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Flickers' Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival Launches its 16TH Genre-Filled Year

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (September 25, 2015) — A phantasmagoric symphony of international films blasts its way across the big screen as the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) launches its 16th Annual VORTEX Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival, October 19-25th. In addition to its traditional spooky film fare the newly re-branded “Vortex” will showcase a wide-array of Sci-Fi and Fantasy cinema. This year's Festival includes a return of its popular H.P. Lovecraft Walking Tour presented in collaboration with the RI Historical Society, free after-school KidsEye Programs, a Date-Night of Horror with a costume competition, a special focus on Horror Films by Women Directors, a new Campus Connections program that brings programming to area Colleges and Universities, and two free Forums that look behind-the-scenes at creating genre films in the Ocean State. The Forums will feature award-winning filmmakers Reshad Kulenovic, Tom DeNucci, Michele Meek, Kevin McCarthy, and Christina Raia. Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & Television Office, Steven Feinberg, will serve as moderator.

The 2015 festival will include screenings in Providence at the Bell Street Chapel Theatre, the PAFF Theatre at the University of Rhode Island Providence Feinstein Campus, and the Providence Public Library, the Rhode Island Historical Society, along with satellite programming at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket, the Narragansett Theater at the Pier, the Jamestown Art Center, the Tiverton Public Library and Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI.

The Flickers’ VORTEX Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival celebrates and showcases imagination and creativity in filmmaking and will include a bevy of World and U.S. Premieres. In all, 80 films have been selected from over 5,000 submissions. They represent 15 countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Germany, Iran, Spain, France, Turkey, South Korea, Poland, and the United States. Many of the filmmakers will be in attendance, so audience members will have a chance to meet, ask questions, and even network with the next generation of genre filmmakers.

General Admission for screenings is $10.00 per person. Festival 5-packs available at $40 (good year round and at any RIIFF film event) can be purchased online: film-festival.org/FivePack15.php. Group Discounts can be arranged in advance by calling the Festival office at 401/861.4445.

The full schedule for this year’s Festival can be found here: rifilmfest.org and vortex2015.sched.org



DAY ONE: Monday, October 19th

The Festival kicks off officially on Monday, October 19th, 4:00 p.m. with an after-school program showcasing sci-fi and fantasy films. Geared for kids of all ages and part of the Festival’s KidsEye programming, the free screening takes place at the Providence Public Library,150 Empire Street, Providence. Films include live action/animated short “Dissonance,” directed by Till Nowak (Germany); “Knock Knock,” directed by Anthony Lund (USA); “Broken Wand,” directed by Anne Yang and Michael Altman (USA); “Lapse of Time,” Directed by Celine Tricart (France); “Life on Juniper,” directed by Mark Ratzlaff (Canada); “Zéro,” directed by Tony T. Datis (France); “Sidekick,” directed by Puja Maewal (France).


DAY TWO: Tuesday, October 20th

The programming continues on Tuesday, October 20th, 4:00 p.m. at the Providence Public Library with the films “Soar,” directed by Alyce Tzue (USA); “The Epic of Hershey,” directed by Douglas McGinness (USA); the award winning animated short “Eloise Little Dreamer,” directed by Myriam Obin (Canada); “Josef et Aimée” directed by Ben Shirinian (Canada); “The Alchemist’s Letter,” directed by Carlos Andre Stevens (USA). 

This is a free event.


On Tuesday Night at 6:00 p.m., VORTEX presents a special filmmaker conversation called “The Singularity of Imagination.” The evening features documentary filmmaker, Reshad Kulenovic, a writer/director based in Boston, New York, and Sarajevo. His short film Snovi played 20 international film festivals and was nominated for a 2011 Student Academy Award. Snovi was produced by the Centre Andre Malraux Sarajevo, which also produced Jean-Luc Godard’s Notre Musique. Kulenovic became one of the first artists to be funded by the Heinrich Boll Foundation. His documentary 100 Million Dollar House, set in the West Bank, premiered at the 2015 Rhode Island International Film Festival and was acquired for distribution by Al Jazeera. He graduated with an MFA in Film Production from Boston University.

During an in-depth conversation, Kulenovic will speak about his professional journey; screen his work and share insights into what it takes to succeed in the film industry and the fine line between truth and fiction.

This program is presented by the RWU Film Production Collaborative and is a free event.



Tuesday’s VORTEX programming continues at the University of Rhode Island Kingston Campus at 7:00 p.m. where a diverse selection of Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy short films will be showcased at Swan Hall Auditorium, 45 Upper College Road.  Following the screenings, a presentation by RIIFF Program Director, Shawn Quirk, and entitled “Using Genre to Tell a Story” will discuss film curation and the Festival’s process in making its film selections.

The special screening is presented by the URI Harrington School of Communication and Media and is a free event.


DAY THREE: Wednesday, October 21st


On Wednesday, October 21st, at 7:00 p.m., at the Paff Theatre located at the University of Rhode Island Feinstein Providence Campus, audiences will have the chance to discover the next wave of Rhode Island based filmmakers. VORTEX’s Providence Underground Film Festival will showcase a selection of up and coming genre filmmakers from Rhode Island and beyond!

The night’s line-up kicks-off with the terrifying short film “They’re Closing In,” directed by Rhode Island Filmmaker Jarret Blinkhorn followed by “Lake Nowhere,” directed by Brooklyn based filmmakers Christopher Phelps and Maxim Von Scoy, a nostalgic yet creepy feature film that pays loyal homage to the heyday of 80’s VHS recorded horror films. The second part of this double bill will be “Selene Hollow” directed by Rhode Island Filmmaker Mathew Provost, which chronicles a writer’s many adventures through his imagination through Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy scenarios as he struggles with writer’s block. 

The Providence Underground Film Festival has become a popular sidebar of the annual Rhode Island International Film Festival in August. The sidebar was created to provide a platform for students and micro-budget filmmakers with independent visions. Unlike what are now considered mainstream “independent” film events, the Providence Underground Film Festival is not designed to imitate established market-driven events but instead to focus on the artistic, aesthetic and most uniquely, the educational side of independent filmmaking. The goal of the programming is to be innovative, original, including lowbrow, experimental, avant-garde and cutting-edge films, while providing an experiential foundation for emerging artists and storytellers. It’s motto: “Tell us your story.”

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.


The Festival will treat audiences in the Blackstone Valley to an evening of French speaking Sci-Fi and Fantasy short films. Programming takes place at the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket, RI at 7:30 p.m.  

Entitled “Cocteau’s Shadow,” the collection of films will feature both moments of macabre and reverie as they take you on a journey through alternate realities and perspectives in Gallic fashion. These include: “Eloise Little Dreamer” directed by Myriam Obin (Canada); “Zéro” directed by Tony T. Datis (France); “Josef et Aimée” directed by Ben Shirinian (Canada); “Hair Cut” directed by Virginia Mori (France); “A Vif” directed by Guillaume Foresti (France); “Chulyen” directed by Agnès Patron (France); and “Tarim le brave contre des Milles et Un Effects (Tarim the Brave Versus 1001 Special Effects)” directed by Guillaume Rieu (France).

Tickets can be purchased at the door.



Wednesday’s programming continues at 7:30 p.m., Roger Williams University, Global Heritage Hall, Room 01, with the East Coast premiere of “The Answer” directed by Iqbal Ahmed.

The story concerns Bridd who leads a normal everyday life until he starts receiving handwritten messages in the mail from his dead parents. Little does he know what he’s about to discover.  “The Answer” will be preceded by the comedy short film “Movies In Space” directed by Chris W. Smith. This is a one-of-a-kind short film about an astronaut pursuing his dream as a filmmaker on an alien planet.

The screening of “The Answer” and “Movies in Space” will be presented by the RWU Film Production Collaborative and is a free event.


DAY FOUR: Thursday, October 22nd


As part of Flickers’ year-long Anthony Quinn retrospective, be sure not to miss the special screening of “The Magus” starring Anthony Quinn, Michael Caine, and Candice Bergen at the newly opened, Tiverton Public Library, 34 Roosevelt Avenue, Tiverton on Thursday, October 22nd at 6:00 p.m.

In the film, a teacher (Caine), moves to a Greek island and becomes a victim of bizarre mind games orchestrated by the island’s magician (Quinn).  This classic psychological and fantasy drama is the perfect canonical addition to Vortex’s festival program.

This is a free event.


In Providence, 7:00 p.m. at the Paff Theatre located at the University of Rhode Island Feinstein Providence Campus, the Providence Underground Film Festival continues with a second evening showcase of new and exciting work by local filmmakers. This special salute to Ocean State filmmakers will include “Fury: The Tales of Ronin Pierce” directed by Kevin McCarthy from North Providence. Shot mostly in Fall River, Fury is a film about a vigilante cop with a dark past, who seeks revenge. This epic noir film is preceded with “Peeved” by first-time filmmaker Rhonda Santos from Providence, and “A Tricky Treat” by Festival-alum, Patricia Chica from Montreal, Canada.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.


The action shifts south to Jamestown, RI at 7:00 p.m. for a selection of Sci-Fi, Horror, and Thriller short films from across the globe. The location: the Jamestown Arts Center, 18 Valley Street. The program: Phantasmagoric Illusions: Flights of Fantasy. The Showcase will feature films that explore the odd and inexplicable.  The screenings include “Playback” a terrifying short film by Nathan Crooker from New York “Seule” by Didier Philippe from France, “Sebastian & Them” by Benjamin Bee from the United Kingdom, and “Back to Earth” by Thomas Wilson from Australia.

Tickets can be purchased at the door.


DAY FIVE: Friday, October 23rd

BEHIND THE CAMERA LENS: On the Nature of Genre Filmmaking
On Friday afternoon, October 23rd, at 3:30 p.m. horror and sci-fi film fans will want to be at the Global Heritage Hall, Room 01, Roger Williams University in Bristol. The Forum, “Behind the Camera Lens” provides audiences with the opportunity to meet some of the movers and shakers in the film, horror and sci-fi production scene.

Rhode Island has become known as the Independent state for film. Starting with the foundation provided by the film and media programs at our colleges and universities, and the unique talent base of creative artists who have made their homes here.  The Ocean State has built a reputation as a one-stop film studio. Among such notable filmmakers as Wes Anderson, Woody Allen and the Farrelly Brothers, and others who have made their films within the Ocean State, the independent horror and sci-fi fantasy genre is steadily becoming an industry standard for RI’s film community.

“Behind the Camera Lens,” will be hosted by Steven Feinberg (“Fortress,” “Peter York,” “Pell Grants: A Passion for Education”), Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & Television Office, the man behind the state’s high profile within the industry, and filmmaking professionals who have successfully made careers within the industry: Panelists: Kevin McCarthy, (“Fury: The Tales of Ronin Pierce”), Christina Raia (“Summit”), Tommy Denucci (“Almost Mercy”) and Michele Meek (newenglandfilm.com) and Shawn Quirk, RIIFF’s Program Director. 

The RWU Film Production Collaborative will host the free event.

Horror and Fantasy fans are in for a treat with two short film screenings starting off at 6:30 p.m. at the Bell Street Chapel Theatre geared for fans of the bizarre. A series of short films from across the globe that showcase the unexpected and the uncanny will be showcased that include “Hair Cut” an animated short directed by Virginia Mori from France, “Pale Blue Eyes” a thriller directed by Joe Henderson from Australia that is sure to make you question how things appear, “Chulyen” an animated short about a creature that is half man half crow directed by Agnes Patron from France, “Teeth,” directed by Tom Brown and Daniel Gray from the United Kingdom, and “The Morrigan” an Irish horror film directed by Colum Eastwood that will be sure to haunt you long after the night is over.

At 9:00 p.m. the Bell continues with an even more frightening package of horror shorts that include the startling “A Vif,” directed by Guillaume Foresti (France); “Drink,” directed by Emily Moss Wilson  (USA); “Larry Gone Demon,” directed by Matt Lawrence  (USA); “Mrs. K,” directed by Dongneok Seo  (South Korea); “La Ropavejra,” directed by Nacho Ruipérez (Spain); “The Bridge Partner” directed by Gabriel Olsen.

The Narragansett Theater at the Pier kicks off its VORTEX programming at Friday night at 7:00 p.m. with the feature film “Jackrabbit” directed by Carleton Ranney and the annual “Date Night of Horror.”

All couples, (whatever the combination) will receive a special rate of $10.00 (or half off the normal ticket price) for the showing of "Jackrabbit." Additionally, those who come in costume will be eligible for a special drawing of tickets to the 2016 RIIFF 20th Anniversaty Opening Night Gala well as receive half-off the ticket price! (Note: no double-dipping for couples in costume!)

The Tribeca Film Festival premiere “Jackrabbit” takes place in a dystopian future where the world’s technological infrastructure has been completely wiped out, and the only form of known civilization is the struggling and isolated City IV where technology is intentionally prevented from evolving by the powers that be.  This imaginative and playful lo-fi take on an future gone awry will be preceded by the short film “Lost In Bloom” directed by Connecticut based filmmaker, Michael Messina.

At 9:30 p.m. programming at the Narragansett Theater at the Pier continues with the feature film “Astraea” directed by Kristjan Thor. 

When disease wipes out the human race, a telepathic teenage girl named Astraea believes her visions confirm that survivors are living in Northern Canada. “Astraea” offers a refreshing take on the post-apocalyptic sub-genre of horror. This film is preceded by the short “Open 24 Hours” directed by Brown University student, Henry Chaisson. 

Tickets for both programs can be purchased online and at the door.



DAY SIX: October 24th

Saturday afternoon screenings kick off at the Bell Street Chapel at 3:00 p.m. with a program of memorable fantasy short films entitled “From the Land Beyond Beyond: A Fantasy Shorts Showcase.” The program includes the special effect epic “Tarim The Brave Versus 1000 Special Effects,” directed by Guillaume Rieu (France); “Dust” directed by Mike Grier (USA); “Edit/Undo,” directed by Daniel Clements (Canada); “Dive,” directed by Matthew Saville (New Zealand); “In Extremis” directed by Gregory Crosbie (United Kingdom); “Theme Song Rebel,” directed by Luc Patton (USA).

At 5:30 p.m. VORTEX will announce this year’s award winner at the Bell Street Chapel Theatre. All are welcome for this free event that includes a toast of the 16th Anniversary of the VORTEX Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival.

The Awards ceremony will be followed by a reception with the filmmakers and attending audience members. 

Following the awards ceremony the programming for the evening will showcase work by female directors.

In a genre predominantly directed by men, this special showcase highlights three women directors who intentionally subvert the all too common horror tropes that we all know inside and out.  These films defy expectation and make us think about gender roles within the horror genre in a new light.

At 6:30 p.m., Bell Street Chapel, Vortex screens the “Summit” a feature length slasher film directed by Christina Raia (USA). The film discovers that if there is anything that can go wrong with a ski trip, it will and does. Preceding the feature is “Scheherazade” directed by Mehmoush Aliaghael (Iran/USA) and “Night of the Slasher” directed by Shant Hamassian (USA). 

Following the “Women Mavericks Showcase”, an international showcase of sci-fi short films closes the evening at Bell. Beginning at 9:00 p.m. the film programming includes “Sumer” a dystopian animated short directed by Alvaro Garcia (United Kingdom); “Last Man” directed by Galvin Rother (United Kingdom) which shows what happens when one wakes up to find that they are the last living human being on earth; and “Future Perfect” a time travel movie directed by Nick Citton (USA) that takes place in the space somewhere between then and now.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

Saturday’s programming at Narragansett Theatre at the Pier kicks off at 7:00 p.m. with the thriller/vigilante film “Julia” directed by Matthew A. Brown. 

The film is a neo-noir revenge tale centering on Julia Shames, who after suffering a brutal trauma falls prey to an unorthodox form of therapy to restore herself.  Preceding the feature is “Mae Day,” a short film directed by Ryan Clark and shot in a Newport Mansion. The story concerns a heist that turns deadly when two thieves come face-to-face with a young woman who has no intention of backing down. 


Programming at Narragansett Theatre at the Pier concludes on Saturday evening at 9:30 pm. with the screening of “Subterranea” directed by Connecticut filmmaker, Matthew Miller. In this film, a man raised in complete isolation his entire life is released into society for the first time as an adult and must learn how to live. Along the way, he discovers that he’s part of a social experiment and sets off to find answers about his dark past. 

The film won the Grand Prize for Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy Film at the 2015 Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Tickets for both screenings in Narragansett can be purchased online and at the door. 

This year, the popular annual H.P. Lovecraft Walking Tour hosted in collaboration with the RI Historical Society will be held on two consecutive dates: Saturday, October 24th at 12:00 NOON, and again on Sunday, October 25th, at 12:00 Noon.

The life and work of Providence's best-known fantasy and horror author, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, provide the backdrop for this walking tour. Acknowledged genius of occult and horror fiction, Lovecraft's Providence Stories (written between 1924 and 1935) provide the basis for this walk. Lovecraft wrote eloquently, and in great detail, about such landmarks as Prospect Terrace, the First Baptist Church, and the historic homes of Benefit Street. See the site of his former home, as well as the sights mentioned in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Haunter of the Dark, The Shunned House, and The Call of Cthulhu. Lovecraft's own words offer a most amazing literary, historical, and architectural walking tour.

The tour will depart on both days from the John Brown House at 52 Power Street, Providence and lasts 90 minutes.

On Saturday, October 24th, the H.P. Lovecraft Walking Tour concludes with a screening of a short film collection inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. The location is the Bell Street Chapel Theatre, 5 Bell Street, and Providence with the screening to take place at 3:00 p.m.

On Sunday, October 25th, the screening will take place at the Providence Public Library Theater, 150 Empire Street, Providence at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets for the walking tour are $18 per person, can be purchased online at film-festival.org/HPLovecraft15.php, and includes a ticket to the film screenings. The Walking Tour can also be purchased in advance by calling the RIIFF offices at 401.861.4445.

The FLICKERS: Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival is sponsored by The Rhode Island Film & Television Office, Amtrak, RISCA, Cox on Demand, Diabolique Magazine, Eurochannel, The Harrington School of Communications and Media at the University of Rhode Island, The URI College of Arts & Sciences, The Film Media Program, and the URI Feinstein College of Continuing Education, Roger Williams University and the RWU Film Production Club.

General Admission for screenings is $10.00 per person. The full schedule for this year’s Festival can be found here: rifilmfest.org and vortex2015.sched.org

The FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), has secured its place in the global community as the portal for the best in international independent cinema, earning the respect of domestic and foreign filmmakers, filmgoers and trend watchers. This confluence of art and commerce brought together world-class celebrities, award-winning filmmakers, new talent and audience members in record numbers last year. Ranked as one of the top 10 Festivals in the United States, RIIFF is a qualifying festival for both the Short Narrative and Documentary Short Film Academy Awards through its affiliation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). There are only 6 film festivals worldwide that share this distinction and RIIFF is the only festival in New England. The Festival takes place every August.

For more information about the FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival, running August 9-14 2016 at The Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) and The Vets (formerly Veterans Memorial Auditorium), please visit our website at www.RIFilmFest.org or call 401.861.4445.




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Tags: Flickers, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Film Festival, Providence, Rhode Island, Flickers' Vortex