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“STARS UNDER THE STARS”

SPECIAL OUTDOOR SCREENINGS TO SHOWCASE FILMS FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY TO RUN THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER

 

The Stars will be shining bright this summer in Providence. From silent film icons like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin to modern legends like Peter O’Toole, the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) gives them all to the city of Providence this summer in a new cultural tradition to call its own. The RIIFF and the City of Providence’s Department of Art, Culture and Tourism will be presenting a series of special outdoor screenings at the Bank of America City Center, Kennedy Plaza in Providence throughout the summer. The event is free and open to the general public and is screened in collaboration with Radio Disney.


Now celebrating its 10th Anniversary Year, RIIFF is to present “Stars Under the Stars”: delightful films screened in the open summer night air on a two-story inflatable screen, complete with stereo sound and digital projection courtesy of Fresh Air Flicks from New York.


“Stars Under the Stars” will run on WaterFire nights, July 15 at 8:30 p.m.; August 12 at 8:15 p.m (at a separate location to be announced).; August 26 at 8:00 p.m.; and September 2nd at 7:30 p.m. Showtime for each screening will be approximately fifteen minutes after sunset, immediately following the WaterFire lightings.


“We’re very excited to be presenting some exceptional films to audiences in the Providence community,” says George T. Marshall, Executive Director of RIIFF. “‘Stars Under the Stars’ will feature films that are ideal for families: classic comedies with a live orchestral accompaniment, a remarkable remake of a timeless family classic, and a sing-along rendition of a beloved family musical.


“We’re also extremely honored to introduce Heather Henson, daughter of Jim Henson, to our audience. She will be on hand during the series and will present some new and exciting puppetry cinema work.


“The Bank of America City Center is a perfect location. It’s comparable to the return of the now-eclipsed Drive-In Movie experience. Of course, without the cars.”


Audience members are asked to bring their own chairs or blankets as limited seating will be available.


According to Marshall, “It will be like sitting on the lawn at Tanglewood for a BSO performance.”


“The unique cultural experience and the beauty of the downtown setting should make this film series one of the most anticipated summer events in Providence,” adds Don Farias, RIIFF Programming Director. “We’re thrilled that the City and the Department of Art, Culture and Tourism have chosen us to provide these screenings to create truly special Providence event.”


THE FILMS:
Saturday, July 15 at 8:30 p.m.
LASSIE
Roadside Attractions/Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director-screenwriter: Charles Sturridge
Cast: Peter O'Toole, Samantha Morton, John Lynch, Steve Pemberton, Jonathan Mason, and Peter Dinklage
Mapes: Gregor Fisher
No MPAA rating
Running time - 100 minutes

Sturridge’s Lassie is a heartwarming adventure that does excellent justice to the classic. Sensitively written and directed by veteran British filmmaker Charles Sturridge, it was recently showcased in the Family Festival section of the Tribeca Film Festival.


Beautifully set on the eve of World War II in a Yorkshire mining town, Lassie is a beloved part of the hard-pressed Carraclough family: coal miner Sam (John Lynch); his loving wife, Sarah (Samantha Morton); and their 9-year-old son, Joe (Jonathan Mason). When hard times hit, the family is forced to sell their beloved dog to the high-toned Duke of Rudling (Peter O'Toole), who wants her for his granddaughter (Hester Odgers).


The adventures of the indefatigable collie are alternately amusing, thrilling and heartbreaking. The sterling cast essays its roles with utmost conviction, with particularly exceptional work by slyly funny O'Toole and child actor Mason. A gallery of estimable performers makes cameo appearances, including Edward Fox, Kelly MacDonald and, most effectively, Peter Dinklage as the kindly puppeteer who takes Lassie under his wing. Lassie gorgeously retells this classic tale of heroism and the loyalty of love in the face of brutish class conflict. A worthy successor to its cinematic and television forebears, Sturridge’s Lassie is beautifully loyal to its classically exquisite magnificence.

 

Saturday, August 12 at 8:15 p.m. (Screening Westminster Street across from Tazza)
FEDERAL HILL

Authored, produced and directed by Providence-native Michael Corrente, is set in Federal Hill, Providence, Rhode Island, a local Italian-American neighborhood.


A band of five best friends—Ralph (Nicholas Turturro), Nicky (Anthony DeSando), Frank (Michael Raynor), Joey (Robert Turano), and Bobby (Jason Andrews)—grew up together in Federal Hill, and each of them becomes allied with crime in one way or another. Ralph is a hotheaded cat burglar; Nicky is a smooth small-time coke dealer; Frank is the son of a local mobster; Joey is a paroled convict; and Bobby is a counterfeit money dealer who owes thirty grand to a counterfeiter. When Nicky sells a bag of coke to a rich, blond Brown student, Wendy (Libby Langdon), he is immediately smitten by her upscale glamour and dreams of escaping Federal Hill with her.

 

Nicky's best friend and bed-sharing roommate Ralph is jealous of Nicky's new love, and tries desperately to douse Nicky's infatuation. Failing to persuade him, Ralph conceives of a break-in to guarantee that the relationship crumbles.


Borrowing from memories of his own youth, Corrente breathes new life into a tired plot that could so easily have degenerated into melodrama and cliché. Dangerously reminiscent of Scorsese's MEAN STREETS and GOODFELLAS, what redeems FEDERAL HILL is its small-budget authenticity. Its ability to be striking comes through its semi-autobiographical underpinnings, its seductive, moody black-and-white photography, and its bold relocation of its New York mafia scene from the big-city streets to small-town Providence. Reviewed by Roger Ebert, "FEDERAL HILL covers familiar ground, but with feeling and style…Corrente is not just treading in Scorsese's footsteps but testing new ground…The series of ironic developments at the end of the movie feels a little like movie plotting, yes, but Corrente has set them up well enough to get away with them. Y'know?"

 

The program will be preceded by HANDMADE PUPPET DREAMS: A selection of short puppet films by independent artists exploring their hand made craft specifically for the camera. Created and overseen by Heather Henson, Handmade Puppet Dreams documents an eclectic collection of contemporary artisans who carefully weave the craft of filmmaking and puppetry into their work.
Heather Henson is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design in animation and attended The California Institute of the Arts to broaden her expertise in visual spectacles for theatre.


Saturday, August 26 at 8:00 p.m
NOT SO QUIET SILENTS
Featuring the ALLOY ORCHESTRA
This interactive family program of classic silent short comedies and one new fantasy adventure is our unique interpretation of a sing-along. With a live musical accompaniment by Alloy Orchestra, audience members of all ages will have the opportunity to find out how the Alloy create their amazing soundscapes and to come up with creative sounds of their own.


Full of slapstick and elaborate mechanical gags, Back Stage (Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, USA 1919, 26 min.) takes a behind-the-scenes look at an old-time rural theater with two of the silent era's great comedians playing stagehands desperately trying to keep the troupe together. Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle directs and costars with a young Buster Keaton in one of his first on-screen appearances.


A silent film for the 21st century, Dragonflies, the Baby Cries (Jane Gillooly, USA 2000, 10 min.) explores the powerful imaginations of children. Produced by Alloy Orchestra's Ken Winokur with an original score composed by the group, this strange and magical film goes deep into the forest with a group of children attempting to conjure fairies.


In One Week (Buster Keaton, USA 1920, 19 min.), newlyweds Buster and Sybil start their life together by assembling one of their gifts, a build-it-yourself portable house. Little do they know, Sybil's former suitor has sabotaged their newfound bliss by changing the numbers on the building material boxes. Including the now-famous wall-falling scene in which Keaton is miraculously saved by a conveniently-placed window, this inspired film highlights his legendary gift for physical comedy.


Total running time 100 min. Recommended for ages seven and up. Several new shorts from this year’s RIIFF will also be added.


Saturday, September 2, 2006 at 8:00 p.m.
THE BEST OF RIIFF 2006
For the final presentation of the series, the staff of the Rhode Island International Film Festival has selected their favorite films that played this year’s festival. This year, RIIFF screened 303 films over a six-day period; many being world and United States premieres. A special highlight will be the repeat screening of the winner of this year’s Grand Prize for Best Short Film: Adam Schlachter’s “My Backyard was a Mountain,” which RIIFF recently nominated to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


The films to be shown include:


THE SHOVEL
Nick Childs, director
15 min. USA 2006
Cast • David Strathairn, Glenn Fleshler, Neal Huff & Tim Guinee
When weekender Paul Mullin discovers his neighbor digging a hole in the middle of the night, he writes it off simply as a bizarre encounter... until the neighbor and his cheating wife both disappear. Worried he's stumbled onto more than he bargained for, Paul calls on the local sheriff to help unearth the truth. And finds out that, in this small town, some secrets are better left buried.


THE RUN
Shawn Costa, director
2 min. USA 2005
Jack's life is turned upside down when a shadowy figure begins running after him, yelling terrible screams of agony. What happens next will surprise and shock even Jack.


THE TOLL
J Zachary Pike, director
6 min. USA, 2006
The Toll is a Computer Animated mockumentary and a character study in the guise of a student project created by fictional film student Harvey Stevens. Harvey delves into the realm of not-so-fantastic myth to interview a troll who lives under a bridge. The troll is, for lack of a better word, evil. He's aggressive, uncouth, temperamental, and has a nasty habit of eating people. His pet is a malicious cross between a dragon, a pug, and a Cuisinart. Yet strangely, the troll wants acceptance from the society he preys on, and sees the young filmmaker as an opportunity to clear up the 'misunderstandings' that have always plagued him. As Harvey rolls the camera, the troll's comments on work, life, and love range from somewhat inappropriate to outrageously delusional, slowly revealing the hilariously tragic figure of a monster in denial.


MY BACKYARD WAS A MOUNTAIN
Adam Schlachter, director
24 min. USA, 2006
The story of Adan, a Puerto Rican boy who has one day to find a home for his pet goat, Chivo, before his family relocates to New York City in the late 1950's. While searching for a new owner for Chivo, Adan discovers the promise of first love with his childhood friend, Denise, whom he will also have to leave behind.


DEAR JOSH

Brendan Gibbons, director
7 min. USA, 2006
A young man goes to his mailbox and finds an airmail letter from his girlfriend, vacationing in Spain. His face goes blank when he realizes he’s been dumped. Despondent, he goes to the store to buy the equipment necessary to kill himself. He considers shooting himself, then poisoning himself, then electrocution. He returns home, ready to act. After some last minute soul searching, he plugs one end of an extension cord into the kitchen wall and another end into the toaster. He walks toward the bathroom. Time seems to stand still as he makes his last, long walk. But when he finally gets to his destination, he magically manages to kill his now ex-girlfriend rather than himself.


ROSE

Mike Murphy, director
9 mins. New Zealand, 2006
Cast • Cohen Holloway & Erica Lowe
Rose tells the story of a young single woman, (played by Erica Lowe), who works in a flower shop on the worst day of the year to be dateless....Valentines Day. Will the mysterious man she keeps flirting with show up to sweep her off her feet or simply wilt away?


Rose was shot while the director (Mike Murphy) was working on Lord of the Rings down in New Zealand. Most of the talent on Rose also contributed to LOTR. Rose also features amazing special effects that took over 1 year to create. Mike Murphy has worked on such hits as The Iron Giant, Scooby Doo, Stuart Little, Harry Potter 1, I, Robot, and Gollum in Lord of the Rings.


PARADOX

Directed by Jeremy Haccoun
18 min. United Kingdom, 2006
Two men are stranded at the bottom of a well. One thinks he has fallen in his own back garden in present-day Britain. But the other tells him they are really prisoners in a medieval dungeon. Who is right, and where are they really?


LOVE LETTER
Trent Jones, director
17 min. USA, 2006
Welcome to planet 7th Grade! Where a love letter to the girl of your dreams can ruin your life, salami is the perfect diversion for a crazy janitor, and memorizing Shakespeare makes you a loser, but just might win you the girl. Based loosely on As You Like It, Love Letter is the tale of Henry, a boy who loses a love letter written to the girl of his dreams and must survive the perils of 7th grade to win back her heart. Thirteen-year-old Henry has finally found the courage to tell Marisa, the girl of his dreams, how he feels about her in a love letter. But when he accidentally leaves the letter in the boy’s bathroom, he and his best friend Thomas must use all of their geeky know-how to get the letter back. They break into the school at night, crawling through air ducts to get to the letter. With the letter almost in reach, the meanest bullies in school beat them to it. Henry’s hope for true love is ruined and total humiliation is guaranteed. Henry goes to school the next day only to find that the bullies have copied the letter and plastered it all over school. Just when it seems like his chances with Marisa are over, Henry uses Shakespeare to find the words to tell her how he feels. Acting out a scene from As You Like It with Marisa, Henry confesses his love for her in front of the whole class and wins her heart.


A LITTLE LIGHT
Ben Zlotucha, director
22 min. U S A, 2006
Life is simple for Ernie, Los Angeles Parking Enforcer extraordinaire. Nothing, not irate surfers mooning him, nor spoiled socialites complaining to him, throws Ernie off his game. Not even the fact that gravity is 'flaking out' and people are flying off the planet. Oh right, that last part -- it's called Spontaneous Loss Of Gravity, or S.L.O.G. It's not enough of a phenomenon to inspire widespread panic -- it's just one of those things like S.A.R.S. or Avian Bird Flu that people on the news are talking about and debating. Still, random people around the globe, including celebrity Alan Thicke, are getting sucked into the atmosphere and they don't seem to be coming back. Through it all Ernie continues to enforce the city's parking rules by day, while his nights are spent working on a mysterious project he seems quite dedicated to. Then Ernie meets Alex and all bets are off. Alex is a no-nonsense, beautiful bartender that seems charmed by Ernie's disposition. Clearly smitten, Ernie is fascinated by her and even comes close to revealing the nature of his secret project. But, as usual, he gets bashful and screws it all up, much to the dismay of his often-sure-but-never-right, couch potato roommate Jim. And so, just like every other night, Ernie goes to sleep content to be a parking enforcer with delusions of grandeur. But, hearing a crashing sound outside his apartment, Ernie is soon to discover that this night will change his life forever.

 

Total running time for the finale of “Stars Under the Stars” is 120 min. The programming is recommended for ages twelve and up. Attendees are reminded to bring a chair or blanket.


The Sponsors for the 2006 “Stars Under the Stars” include Radio Disney, Providence Tourism Council, City of Providence, the Providence Department of Arts, Culture & Tourism, WJAR TV 10, Rule Broadcast Systems, Sony, Amtrak, Full Channel Communications, the Feinstein IMAX Providence Place, the Hotel Providence and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.


ABOUT THE RHODE ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Now in its tenth year, the Rhode Island International Film Festival™, (RIIFF) took place August 8-13, 2006, screening 305 films with record attendance levels. Ranked as a one of the Top 12 Film Festivals in the United States, this world-class festival was held at multiple venues around Providence. The festival featured screenings, filmmaking workshops, meet-and-greet industry events and seminars. Aiming to promote Rhode Island as a filmmaking location and to celebrate the independent filmmaking spirit, RIIFF also hosted a number of high-profile premières and provides a showcase for international features, documentaries, and shorts. Over 200 filmmakers flew in from across the globe to attend the event. The Annual Lifetime Achievement Award went to legendary actress, Cicely Tyson and the Creative Vision Award to director, Michael Corrente.


Founded in 1997, the Rhode Island International Film Festival has quickly carved out a name for itself. It accepts films of any type, in any genre and screens around 250+ international productions. Rhode Island native Bobby Farrelly was so impressed with the festival's debut that he held the world premiere of his next film - There's Something About Mary - at the 1998 event.
The festival is dedicated to the creation of opportunities for "artistic interaction and exchange among independent filmmakers, directors, producers, distributors, backers and the film-going community". It is a safe haven for all independent filmmakers - a place where they can hide from all the MI3’s, overblown CGI effects and high concept reinterpretations of classic films.


The Rhode Island International Film Festival also produces the RI International Horror Film Festival which runs October 5 to 8th; most tickets, other than special events, are $10. The Festival Web site is www.rifilmfest.org and the phone is (401) 861-4445. The Festival is based at the historic Columbus Theatre Arts Center, 270 Broadway, Providence, RI

 

Directions to the Bank of America City Center


RHODE ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

268 Broadway

Providence, RI 02903

Tel: 401/861-4445; Fax: 401/490-6735

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