Roger Williams University (RWU) has partnered with the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) to present its Spring-edition of the bi-annual Roving Eye International Film Festival. The popular and acclaimed Festival celebrating global cinema and artists, announces its 2018 Spring sidebar program on The Jewish Experience through short films, documentary, media and guest speakers. This year’s Jewish Experience theme is “ARTS AND CULTURE: Storytelling Through Time,” and is presented by a grant from the Edwin S. Soforenko Foundation.
The event takes place April 17, 19 & 22nd. This year’s programming explores representations of the Jewish experience in Israel, across the globe and the Holocaust through 12 premiere films, including sneak peeks of films that will play the Rhode Island International Film Festival in August. The series is hosted by the Rev. Nancy Hamlin Soukup, University Multifaith Chaplain at RWU and includes a presentation by Holocaust survivor, Sami Steigmann; and a conversation with Chris Sparling filmmaker /screenwriter.
"Through film and scholarship, this series tells the stories of the Jewish experience globally—stories of joy, sorrow, faith, a rich culture, Diasporas, fear and ultimately, hope,” said the Rev. Nancy Hamlin Soukup, co-organizer of the event with Flickers.
The Spring 2018 Jewish Experience sidebar of the Roving Eye International Film Festival is Presented in partnership with Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival, the Edwin S. Soforenko Foundation, the RWU Department of Communication, Graphic Design and Web Development, Dean Jeffrey L. Meriwether, RWU School of Humanities, Arts and Education, the RWU Film Production Collaborative, RWU Hillel, and the Spiritual Life Office.
All programming is free of charge and open to the public and screened on the campus of Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI.
TUESDAY, April 17th:
Location: CAS 157 at Roger Williams University
Hosted by Rev. Nancy Hamlin Soukup, University Multifaith Chaplain, RWU
STORIES FROM THE HEART: IMMUTABLE MEMORIES
Documentary & Short Film Screenings
Hosted by Alice Cross, Adjunct Professor, Communications and the Rev. Nancy Soukup, RWU Multifaith Chaplain
HOLIDAY HOSTAGE | Directed by: D.W. Moffett | 16 min. USA, 2017
You think your family is messed up? A comedic short film about a dysfunctional Jewish family
held hostage on Thanksgiving. #FML
It’s Thanksgiving night and siblings Abby and David just want to quickly eat their turkey and ditch their overbearing “still has their umbilical cords” Jewish mother. Before they can make their getaway, Gary, a deranged ex-convict, breaks in and takes the family hostage.
Tensions are high, family secrets are revealed, and Gary’s getting so annoyed he’s starting to regret this. At least Grandma is here to calm the family down. Just kidding, she’s crazy. Can this dysfunctional family make peace with one another before they’re offed? Oy vey!
OMA | Directed by: Bill Kirstein | 16 min. Netherlands, USA, 2017
On the eve of her 100th birthday, Carmen's grandchildren discover a treasure trove of 8mm films from her life during and after WWII. An exploration of memory, secrets and living to be 100, 'Oma' asks us to reflect on our own lives and how we live today.
HOME | Directed by: Robert Schulzmann | 35 min. Germany, 2017
A Russian-Jewish immigrant is searching for his Germaneness and wonders about why his family is celebrating Christmas with a stolen Christmas tree. An autobiographical soulsearching through suburban Germany.
CALL ME ALVY | Directed by: Alexei Slater | 11 min. United Kingdom, 2017
When Bar Mitzvah boy Brian Silver becomes obsessed with Woody Allen, his mother Judith goes to great lengths to make sure the big day goes smoothly.
THE RABBI | Directed by: Uriya Hertz | 20 min. Israel, 2017
Michael is a charismatic and much-admired Rabbi at a Jerusalem Yeshiva. When his favorite student, Gadi, shares with him his innermost secrets, Michael’s familiar, secure world comes into question.
Israel has a tradition of producing excellent LGBT+ cinema in the last 15 years, including Eytan Fox’s 2006 drama The Bubble and 2009’s Iris Prize winning short film Steam, directed by Eldar Rappaport. But while many aspects of life in Israel have been explored, including its politics, the country’s fraught relationship with its neighbours and military conscription, it isn’t often we see Judaism put front and centre in a gay drama.
The title character of The Rabbi is Michael, played by Gur Yaari, a married man teaching at a Jerusalem yeshiva, or religious college. When a favorite student admits to being confused about his sexuality, Michael finds that he must confront his own sublimated desires. This subtle, understated drama is more about those things that go unsaid than the soap opera pyrotechnics of full-blown arguments, and a frosty dinner scene, where Michael’s student joins the Rabbi’s family for supper, positively fizzes with pent-up energy and emotion.
THURSDAY, April 19th:
Location: Global Heritage Hall 01 at Roger Williams University
MEMORIES NEVER DIE
Hosted by Rev. Nancy Soukup, Multifaith Chaplain
SEARCHING FOR SUGIHARA | Directed by: Adam Gross | 21 min. USA / Japan, 2017
Searching for Sugihara is a personal and historical journey about the Japanese diplomat Sugihara Chiune, who saved the lives of over 6,000 Jews who were fleeing WWII Europe.
TWICE ORPHANED: HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS' LAST BATTLE | Directed by: Talila Frank | 57 min. Israel, 2016
217 aged Holocaust orphans sue the State of Israel, which they founded. Confronting their “official guardian” revives their pain of orphan hood. During their struggle, they find consolation in their closeness.
Avraham, Ziggy, Schreiber and Robinson form the uncrowned governing council of the “Teheran Children.” The four represent 217 Holocaust orphans who are now bringing legal action against the State of Israel for monies received from Germany for their rehabilitation.
In their old age, they have set out to battle the State of Israel, the state of which they dreamed and established through their own hard work. The confrontation with the State, their “official guardian,” once again floods them with the pain of orphan hood. The dozen stormy years of struggle have transformed them into a group with love, a shared fate, and consolation.
LIFE WILL SMILE | Directed by: Drey Kleanthous | 40 min. Greece, Israel, United Kingdom, 2017
Narrated by Haim Konstantini this is not only his story of the dramatic events during WWII, but also the story of every single one of the 275 Jews that evaded the Nazi's on the island of Zakynthos.
FRIDAY April 20th:
4:00 p.m. Location: CAS157 at Roger Williams University
FIRST ANNUAL YOM HASHAOAH SPEAKER SERIES Sami Steigmann has been many things. He has been a victim of the Holocaust. When he was liberated, he became a survivor. Now, he is a motivational speaker.
ABOUT OUR GUEST SPEAKER: Sami Steigmann’s life story is remarkable. He was born on December 21, 1939 in Czernovitz, Bukovina, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire belonging to Romania. Later, it became part of former Soviet Union and today it is in Ukraine. From 1941 through 1944, he was with his parents in the Ukraine at Mogilev-Podolsky, a labor camp in an area called Transnistria. The camp was liberated by the Red Army and his family was deported by the Romanians, not by the Germans. He grew up in Transylvania, in a small town called Reghin. He did not know the language. In 1961, the whole family (his sister was born in 1946) emigrated to Israel. He served in the Israeli Air Force, not as a pilot. In 1968, without knowing the language and no money, alone, Sami came to the United States. He lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he married, divorced and eventually, in 1983 returned to Israel. However, in 1988, he returned to the United States, choosing New York City as his final home.
SUNDAY, April 22nd:
Location: Global Heritage Hall, Room 01 at Roger Williams University
THE STORIES WE TELL
Documentary Screening and Director's Discussion
Hosted by Rev. Nancy Soukup, Multifaith Chaplain
TRIPTYCH | Directed by: Katia Lom | 8 min. United Kingdom, 2018
'Triptych' is a short film reflecting on the nature of time and memory as a daughter empties her late father’s home. Based on the true story of the director’s mother escaping Czechoslovakia in 1951 at the age of four with her parents through the woods at night, the narrative blurs the line between fiction and documentary. The film deploys a non-linear structure to express the consequences of war on civilians throughout their lives through the prism of the Stalinist show trials erupting in Prague as a direct result of the events of WWII. By using real vintage artifacts from Czechoslovakia and photographs from a variety of archives, 'Triptych' highlights the significance that objects hold in bearing witness to the past and connecting future generations to that history. With millions of people displaced as a direct consequence of armed and political conflict at this present day, the film attempts to bring to light both a personal and global experience.
Starring Lisa Diveney and Simon Stephens, Triptych was captured on 16mm for the live action
sequences with all of its animation scenes created in-camera with a combination of
replacement, stop motion, hand-drawn and pixilation animation.
CHASING PORTRAITS | Directed by: Elizabeth Rynecki | 77 min. Canada, Israel, Poland, USA, 2018
One man's art. One woman's unexpected path to healing.
Moshe Rynecki’s body of work reached close to eight hundred paintings and sculptures before his life came to a tragic end. Decades later, his great-granddaughter Elizabeth sought to rediscover his legacy, setting out on a journey to find what had been lost but never forgotten…
Spanning three decades of Elizabeth’s life and three generations of her family, this compelling documentary is a deeply moving narrative of the richness of one man’s art, the devastation of war, and one woman’s unexpected path to healing.
Location: Global Heritage Hall, Room 01 at Roger Williams University
Introduced by the Rev. Nancy Hamlin Soukup, University Multifaith Chaplain with Guest Speaker
screenwriter/director, Chris Sparling.
ONE FOR THE ROAD | Directed by: Fernanda Faya | 12 min. Brazil, USA, 2016
As she moves from Brazil to NY, the filmmaker looks back at her grandma's migration as a way to find traces of her own identity.
“SECRET CINEMA” Special Preview Screening
We cannot tell you the film’s name -- it’s a secret. But we can tell you that you will discover a major new film before it premieres at RIIFF in August. We can tell you that it is a documentary and that an award-winning screenwriter/director, Chris Sparling will be on hand to lead a discussion about the film.
About our Guest Speaker:
Chris Sparling wrote the 2010 film BURIED starring Ryan Reynolds, for which he won "Best Original Screenplay" from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. His Black List script, ATM, was released by IFC Films in 2012, and his co-written script, THE WARNING, was released by Moreno Films in 2018. His feature directing debut, the supernatural thriller THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE, was released in early 2015 by Universal Pictures. THE SEA OF TREES, which he wrote and produced -- starring Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts, and directed by Gus Van Sant -- was nominated for the Palm d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and contributed to his selection to Variety's annual list of "10 Screenwriters to Watch." After adapting the novel DOWN A DARK HALL for Temple Hill and Lionsgate Films, he is now adapting LAND OF THE LIVING for Broad Green Pictures. His latest film MERCY, which he wrote and directed for Netflix, was released in 2016, and he will write and direct THE ORCHARD for Miramax in 2018
CLOSING NIGHT RECEPTION & AWARDS CEREMONY
Join as we conclude our celebration of the 13th Anniversary of the Roving Eye International Film Festival, a unique collaboration between Roger Williams University and Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival, and we announce the winners of this year’s Roving Eye Awards.
Location: Global Heritage Hall, Atrium
A Reception Sponsored by RWU Spiritual Life Office will take place during the intermission.
All programming for the Festival has been produced by students in the Curation and Film
Production Class that includes: Anas Alfeez, Christopher Aquina, Matthew Burbine, Jake Chipkin, Mark Donovan, Alexandra Ende, Amanda Farrow, Angela Ferguson-Martins, Kelsey Piazza, Rosalie Stevens, Carolyn Terry, Lauren Utecht, Stephanie Ward, Hoss Wheeler, Emily Whitehead and Kenneth Kramer.
For more information, contact the Spiritual Life Program at Roger Williams University, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Directions to Roger Williams University can be found at www.rwu.edu
ABOUT ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY:
Roger Williams University located in Bristol, R.I. is a leading independent, coeducational university with programs in the liberal arts and the professions, where students become community- and globally-minded citizens. With 42 academic majors, an array of co-curricular activities and study abroad opportunities on six continents, RWU is an opencommunity dedicated to the success of students, commitment to a set of corevalues and providing a world-class education above all else. In the last decade, the University has achieved unprecedented successes including recognition as one of the best colleges in the nation by Forbes, a College of Distinction by Student Horizons, Inc. and as both a best college in the Northeast and one of the nation’s greenest universities by The Princeton Review. For more information, go to: www.rwu.edu.
ABOUT FLICKERS' RHODE ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL:
The Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), has secured its place in the global community as the portal for the best in international independent cinema, earning the respect of domestic and foreign filmmakers, filmgoers and trend watchers. Ranked as one of the top 10 Festivals in the United States, RIIFF is a qualifying festival for the Live Action, Documentary and Animation Short Academy Awards through its affiliation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Canadian Screen Awards, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). There are only 10 film festivals worldwide that share this distinction and RIIFF is the only festival in New England. The Festival takes place every August.
For more information about the Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival, running Aug. 7-12, 2018 at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) and The Vets (formerly Veterans Memorial Auditorium), please visit call 401.861.4445.
RWU PARKING INFORMATION:From Providence: Take Routes 136 South or 114 S passing campus on the left. Take a left at the traffic light just before the Mount Hope Bridge, onto Old Ferry Road. Take the first right into the parking lot.
From Newport: Take 114N over the Mount Hope Bridge and take the first right off the bridge onto Old Ferry Road. Take the first right into the parking lot.
Guests should enter through the main entrance at the fountain. they will be able to obtain a guest parking pass. Lot 24a will be blocked off for guests of the festival. Proceed through the main entrance through to the lot 24a on left. Events will take place in the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences Bldg, CAS 157; Global Heritage Hall and the Mary Tefft White Cultural Center.
The 2018 Roving Eye International Film Festival is sponsored by The RI Film & the Television Office; Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival; WSBE Rhode Island PBS; Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, Edge Media Network, the Edwin S. Soforenko Foundation; Roger Williams University Office of the Provost; the RWU Department of Communication, Graphic Design and Web Development, Dean Jeffrey L. Meriwether, RWU School of Humanities, Arts and Education, Dr. Roberta Adams, the RWU Film Production Collaborative, the RWU Screenwriter’s Guild, RWU Hillel, and the Spiritual Life Office.