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2003 Film Festival Award Winners


PROVIDENCE, RI (August 12, 2003) The 2003 Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) presented by Brooks Pharmacy has announced this year's winners in its film competition at its annual Awards Celebration held at the Columbus Theatre in Providence on Sunday, August 10, 2003.

Audience Awards were also tabulated from seven festival venues and announced following the successful run of this year's fest, which ended Sunday night, August 10th.


This year, RIIFF received 1032 entries in competition and 76 titles out of competition. 185 titles were chosen as finalists and screened at this year's RIIFF. Films were entered from 42 countries and 32 states.

Countries represented by the festival’s screenings included: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Slovak Republic, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, and Yugoslavia.

Of those selected for exhibition, 25 were World Premieres and 21 were United States Premieres. 212 filmmakers, producers, distributors, cast and crew registered with the festival.

Attendance levels were 15% above 2002 records with seven sell-out screenings. Overall RIIFF attendance for the year was 17,682.


Working with the Festival was the market research company, FilmBUZZ out of Los Angeles. Along with developing audience demographics, they also charted the Viola M. Marshall Audience Choice Awards.


“This was an amazing year for RIIFF,” said George T. Marshall, RIIFF Executive Director. “The superb quality of the films, the strong audiences and the sponsors like Brooks Pharmacy, Sony, Kodak, NBC 10, Phoenix Communications Group, Rule Broadcast Systems, Delta Airlines, Amtrak and Mirage Design, made for an exceptional event.


“We were very pleased to have on hand Stuart Bailey, the Executive Producer from Blackfriars Productions who produced Kenneth Branagh’s short film “Listening,” which won First Prize for Best Director.”

Bailey presented Branagh’s acceptance remarks:


“I made ‘Listening’ as an experiment. I love the short film, and for me it was a marvellous way to explore a compressed narrative, where very little was said, (a real challenge for me!), and where picture, sound and silence try to work in a different relationship than in my other work. For all of us who worked on it, was a great communal and collaborative experience. It was made with love, and we offer it up to you in the same spirit.

“To all the organisers whose hard work has made it possible, to the sponsors who help enable it, and to the audience tonight and to come, who make the festival what it is. I am so sorry that I can't be with you this evening.

Thank-you once again for honouring us in this way. We truly appreciate it.

-- Ken Branagh"

Another RIIFF first, was the first US screening of the legendary “Destino,” which won the RIIFF Grand Prize for Best Animation.


Completed by French animation director Dominique Monfery, the backstory to this short from the Disney Feature Animation Division is as fascinating as the actual finished product. In 1946, Walt Disney commissioned Salvador Dali to create an experimental work for a follow-up on “Fantasia.” Storyboards and illustrations were completed. Music rights were purchased. The work was never finished.

Two years ago, Roy Disney commissioned character animation artist Monfery (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Emperor’s New Groove”) to complete what had become a legendary Disney that never was. “Destino” is the final product, which had a RIIFF premiere.


This year’s RIIFF winners are as follows:


• Grand Prize: ROBOT STORIES • Director: Greg Pak, USA
• First Prize: THE MOVIE HERO • Director: Brad Gottfried, USA


• Grand Prize: MRS. MEITLEMEIHR • Director: Graham Rose, UK
• First Prize: LISTENING • Director: Kenneth Branagh, UK


• Grand Prize: THE NISEI FARMER • Director: Dean Yamada, USA
• First Prize: DER SCHULER (The Student) • Director: Edina Kontsek, GERMANY


• Grand Prize: DESTINO • Director: Dominique Monfery, FRANCE
• First Prize: THE TOLL COLLECTOR • Director: Rachael Johnson, USA


• Grand Prize: BONHOEFFER • Director: Martin Doblemeier, USA
• First Prize: BROTHER OUTSIDER: THE LIFE OF BAYARD RUSTIN • Directors: Nancy Kates /Bennet Singer, USA


• Grand Prize: ROSSO FANGO (Mud Red) • Director: Paolo Ameli, ITALY
• First Prize: KAIROS • Director: Shanti Thakur, USA


• Grand Prize: RENDEZVOUS • Director: Aaron Wilson, AUSTRALIA
• First Prize: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MAN IN THE WORLD • Director: Alicia Duffy, UK


• Grand Prize: GIRL (BOY ) 14 • Director: Fernando Dominguez, ARGENTINA
• First Prize: OIO • Director: Simon Goulet, CANADA


• Grand Prize: UNKNOWN SOLDIER • Director: John Hulme, USA
• First Prize: BRINGING RAIN • Director: Noah Buschel, USA


• Grand Prize: THE EXPERIENCE BOX • Writer: Florian Sachisthal / Reid Green, USA
• First Prize: HALE BOPP • Writer: Chris Rubeo, USA


• Grand Prize: MAREE/TIDES • Director: James Pellerito, ITALY
• First Prize: RUSSIAN LESSONS • Director: Jose Antonio Bunet, SPAIN


• Grand Prize: JIM IN BOLD • Director: Glen Holstein, USA
• First Prize: QUINTESSENCE • Writer: Dustin Schell, USA


• Grand Prize: HIGH FAST AND WONDERFUL • Director: Maryanne Galvin, USA
• First Prize: QUINN • Director: Ham Martin, USA


• Grand Prize: OCEANO • Director: Pascual Sisto, USA


• Best Feature: LOLITA SLAVE TO ENTERTAINMENT • Director: Timothy Gorski, USA
• Best Short: HOOKED: THE LEGEND OF DEMETRIUS “HOOKED” MITCHELL • Director: Michael Skolnik, USA


• Grand Prize: ABBIE DOWN EAST • Director: Ellen-Alinda Verhoeff, NETHERLANDS
• First Prize: LA TOILETTA • Director: Dave Goldenberg, USA


• Best Feature Film: ZERO DAY • Director: Benjamin Coccio, USA
• Best Documentary Film: UNKNOWN SOLDIER • Director: John Hulme, USA
• Most Popular: QUINN • Director: Ham & Mary Martin, USA
• Best Comedic Short: THE BABYSITTER • Director: Gidean Raff, USA
• Best Dramatic Short: DIE KURVE • Director: Felix Fuchssteiner, GERMANY

The Rhode Island International Film Festival took place August 5-10, 2002 in locations throughout Providence and the state of Rhode Island. The Festival will take place next year, August 10-15, 2004.


RIIFF is a juried competition and showcase for independent filmmakers from all over the world. Honorary co-chairs are Governor Donald Carcieri, Providence Mayor David M. Cicilline, and President/CEO of Brooks Pharmacy, Michel Coutu. Brooks Pharmacy is the premiere sponsor of the event. Michael Drywa, Esq. is the RIIFF Board President. George T. Marshall is the Festival Executive Director.


The Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) is dedicated to the creation of opportunities for artistic interaction and exchange among independent filmmakers, directors, producers, distributors, backers, and the film-going community. Now heading into its eighth year, the Festival is produced by the Flickers Arts Collaborative, an organization with 22 years of experience presenting major artistic events as well as independent and foreign films to the public.