Film festival screening to be held at island arts center
Flickers, the 30-year-old nonprofit arts organization that is the parent organization of the film festival, has held events previously in Jamestown, including the Jamestown chamber music series that ran for several years, and has filmed screenings at the Jamestown Philomenian Library. Earlier this year, Flickers provided screening equipment including a 20-by-20-foot screen, a projector and audio components for the student film showcase that was held at the arts center.
According to George Marshall, the executive director of Flickers, “Our organization was basically designed to provide an arts focus with film. Over the years as we evolved we started exhibiting not only art and foreign films, but films that were created in this region. Over the years the organization has evolved into production, exhibition, and performance. The film festival is one of the largest events that we produce.”
Marshall added that he has been aware of the arts center for a couple of years. “When things finally settled in and the building was available, that’s when we were asked to come in and provide equipment and expertise,” he said.
Flickers will once again provide the equipment for the film festival screenings, although the screen has remained at the arts center since the student showcase. “The screen is now hung from the ceiling, so I’m not moving it,” Marshall laughed. “Call it an extended loan.”
He continued: “We’re helping them get up to speed. While we’re providing the product, all we’re doing is splitting the gate. It’s a $10 ticket. They get $5, we get $5. We want them to get off the ground. We’re not in it for the money, to be honest. It’s about the arts. I think what the arts center is doing is phenomenal. I support it and my board supports it.”
Marshall said that the goal of his organization is to provide “film product” that could not be seen elsewhere. According to Marshall, this year there were 4,500 film entered into the festival. “There is no way we can show all of that work, and some of them are quite wonderful,” he said.
As an example Marshall cited a package of 10-minute shorts from Singapore that the Jamestown Arts Center will be screening in the fall. The theme of the package is the seven deadly sins, with each film addressing one of the transgressions. The package arrived at the festival’s office in Providence after the submission period had ended but Flickers decided that the films were worth screening, and they were offered to the arts center.
“Our goal is provide ongoing film product to the Jamestown Arts Center throughout the year so that they can have screenings that will bring to the island things that we’re not able to show, or perhaps the best of our festival that folks weren’t able to see during the mainstream run of our festival,” Marshall said.
According to Chris Gore, author of “The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide,” the RIIFF is “one of the top 10 short film festivals and top 10 international film festivals in the United States. The RIIFF provides the kind of intimate festival experience that will change your life. Don’t miss it.”
Jocelyn Donaghue is a Jamestown resident who spent 11 years working at the Courthouse Center for the Arts in West Kingston. She is currently the secretary for the arts center. She graduated with a degree in illustration from the Parsons School of Design (New York) and has been a judge and programmer for the film festival since 2002.
She is presently putting together a film committee to chose films for screening at the arts center. Since she knew Marshall from her years in West Kingston, it was only natural for her to turn to Flickers to provide films and equipment.
“I’ve been involved with the Rhode Island International Film Festival for the last 10 years,” Donaghue said. “Years ago I worked at HBO in New York, and later on film production. When we moved to Jamestown, I was hired at the Courthouse Center for the Arts. I was introduced to George and we created a film program that ran for 10 years.”
She added, “My love is film, along with the arts. I’m certainly willing to oversee the film component for the arts center.”
Donaghue is delighted that Flickers is providing the equipment for the upcoming film screenings. “Until the JAC can find a donor to provide us with the projector and the DVD player and the speakers, the film festival and George are nicely letting us use their equipment.”
Two films will be screened at the Jamestown Arts Center as a part of the RIIFF. On Thursday, Aug. 11, the center will show “Inuk,” a coming of-age story set in Greenland. Several of the film’s young cast members from Greenland, along with members of the production team, will be on hand that night.
The following night the arts center will host a screening of “Sedona,” a slice-of-life comedy set in the Arizona town that the film is named for. Both films will be accompanied by an animated short. Admission is $10 at the door only.