It’s that wonderful time of year again; the Rome International Film Festival (RIFF) is back and bringing with it an incredible lineup of films from talent across the globe! If you follow us already, you’ve probably seen something about RIFF whether it’s about Judge Reinhold coming to town, or even some of the films made by local talent and workshops for aspiring filmmakers. Here, you’ll get THE low-down on all things RIFF from the jam-packed schedule to special happenings to be on the lookout for during the event. So get ready to choose your experience, as all series listed all have links for tickets.
The festival kicks off with a premiere on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. of The Millbrook Summoning at Brand RED Studios. It’s a narrative feature about four student filmmakers set out to explore an abandoned building famous for its connection with the occult, but as their journey becomes littered with strange behavior and unexplained phenomena, it becomes clear the horror they are attempting to document may already be lurking among them. Then shifts into high gear on Thursday with White Tide: The Legend of Culebra , a documentary about an small business owner wiped out by the Great Recession and his journey on his own American Dream, with surprising results.
Friday marks a big day of RIFF, so prepare for a whole day in Rome’s splendid Downtown! Starting the day off at 10 a.m., RIFF begins a screening of Liyana at Rome City Auditorium, in which A Swazi girl embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her young twin brothers. Throughout the day there will be a mix of short films, workshops and features including Beauty to Burn, The Sojourner, FEAR HAUS, Improv Acting and Cinematography Workshops, Chimera, This World Alone, and Over Her Dead Body with Judge Reinhold.
Chimera tells the story brilliant but disturbed scientist who freezes his children alive, while he races to cure their deadly genetic disease by decoding the DNA of the immortal Turritopsis jellyfish. In This World Alone three women face the physical and emotional challenges of trying to survive on their own after a cataclysmic event left the Earth without technology or power. The short films come in a series of multi-features shown at the historic DeSoto Theatre where you can expect to see about six shorts under a specific category; for example, Beauty to Burn is all about documentary shorts, while The Sojourner are all foreign shorts. FEAR HAUS is exactly as the name suggests, and is all about horror-themed shorts including dark comedy and suspense. The shorts are a personal favorite, and I can’t recommend them enough for a huge variety of subject matter ranging from light hearted and fun to serious and powerful.
Saturday is another jam-packed day with workshops on screenwriting, voice-acting, and animal wrangling. In addition, there is a whole new slew of shorts and features. If you’re in it for the shorts, then be sure to check out Pixel Biscuit, Eternal Fire, Cobbler and In Another Country, from domestic narratives to international, Georgia domestic, and animated shorts, you’re guaranteed to get your fix. As for the full feature screenings, there are plenty of options including In The Moment and To Kingdom Come, with the former a narrative feature about a woman after being accepted into renowned actor Matt Turner’s acting class, ingenuous Alexis moves to Atlanta to pursue her dream of being an actor, even though she has no experience. While the latter relates an important, classic case of environmental injustice, the decades-long interaction between GE and Rome, Georgia, with cultural history references reinforcing the power of media to affect our perceptions of our landscapes and dominant corporations.
Sunday is bittersweet with the conclusion of RIFFteen 2018, with the final groups of short films and final feature films, as well as the audience awards. The closing party will be at Swift & Finch for VIP guests.
And there you have it, a massively exciting lineup for this year’s Rome International Film Festival. We hope to see you there!