RIFF returns in November
Festival bringing a slew of feature films, celebs and ‘Scripts Gone Wild’
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.