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RIIFF in China: Building Partnerships, International Relations and a Creative Economy

Demetria Carr, RIIFF Managing Director, featured speaker at Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival


demetriaPROVIDENCE, R.I. (November 30, 2009) – The Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) has created a unique relationship with the Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China (GZ DOC 2009) that may become a model for film festivals across the globe. With contacts established over three years and nurtured by close communication and collaboration, this relationship has blossomed into a partnership where each festival curates work from the other and provides an international platform for independent filmmakers. To solidify and expand upon this relationship, Demetria J. Carr, RIIFF's Managing Director will be heading to China to represent the Festival and will be a special VIP guest speaker. The Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival runs from December 7 to 11th.


GZ DOC 2009 is the only international documentary festival and market in China. It is an event that combines competition, screening, seminar, market, training and networking opportunities.


This year the competition theme is "Looking for Happiness". A GZ DOC 2009 jury consists of both international and Chinese professionals related to documentary film. The partnership relationship between the Rhode Island International Film Festival and GZ DOC provides a platform for special screenings of RIIFF films at public cinemas in Guangzhou. In exchange, RIIFF will present films from GZ DOC during its Roving Eye Film Festival in April at Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI and during the main Rhode Island International Film Festival, August 10-15th.


This year, five RIIFF films are screening at GZ DOC along with short films at the newly created Southern Pocket Film Festival (SPFF).


“We are very proud of our growing relationship with the Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China,” said George T. Marshall, RIIFF Executive Director. “I am equally proud that Demetria Carr, will be representing our Festival. She will curate and select the films that will screen in Rhode Island next year, and host a talk about the growth and influence of film festivals as cultural ambassadors.


“Demetria Carr’s energy and enthusiasm will not only reflect well on RIIFF, but the State of Rhode Island. We see this trip as a proactive example of using the arts to build a model for creative economic development.


“This international relationship is very significant and cannot be overstated, “ Marshall added. “We hope it will be the first of many doors open to other arts and spur greater cross-promotion and cooperation.


The Rhode Island International Film Festival will post daily updates on Demetria Carr’s trip and speaking engagement in China on its blog, Documentary Tech



The Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) discovers and empowers filmmakers.  Held in Providence, and locations throughout the state of Rhode Island, RIIFF is one of only a handful of festivals worldwide that is a qualifying event for the Academy Awards (i.e. “Oscars”).  RIIFF incorporates gala celebrations, premiere screenings, VIP guests, industry seminars, educational programs, and award ceremonies into a week long extravaganza.  Cited as one of the "Best International and Short Film Festivals in the United States," RIIFF is New England’s largest film festival, screening a record 175 films.  Its innovative programming, cultivated industry ties, and loyal audiences have made the Festival a strategic and desirable platform for film premieres, drawing hundreds of independent filmmakers from around the globe.