facebook twitterflickrblogger





83 Park Street, Suite 5

Providence, RI 02903 USA
tel: 401/861-4445
401/490-6735 (f)


Mailing Address:

PO Box 162

Newport, RI 02840 USA

Street Address:

36 Rhode Island Avenue,

Newport, RI 02840 USA



RIIFF Photography

Courtesy of Mike Braca


Video Promotions by

Eric Latek, George T. Marshall, Shawn Quirk, Timothy Haggerty & Duncan Putney






Help Support The Festival




Download our Mobile App.

cell app.




CICELY TYSON TO RECEIVE RIIFF's 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award



cicleyPROVIDENCE, RI (July 21, 2006): On Thursday night, July 20th at the recent RIIFF Producers Circle Awards presentation, an important announcement was made by the Mayor of Providence, David Cicilline: legendary Carribean-American Actress, Cicely Tyson will receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Rhode Island International Film Festival (“RIIFF”). Ms. Tyson was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in Sounder (1972); she has also won two Emmy Awards for Best Actress (The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman) and Outstanding Supporting Actress (Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All).

“Presenting this award to Ms. Tyson marks a milestone in the history of our festival,” commented RIIFF’s Executive Director George T. Marshall. “She is such an amazingly accomplished actress; we are deeply honored to have her participate in this year’s festival. Her work has touched millions and set new standards in the acceptance of African-Americans as a vibrant and critical part of the American experience.”

cicley2Previous winners of the RIIFF Lifetime Achievement Award have been actress Patricia Neal, director Blake Edwards, and actors Seymour Cassel and Kim Chan.

“Too often, the impressive achievements of African-American actors and actress are overlooked in Hollywood,” Marshall added. “Ms. Tyson has dedicated her career to presenting only positive images of black women, and her career has often suffered because of the professional standards that she has set for herself. We could think of no one more deserving than her to receive our award for Lifetime Achievement. She has inspired so many and she has truly made a difference through her work.”

The award ceremony will take place in the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) on August 11th. On Friday, August 11th, there will be a screening of Ms. Tyson’s film latest film “Fat Rose and Squeeky” which will have its World Premiere at the Columbus Theater Arts Center at 7:00 p.m. The film stars Ms. Tyson, Louise Fletcher, Julie Brown and Lea DeLaria. Directed by Sam Irvin, “Fat Rose and Squeeky,” is an unusual movie that deals with the dignity of aging. In life, a little friendship, poetry, tofu casserole and a common front against those who threaten our ability to choose for ourselves is all one needs to find the beauty, humor and poetry rooted within each new day.

TCLouiseMs. Tyson was born in 1933 and raised in Harlem, New York City by devoutly religious parents from Nevis, West Indies. She was discovered by Ebony magazine and supported herself as a secretary and a model while establishing herself as an actress. In 1957 she began acting in Off-Broadway productions and had an uncredited role in her first film, Carib Gold. She continued to land small roles in feature films before she was finally cast as Portia in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968). In 1969 she cofounded the Dance Theater of Harlem with Arthur Mitchell. Three years later, Ms. Tyson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her breakthrough performance in the critically acclaimed film Sounder (1972). That year she was in competition with Diana Ross’ Lady Sings the Blues, making it the second time in the history of the Academy Awards that the African-American actresses were nominated in the “Best Actress” Oscar category. She went on to portray a 110-year-old former slave in the T.V. film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), which earned her two Emmys. From 1979 until 1980 she was the Thursday night host for the CBS Radio “Sears Mystery Theater”. The following year she married Jazz great Miles Davis in the home of her good friend Bill Cosby, who was best man and gave away the bride. Most recently, she has appeared in the hit films Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005) and Madea’s Family Reunion (2006). Her other prominent films include Bustin’ Loose (1981), The Marva Collins Story (1981), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), and Because of Winn-Dixie (2005).

cicely3Tickets for both the Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to Ms. Tyson and the screening of the World Premiere of her new film, “Fat Rose and Squeeky” will be sold in advance and available at the door of the Columbus Theatre on Friday, August 11th.

The Rhode Island International Film Festival is supported in part by the Rhode Island Film and Television Office, City of Providence, the Providence Tourism Council, the Providence Department of Arts, Culture & Tourism, Clear Channel Communications, Sony, Rule Broadcast Systems, WJAR TV 10, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Amtrak, Providence Monthly, Radio Disney, Feinstein IMAX Providence Place, and contributions from members and community supporters.

The Flickers Arts Collaborative, which created and produces RIIFF, is a non-profit organization with 24 years of experience presenting major artistic events as well as independent and foreign films to the public, produces RIIFF.

Advance ticket sales for screenings and special events are available through this website (www.RIFilmFest.org). Student, group, and senior discounts are also available but only in advance.


To purchase tickets or obtain more information about any aspect of RIIFF, call 401-861-4445; or write RIIFF, 268 Broadway, Providence, RI 02903; email info@film-festival.org.






Note: Film images above of Ms Tyson courtesy of “Fat Rose and Squeeky”