City will host R.I. film fest

Pawtucket Times, RI
Aug 9 2004

City will host R.I. film fest

Joel Furfari 08/09/2004

PAWTUCKET — For the first time since its inception, the Rhode Island
International Film Festival is coming to Pawtucket.

The 100-seat theater inside the Blackstone Valley Visitors Center,
175 Main St., will host a series of screenings this week as the city
plays host to the festival for the first time.


Herb Weiss, the city’s cultural affairs officer, said officials want
to bring more films into the theater.

“It’s underutilized right now and we’re in discussion with some
groups to see if we can begin bringing in more screenings to the
theater,” he said.

Film buffs will be in for a treat this week: The theater will host
screenings on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. The film festival’s
gala opening is Tuesday.

At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the film “Parallel Lines” will be screened in
Pawtucket. The documentary, directed by Nina Davenport, covers a road
trip across the United States in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks. There will also be a screening of Bruce Dellis’ short
filmLincoln: A Life Embellished,” a satirical take on the Civil War
president’s life.

On Thursday, the documentary “Germany and the Secret Genocide” will
be screened at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Providence Jewish Film
Festival. The film recounts the Armenian genocide and the complicity
of the German government in the abuses of the Ottoman Turkish

The final screening will be Sunday at 2:30 p.m., when the festival
brings “First Israeli in Space: Ilan Ramon.” This documentary film,
directed by Neil Weisbrod of Israel’s Channel One, chronicles the
life of Israeli astronaut who died in last year’s space shuttle
Columbia disaster.

A short film called “Indecision,” directed by Mary DeBarry, will also
be screened. The comedy is about a young woman who can’t make up her

Weiss said the film festival is especially exciting because it serves
as a prelude to the upcoming Pawtucket Arts Festival.

“We’re very excited about this new relationship between the two
festivals,” he said.

The film festival, in its eight year, will feature screenings of 265
films from across the United States and more than 60 countries.
Organizers are expecting 20,000 movie fans to attend screenings.

Actor Andrew McCarthy, of “Pretty in Pink”fame, is making his
directorial debut at the festival, and actor Zach Braff, who plays a
doctor on NBC’s “Scrubs,” is receiving an award.

George Marshall, executive director and chief executive of the
festival, said the event attracts a lot of filmmakers because it’s
the only one in New England where a film can qualify for an Academy
Award. He said five films screened at the festival in the past seven
years have been nominated for Oscars, and two have won.

Eva Saks, a director from New York, will be showing three of her
films this year, including “Date.”Saks has attended the festival six
times, and hopes to shoot one of her upcoming films in the area. She
said she keeps returning to Rhode Island because she’s drawn to the
neighborhood feeling and loves the architecture.

“I’m kind of crazy into this festival, into this town,”she said. ” I
dig it.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress