Blogging RIIFF: Wrap Up

A still from "Trip to Hell and Back" from the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
A still from "Trip to Hell and Back" from the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

On Sunday morning, August 10th, a sold out 100-seat brunch was held at the Providence Biltmore for those lingering filmmakers who remained for the last day of the 12th Annual Rhode Island International Film Festival. In attendance were filmmakers, family members, cast, crew, and the entire RIIFF staff.

The Rhode Island International Film Festival granted more than 60 awards out of the 289 films accepted into this year’s festival. Gone Fishing, a UK film directed by Chris Jones, received the grand prize for Best Short. The festival has already notified the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that it has elected Gone Fishing as the qualifier for the Academy Awards. Trip to Hell and Back, directed by Stu Maddux, received the grand prize for Best Documentary Short; Jon Bowden’s The Full Picture received the Grand Prize for Best Feature; Best Documentary was awarded to Timothy Hotchner’s Accelerating America; Best Experimental went to Mark Lapwood’s Eclipse, which was shown during the festival’s Opening Night. Other awards granted included the International Discovery Award, which was received by the Shammasian Brothers, who directed Romans 12:20; RIIFF Director’s Choice Award went to Denis Villeneuve’s Next Floor (also an Opening Night film). The great majority of awards were presented by the festival’s Executive Director, George T. Marshall. Marshall then offered the microphone to every (present) filmmaker, after having received their certificate. It was a wonderful, inspiring ceremony, which nicely wrapped up the final day for the festival.

Audience members who patiently stood in line for Blythe Danner’s World Premiere of Side by Each were in for a treat on Saturday night, when they watched Danner receive RIIFF’s own Creative Vision Award (prior to the screening) for her continuous contribution to the arts. In addition to Danner, Rhode Island native Richard Jenkins was presented with the George M. Cohan Award by the festival, for loyally serving as an ambassador to the arts for the state of Rhode Island. A surprised John Ratzenberger was granted an award earlier in the week, only it wasn’t from RIIFF. Instead, Ratzenberger was handed a key to the city by Providence’s own mayor, David Cicilline, an honorary co-chair to this year's festival.

One of the finest qualities of the Rhode Island International Film Festival is its ability to warmly open up the state’s tiny doors to filmmakers traveling from around the globe. In addition, the festival makes sure to include various venues from across the state each year, so that everyone has an opportunity to be included. Aside from filmmakers, staff members come from other states, even foreign countries. The glorious thing about a great festival, just like a great film, is that it results in bringing people together, be it family, friends, community, or even just a room full of strangers. The outcome may be something you had never thought possible upon entering the theater doors, but one you will remember for a lifetime.

To catch the full list of award recipients for 2008, visit the RIIFF website at:

Related Links
The Full Picture Trailer:
Trip to Hell and Back Trailer:
Eclipse Trailer:

Link to this page:

Ok, corrected posted!

Thanks Toni for the correction - I've posted the right trailer link & removed the other.



Michele Meek
Publisher of The Independent
Publisher of
Founder of Little Plum Pictures

You trailer link for "Eclipse" is for the wrong film...

Nice job on promoting these filmmakers and the fest but you have the wrong "Eclipse" film. Mark Lapwood's beautifully shot film and trailer inforamtion can be seen here:

Thanks much,

Toni Pennacchia
MergingArts Productions
Spoiler Alert Radio