PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island International Film Festival, which kicks off on Tuesday, Aug. 6, and will continue through Aug. 11, will feature a variety of activities and events to help attendees “discover the new voices of independent film,” festival organizers said in a release.
The festival’s opening night offers a celebration gala and screenings of a selection of short films at 7 p.m. at the Vets, Providence. Films will include “Drone Strike,” directed by Chris Richmond, and “Sundae,” directed by Joseph Procopio, and seven other films.
The second day of the festival features a walking tour of Providence that will begin at the Providence Biltmore Hotel. Showcasing Providence as a “Hollywood backlot,” the tour will explore the downcity and riverwalk area and present filmmakers with potential filming locations. The tour is $15, and free for filmmakers.
The 17th annual festival will also bring government officials and the Pell family to Providence for the world premiere of “Pell Grants: A Passion for Education,” produced by Rhode Islander Elyse Katz. The documentary showcases the “battles waged behind closed doors in Washington, D.C., during the 1970s,” and the leaders that have benefitted from Pell grants, according to the release. It will debut on Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Vets and will be accompanied by a question and answer panel with Nuala Pell, Clay Pell, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, and co-producer, director and writer Steven Feinberg, who is also the executive director of the R.I. Film & TV Office.
Among other screenings and seminars, RIIFF will offer a Rhode Island film forum, ScriptBiz screenwriting workshop and a filmmaker award brunch. All told, the festival’s events will feature screenings of more than 20 films and short films.