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2008 Film Festival Award Winners Announced

The Twelfth Annual Festival Concludes Attracting Extraordinary Films, Celebrities and Record Crowds




PROVIDENCE, RI (August 10, 2008). The 2008 Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) announced the winners in this year’s film competition at its annual Awards Ceremony held at the Providence Biltmore Hotel's Garden Room in Providence, RI. George T. Marshall, RIIFF's Executive Director welcomed over 125 attending filmmakers at the ceremony. He was joined by Adam Short, Producing Director; Demetria Carr, Associate Producing Director; and Chase Huneke, Programming Manager.


"It's been an amazing and sensational year for us," said RIIFF Executive Director George T. Marshall, "We had films screened and filmmakers attend from all over the world. The box office and audience levels were up significantly over last year. And we were blessed to have Bythe Danner, John Ratzenberger, Richard Jenkins, Mark Margolis, Kevin Sheridan, Ron Palillo, Dan Butler, Jason Clarke and Marlyn Mason on hand to join in the cinematic celebration.


"Audience feedback has been equally strong, a clear indication that we were able to achieve the right programming mix. Of course, this is only due to the exceptionally strong films submitted to the Festival; so the kudos really belong to the filmmakers who made this year's event happen. We also had an exceptional staff in place that was filmmaker-centric and worked together as a team; making a clear difference in how this Festival was produced."


This year’s RIIFF ran August 5-10th and showcased 289 cinematic works submitted from over 53 countries, and 32 states in the United States. The 2008 RIIFF presented 58 World Premieres and 41 US/North American Premieres. Following months of adjudication and review, Festival films were selected from over 3,000 international submissions.


Attendance levels were well above 2007 records with 12 sold-out screenings throughout the week. Over 300 filmmakers registered with the festival in turn representing more than 100 titles that hailed from New Zealand, Belgium, Australia, Japan, Ireland, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Peru.


For the second year in a row, the Festival’s opening night took place at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC), the elegant and historical theater, located at 220 Weybosset Street in the heart of downtown Providence. A record crowd of over 2,000 were in attendance.


Since RIIFF is one of only 62 film festivals (out of 7,000) world wide that is accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) the Opening Night has become a crowd-pleasing salute to the Art of the Short Film. Actor, John Ratzenberger was the Master of Ceremonies. HB Communications and Sony Corporation showcased the latest media equipment in the lobby of the theatre as well as sponsoring the High Definition exhibition of the evening's films.


The Festival also presented major artistic and individual awards this year which included:

The George M. Cohan Ambassador Award presented to Rhode Island actor, Richard Jenkins.


The Crystal Vision Award presented to actress, Blythe Danner


The Key to City of Providence presented to actor, John Ratzenberger.


The Annual RIIFF Producers Circle Awards for ongoing support of the Festival went to Paul Brooks, City of Providence; Steve Dirksmeier of Sony Corporation; and Christina Mealey, former Director of the KidsEye Summer Filmmaking Camp.


Honorary co-chairs for the 2008 edition of the Rhode Island International Film Festival are Providence Mayor David M. Cicilline and US Congressman James Langevin. The Festival's 2008 design and look were created by Antonio Cortez.


The RIIFF Awards were presented by RIIFF Executive Director George T. Marshall; Demetria Carr, RIIFF's Associate Producing Director; Jocelyn Donaghue, Courthouse for the Arts and Mary Healey Jamiel, documentary filmmaker.


The Rhode Island International Film Festival was supported in part by the City of Providence, the Providence Tourism Council, the Providence Department of Arts, Culture & Tourism, WJAR TV10, The Providence Phoenix, Clear Channel Communications, Sony, HB Communications, SAG/INDIE, CVS, NewEnglandFilm.com, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Amtrak, URI's College of Arts and Sciences, URI's Feinstein College of Continuing Education, the URI Film Media Program, Rule Broadcast/Boston Camera, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Art New England Magazine and contributions from members and community supporters. 


The Flickers Arts Collaborative, an organization with 25 years of experience presenting major artistic events as well as independent and foreign films to the public, produces the Rhode Island International Film Festival. 


The RIIFF Awards 2008:


Best Short
GRAND: “Gone Fishing”, Chris Jones, Director, United Kingdom
First: “New Boy” Steph Green, Director, Ireland
Second: “Absolutely Positive” Kate Brown, Director, Netherlands


Best Feature:
GRAND: “The Full Picture” Jon Bowden, Director, USA
First: “This Beautiful City” Ed Gass-Donnelly, Director, Canada
Tied with: “Tobiro No Muko” (Left Handed) Laurence Thrush, Director, Japan
Second: “Wherever You Are” Rob Margolies USA


Best Feature Documentary:
GRAND: “Accelerating America” Timothy Hotchner, Director, USA
First: “The Wrecking Crew” Denny Tedesco, Director USA
Tied with: “Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes ” Peter Rosen, Director, USA
Second: “Small Voices” Heather Connell, Director U S A, Cambodia


Best Documentary Short
GRAND: “Trip to Hell & Back” Stu Maddux, Director, USA
First: “Swim Lessons: The Nick Irons Story” Alex Houston, Director, USA
Second: “Art in Darkness” Naomi Wise, Director USA & Canada


Directorial Discovery Award:
“Ancestor Eyes” Kalani Queypo, Director, USA, and
 “The Graduates” Ryan Gielen, Director, USA


International Discovery Award:
GRAND: “Romans 12:20” The Shammasian Brothers, Directors, United Kingdom
First: “Sotto Il Mio Giardino” Andrea Lodovichetti, Director, Italy
Second: “The Pond” Sonja Phillips, Director, United Kingdom
Tied with: “Spielzeugland”(Toyland) Jochen Alexander Freydank, Director, Germany


RIIFF Director’s Choice Award
“Next Floor” Denis Villeneuve, Director, Canada


“Helping Hand” International Humanitarian Award

Given annually to a film or filmmaker that inspires social change, community outreach and a better understanding of the world in which we live
“Hakim” Ismail Sahin, Director, Germany, Tanzania


Providence Film Festival
GRAND: “Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women” Nancy Porter, Director, USA
First: “Commit to the Line” Rachelle Dermer, Director, U S A, Canada
Second: “Inside the Outside” Leigh Medeiros, Director, USA


GRAND: “Blackspot” Ben Hawker, Director, New Zealand
First: “Satellites & Meteorites” Paul Mullen (Picture Editor); Rick Larkin, Director, United Kingdom
Tied with: “My Inventions” Tony Dean (Picture Editor); Robert Holbrook, Director, Canada


GRAND: “Model Rules” Marlyn Mason, Screenwriter; Ray Nomoto Robison, Director, USA
First: “Chasing the White Dragon” Kathilynn Phillips, Screenwriter/Director, USA
Second: “The Drummer” William Block, Screenwriter/Director, USA


Best Experimental:
GRAND: “eclipse” Mark Lapwood, Director, India, Australia, New Zealand
First: “Tongue of the Hidden” David Anderson, Director, United Kingdom

Tied with: "Ikigai" Brian Quigley, Director, Canada, Japan
Second: “Kataude” Akemi Tachibana, Director, Japan


Alternative Spirit:
GRAND: “Bi the Way” Brittany Blockman, Josephine Decker, Directors, USA
First: “The Back Room” Greg Ivan Smith, Director, USA
Tied with: “Karl Rove, I Love You” Dan Butler and Phil Leirness, Directors, USA


Best Soundtrack:
GRAND: “Crazy” Rick Bieber, Director, USA
First: “Of All the Things”, Jody Lambert, Director, USA & Philippines
Second: “I Can Tell the World”, Coleen Hubbard, Larry Bograd, Directors, USA


Best Original Musical Composition (Score):
GRAND: “The Flyboys”, Music by Lisle Moore, USA
First: “Varmints”, Music by Johann Johannson, United Kingdom
Second: “Victor y la Maquina”, Music by Javier Romanos & José Antonio Pérez García, Spain


KidsEye (Films Made for Kids):
GRAND: “Anita’s Africa”, Beverley Reid, Director, Canada, Uganda
First: “Mandy & Lester”, Lena Beug, Director, USA
Second: “Red Sneakers”, Michele Meek, Director, USA


KidsEye (Films Made by Kids):
GRAND: “tiny pillows …” Joseph Procopio, Director, Canada


Best Comedy Short
GRAND: “Bill” John Salcido, Director, USA
First: “Parachute” Lucas Fleischer and Paul Grellong, Directors, USA
Second: “Speed Dating” Crystal Liu, Director, USA
Tied with: “Struck” Taron Lexton, Director, USA


Best Animation:
GRAND: “Varmints” Marc Craste, Director, United Kingdom
First: “This Way Up” Adam Foulkes; Alan Smith, Directors, United Kingdom
Second: “El Mono” Minchung Cho, Director, USA


Best Undergraduate Student: (AVID AWARD)
GRAND: “Lover Boy” Zia Anger, Director, USA
First: “No Wind, No Waves” Julian Anthony Higgins, Director, USA


Best Graduate Student:
GRAND: “Haber” Daniel Ragussis, Director, USA
First: “The Wall” Michael Lloyd Green, Director, USA
Tied with: “The Replacement Child” Justin Lerner, Director, USA


Best Acting:
GRAND: “Leaving Barstow” Kevin Sheridan, Actor, USA
First: “Happy New Year” Michael Cuomo, Actor, USA
Second: “Plainview” Ryan Driscoll, Actor, USA


Best Cinematography
GRAND: “Zum Dritten Pol” (The Third Pole), Denis Ducroz (Cinematographer/DP), Germany, France, Nepal, Switzerland
First: “Megalopolis” Roberto Cimatti (Cinematographer/DP), U S A, Pakistan, Brazil, Egypt, Japan, China, Italy
Second: “Janey Mary,” Seamus Deasy (Cinematographer/DP), Ireland


Special Jury Prize
“Certifiably Jonathan” Jim Pasternak, Director, USA


Vortex Sci-Fi & Fantasy:
GRAND Sci-Fi: “Afterville” Fabio Resinaro & Fabio Guaglione, Directors, Italy
First Prize Sci-Fi: “H5N1” Roberto De Feo, Director, Italy


GRAND Fantasy: “Hugo” Nicholas Verso, Director, Australia
First Prize Fantasy: “The Secret Adventures of the Projectionist” Max Sacker, Director, Germany


Viola M. Marshall Audience Choice Awards

Most Popular

Grand Prize:

"Between the Folds " (Vanessa Gould, Director) USA


Best Documentary

Grand Prize:

"Salute - The Movie" (Matt Norman, Director) Australia

Tied with: "Got Facts on Milk?" (Shira Lane, Director) USA


1st Place:
"Leave No Soldier" (Donna Bassin, Director) USA


Best Feature

Grand Prize:

"How to Be" (Oliver Irving, Director) United Kingdom

Tied with: "Were The World Mine" (Tom Gustafson, Director) USA


First Place:

"Village Barbershop" (Chris Ford, Director) USA


Best Short

Grand Prize:

"Hold On" (Doug Olear and Jackie Julio, Directors) USA

Tied with: "Hole in the Paper Sky" (Bill Purple, Director) USA


1st Place:

"Curse of Micah Road" (Alec Asten, Director) USA