The Rhode Island International Film Festival, also known as RIIFF, is a 6-day event beginning the second week in August, always starting on a Tuesday. The event takes place at various locations throughout the State of Rhode Island with premiere works in the capital city of Providence. RIIFF is the largest public film festival in New England and an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences qualifying event in three categories. It is also a qualifying event for the British Academy of Televsion and Film Arts (BAFTA), as well as for the Canadian Screen Awards.
The Festival’s goal is to recognize achievement and innovation in a variety of filmmaking and storytelling disciplines while providing an opportunity to secure wider distribution. The Festival also actively supports and encourages film preservation and its restoration, thus ensuring future generations of this unique artistic medium.
Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival, takes place in the historic city of Providence, along with satellite locations throughout the state, including Bristol, Narragansett, Jamestown, Bristol, Woonsocket, Barrington, East Providence, Tiverton. Cranston and Westerly. RIIFF provides programming to children’s hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and community youth organizations.
Perhaps, one of the most unique elements of the Festival comes from its geographic location and cultural-heritage linkages. The proximity of Rhode Island to Canada and the state’s large French-Canadian population has led the Festival to establish as one of its chief aims the encouragement an artistic exchange between filmmakers from the New England region and the Canadian provinces. This was clearly realized in 2013 with the entry of 257 films from Canada, representing six Provinces. Tourisme Québec has been one of the Festival’s major sponsors and has helped to nurture the Festival’s Canadian outreach.
In 2008, Flickers, the organization that operates the main festival, created a sidebar called The Providence Underground Film Festival, in order to promote the best in provocative, innovative, bizarre, political and otherwise controversial film, video, and new media creations. These genre-bending works provide a vessel for expanding the Rhode Island arts community by bringing together artists and art lovers from all walks of life.