” | Directed by: Bård Røssevold | Norway, 2017
FIRST Prize: “Invaders” | Directed by: Daniel Prince | United Kingdom, 2018
Tied with: “ASIAN GIRLS” | Directed by: Hyun Lee | Australia, 2017
BEST STUDENT FILM AWARD COLLEGE
GRAND Prize: “The Day That” | Directed by: Dorian Tocker | USA, 2017
FIRST Prize: “SATAN” | Directed by: Carlos Tapia | Switzerland / Mexico, 2017
GRAND Prize: “memory” |Directed by: Mew Kano | Japan, 2018
First Prize: “Blacked Out” | Directed by: Highland Park African-American History Project | USA, 2017
Tied with: “The Homecoming Game” | Directed by: Andrew Gerstenblatt | USA, 2017
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
GRAND Prize: “COPYSHOP” | Directed by: Jakob Grunert | Germany, Hong Kong, 2017
First Prize: “Ode to life” | Directed by: Coline Declef | France, 2018
BEST TELEVISION PILOT
GRAND Prize: Bhak – ‘Pilot’ | Directed by: Shreyom Ghosh & Arjun Chatterjee | India, 2018
First Prize: “Man-Babies” | Directed by: Tyler Hollinger | USA, 2018
FLICKERS’ YOUTH FILM JURY AWARDS
Awards were presented by Will Ford and the 2018 Youth Film Jury members:
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
GRAND Prize: “Wyrm” | Directed by: Christopher Winterbauer | USA, 2017
“The Death, Dad & Son” | Directed by: Vincent Parronaud | France, 2017
BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
“TRE MAISON DASAN” | Directed by: Denali Tiller | USA, 2017
BEST FEATURE FILM NARRATIVE
“The Maestro” | Directed by: Adam Cushman | USA, 2017
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
“My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes” | Directed by: Charlie Tyrell | Canada, 2017
BEST LGBTQ FILM
“Marguerite” | Directed by: Marianne Farley | Canada, 2017
“Souls of Totality” | Directed by: Richard Raymond | USA, 2018
2018 INDUSTRY AWARD WINNERS & SPECIAL AWARDS
GILBERT STUART ARTISTIC VISION (LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT) AWARD was 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.
RI FILM & TELEVISION OFFICE DREAMMAKER AWARD
Henry Bronchtein, Producer (“The Sopranos”)
RIIFF SCREENPLAY COMPETITION AWARD was presented to Barry Brennessel from Silver Spring, MD whose screenplay is entitled “ANH SANG.”
THE 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;
• Fr. Kenneth Gumbert, Educator/filmmaker;
• Mike Maino, Classical 95.9 FM WCRI;
• Dr. J. Scott Oberacker, RIIFF Educational Outreach Director;
• The Greenwich Odeum, East Greenwich Arts Center;
• The Rhode Show, daily morning news magazine;
• Libby Slader, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts;
• Niko Stamatakos, business sponsor/supporter; and
• Trinity Repertory Company, Tony Award winning Theatre
WINIFRED BROWNELL SCHOLARSHIP AWARD BACKGROUND: Beginning on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, a special year long “Celebration of Women in Film and Arts” was launched by the Festival. In a recent study by The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, at San Diego State University, RIIFF was one of 23 “high profile” film festivals in the United States that was surveyed. What was striking about the study was that women accounted for 29 percent of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the indie films screened at the examined U.S. festivals in 2017-18. At the Rhode Island International Film Festival, that number was 41 percent with films selected by an international team of judges for quality, not a quota.
This year, the Festival’s percentage is even higher. Out of nearly 300 films screening at RIIFF, 193 were created by female writers, directors and producers. That number translates to 65% of all the films at this year’s Festival had a woman at the helm.
Here are the official numbers:
FEMALE DIRECTORS: 99 FEMALE PRODUCERS: 72 FEMALE EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: 22 = 193
FEMALE SCREENWRITERS: 18 FEMALE EDITORS: 48 FEMALE SOUND EDITORS: 14 = 80
To celebrate this achievement, the Festival 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.
This year’s winner of the Award: Alyssa Botelho, a University of Rhode Island student in the Harrington School of Communication and Media.