What's New at RIIFF in 2007
“ICE KINGS” RETURNS TO THE COLUMBUS THEATRE IN TIME FOR THE RHODE ISLAND STATE HOCKEY PLAYOFFS
In Rhode Island, the nation’s smallest state, where hockey is as important as football is in Texas, one team has stood out above all the rest. Mount Saint Charles Academy, of Woonsocket, Rhode Island has staked their claim as being the greatest high school sports hockey program in the nation. The school’s record of 26 consecutive state championships is unparalleled in any sport. It would take a unique team and set of circumstances to answer the age old question: are streaks meant to be broken?
See the film's trailer here
(PROVIDENCE, RI) Pat Manocchia, Greg Cimino and Craig E. Shapiro bring their award winning film back to Rhode Island for an encore presentation in partnership with the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF). ICE KINGS received the coveted audience award for best documentary at the 2006 festival last August. Two screenings are scheduled for Sunday, March 4th, at 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM at the historic Columbus Theatre Arts Center, 270 Broadway, Providence, RI.
From Joseph Fitzgerald; Pawtucket Times: “If there's one person rooting for the success of "Ice Kings," an independent film about Mount Saint Charles Academy's reign and fall as kings of high school ice hockey, it's Gail R. Bryson.” Bryson, the school's director of alumni affairs for the past 20 years, witnessed first hand the hockey program's legendary championship winning streak from 1978 to 2003. "The movie was excellent. I loved it," said Bryson, "I am a big hockey fan, so I'm slightly prejudiced, but this is a great movie."
Produced, written and directed by Rhode Island filmmaker Craig E. Shapiro, the movie tells the story of Mount Saint Charles' legendary men's ice hockey team under equally legendary head coach Bill Belisle and the school's national-record of 26 consecutive state titles. That feat was considered the longest consecutive championship streak in national high school sports history. That phenomenal winning streak was finally broken in March 2004 when Toll Gate High School upset Mount Saint Charles. Mount Saint Charles Academy is a coeducational Catholic junior-senior high school located in the Bernon Heights section of Woonsocket. Founded by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in 1924, the campus consists of over 22 acres and two main buildings - the school and the Brother Adelard Ice Arena.
The school is perhaps best known for its hockey program, which is considered to be one of the best in the United States. Not only did the school capture the Rhode Island Class A State Hockey Championship each year from 1978-2003, over the years a total of 19 alumni have been drafted by the NHL. "I've been here for 20 of those state titles, so it was great to get a chance to see the film," says Bryson, adding that when the credits began to roll at the end of the private screening last month, the players stood and applauded.
"What I found interesting about the film was the beginning, which looked at the history of hockey in Rhode Island," said Bryson, noting that executive producer of the film, Pat Manocchio, was captain and leading scorer of the 1979 Mount Saint Charles hockey team. Under the leadership of 75-year-old head coach Bill Belisle and his assistant coach and son, Dave Belisle, Mount Saint Charles produced some of the NHL's best players, including Garth Snow, Brian Berard, Keith Carney, Mathieu Schneider, and Brian Lawton. The school owned the state title since 1978, but that ended in 2004 when in the best of three game finals, the Toll Gate Titans shocked everyone with a 4-3 win in the opener, followed by a 4-0 shut out in game 2
RIIFF is the largest Film Festival in New England. Celebrating the art of film has always been a critical part of the Rhode Island International Film Festival a factor that has solidified RIIFF's reputation as a filmmaker-friendly event.
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, backer, and the film-going community. Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri, Providence Mayor David M. Cicilline, and US Senator Jack Reed serve as honorary chairs. Last year, over 300 films were presented.
The Rhode Island International Film Festival is supported in part by the 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, Motif, Radio Disney, Feinstein IMAX Providence Place, Delta Airlines, WBRU Radio, Showcase Cinemas Providence Place and contributions from members and community supporters.
Advance ticket sales for the two screenings are available by calling 401-861-4445. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.