RIFF re­turns in Novem­ber

Fes­ti­val bring­ing a slew of fea­ture films, celebs and ‘Scripts Gone Wild’

The Standard Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Severo Avila sav­[email protected]

The Rome In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val re­turns to down­town Rome Nov. 1-4 and cel­e­brates its 15th an­niver­sary this year.

One of the new — and po­ten­tially hi­lar­i­ous — fea­tures at this year’s event will be “Scripts Gone Wild.” Founded at the Chat­tanooga Film Fes­ti­val, it’s a script read­ing se­ries in which celebs, film­mak­ers and in­flu­encers are given a script and some al­co­hol in front of a live au­di­ence. This will take place on Fri­day evening of the fes­ti­val.

“We’re still lock­ing down our spe­cial guests,” said Seth In­gram, the RIFF’s fes­ti­val di­rec­tor. “We’ll have some celebs as well as film­mak­ers and lo­cals. We get to pick the scripts so it’ll be re­ally en­ter­tain­ing.”

As far as films go, or­ga­niz­ers have an­nounced that this year’s fes­ti­val will in­clude sev­eral fea­ture-length doc­u­men­taries in­clud­ing “White Tide: The Le­gend of Cule­bra,” the story of Rod­ney Hay­den and his plan, fu­eled by a com­bi­na­tion of eco­nomic des­per­a­tion and bliss­ful ig­no­rance, to re­trieve a pos­si­bly myth­i­cal $2 mil­lion stash of co­caine from its re­ported Caribbean hid­ing place. “Mr. Fish: Car­toon­ing from the Deep End” tells the story of Mr. Fish, a suc­cess­ful, out­ra­geous ed­i­to­rial car­toon­ist who finds that his pro­fes­sion is dy­ing out.

Berry Col­lege is also rep­re­sented with the pre­miere of Berry as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor Brian C. Camp­bell’s “To King­dom Come” which chron­i­cles the pol­lu­tion his­tory of the Coosa River through can­did in­ter­views and his­tor­i­cal me­dia.

In­gram said short films are in the process of be­ing se­lected for the fes­ti­val, and said fes­ti­val go­ers will find many fa­mil­iar celebrity faces in the se­lected shorts.

“We re­ceived nearly 700 sub­mis­sions,” he said. “It’s dif­fi­cult choos­ing just the right films. There is so much to con­sider. But we want to show­case the best films we can. And we try to be di­verse and in­clu­sive. We’ll prob­a­bly have about 16 fea­ture films and an ad­di­tional 70 or 80 short films. And, of course, that will in­clude some Ge­or­gia and lo­cal films as well.”

In ad­di­tion to the films, RIFF will be pre­sent­ing pan­els, work­shops and mas­ter classes by in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als in­clud­ing An­i­mal Wran­gling 101 pre­sented by Star K9, Im­prov Act­ing with Todd Vit­tum and Build­ing Your Own Pro­duc­tion Kit with David Smith. Work­shops will in­clude cin­e­matog­ra­phy and screen­writ­ing.

With sup­port from Rome Area Coun­cil for the Arts, the fes­ti­val will of­fer the RIFF Schol­ars pro­gram for a se­cond year. Stu­dents from lo­cal high schools and col­leges will have the op­por­tu­nity to ap­ply for a Scholar Pass that al­lows them to get a be­hind-the-scenes look at the film in­dus­try in Ge­or­gia.

The fes­ti­val will kick off with an open­ing night party at the Court­yard by Mar­riott Rome River­walk. A Satur­day night party will take place at the Lewis Loft on Broad Street.

In honor of last year’s celebrity guest, the late Burt Reynolds, RIFF’s award for “Best In Show” has been re­named the Burt Reynolds Best in Show award.

Fes­ti­val Passes are now on sale on­line at www.rif­fga.com. All-ac­cess passes and film and work­shop passes grant ad­mis­sion through­out the en­tire fes­ti­val but in­di­vid­ual day passes can also be pur­chased.

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