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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 12 Festivals in the United States, RIIFF is also a qualifying festival for the Short Film Academy Award through its affiliation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. There are 65 film festivals worldwide which share this distinction and RIIFF is the only festival in New England.


(NEWPORT, RI) In 1984, a dedicated group of civic and community leaders were drawn together to help create an event that celebrated the arts, culture and Rhode Island’s historical friendship with Japan. One of the founding members of this group was Flickers—The Newport Film Society, which participated by creating, curating and presenting the Japanese Film Festival. Now, 25 years later and as many years of screening this festival, Flickers has evolved into the Flickers Arts Collaborative and produces the Annual Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) which is now celebrating its12th year.

As a prelude to its August event (August 5-10, 2008), the Rhode Island International Film Festival, through Flickers, is proud to again continue to salute the Black Ships Festival in Newport. From Friday, July 18th- Sunday, July 20th, RIIFF will present its annual three-day celebration of the best of Japanese filmmaking. Along with a number of US film premieres, this mini-festival will feature award-winning shorts, cutting-edge anime, several feature-length films and a special multi-media concert presentation: East Meets West: THE Music of Ikuma DAn (Sunday, July 20th) — a musical celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Black Ships Festival. This concert is under the direction of Eric R. Bronner and features pianist Nancy Nicholson, Julibeth Andrews and Kara Lund. The Black Ships Japanese Film Festival is curated by James Hinsey.

For more information, call 401.861.4445 or go to 

“We feel that this is a great way for the general public to discover how Japanese cinema has influenced so many of the world’s leading filmmakers and artists,” said RIIFF Executive Director, George T. Marshall, founder of both Flickers and RIIFF.

“We began screening Japanese films for the Black Ships Festival in 1984.” added Marshall. “Thanks to the worldwide reputation of the Rhode Island International Film Festival, we have access to major new work that is submitted. This year alone, we expect over 3,000 entries, with many coming from filmmakers in Japan. RIIFF is the only New England Film Festival that is a qualifying festival for the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, (aka, the Oscars), and that has had a major influence in the quality and volume of the work we receive." 


The Black Ships Festival commemorates the historic achievements of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, USN, of Newport, Rhode Island. The "Black Ships," or "Kurofune," refers to the Japanese term for foreign ships, which, with one exception, were excluded from Japan for two hundred years until 1854. Commodore Perry negotiated the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854, the first treaty between the United States and Japan, thus ending two centuries of Japanese isolationism. The Black Ships Festival celebrates the signing of the treaty, which brought the two countries together as trading partners.

The Black Ships Festival is presented by The Japan-America Society Black Ships Festival of Rhode Island, Inc., a non-profit, non-partisan organization. For further information, contact The Japan-America Society of Rhode Island, 28 Pelham Street, Newport, RI 02840, call (401) 846-2720 or their website at

The special film program being presented this year by RIIFF will take place at locations in Newport, Jamestown and Narragansett. The dates are July 18 –20th.


Friday, July 18:

The Classic World of Japanese Film

Japanese films have inspired and influenced American filmmakers from George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola to Steven Speilberg. Tonight’s screening is a rarely seen gem that played during the first Japanese Film Festival 25 years ago.

Location: CCRI, Newport County Campus, Auditorium 134, One John H. Chafee Blvd., Newport

Time: 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. With discussion afterwards

Cost: Free


Saturday, July 19:

New Directions in Japanese Cinema I

Cutting-edge films scheduled for the 2008 Rhode Island International Film Festival, are given a “First Look” advance screening.

Location: CCRI, Newport County Campus, Auditorium 134, One John H. Chafee Blvd., Newport

Time: 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Cost: Free


RIIFF Japanese Anime Festival

This art of Japanese movie and television animation, which often has a science fiction theme, has gained huge popularity in the United States. Tonight it is given a special showcase featuring some classic and modern examples of the genre.

Location: The Shorebreak, Pier Cinema, 3 Beach St, Narragansett, RI

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10; $8 for seniors/students and RIIFF members


Sunday, July 20:

New Directions in Japanese Cinema II

Cutting-edge films scheduled for the 2008 Rhode Island International Film Festival, are given a “First Look” advance screening.

Location: Jamestown Community Center, 41 Conanicus Avenue, Jamestown

Time: Noon - 4:30 p.m.

Cost: Free


East Meets West: The Music of Ikuma Dan

A Musical celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Black Ships Festival, featuring the music of acclaimed Japanese composer, Ikuma Dan as performed by Music for a While.

Location: Central Baptist Church, 99 Narragansett Avenue, Jamestown, R.I.

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Cost: $12; $10 for seniors/students and RIIFF members



The Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) discovers and empowers filmmakers.  Held in Providence, and locations throughout the state of Rhode Island, RIIFF is one of only a handful of festivals worldwide that is a qualifying event for the Academy Awards (i.e. “Oscars”).  RIIFF incorporates gala celebrations, premiere screenings, VIP guests, industry seminars, educational programs, and award ceremonies into a weeklong extravaganza.  Cited as one of the "Best International and Short Film Festivals in the United States," RIIFF is New England’s largest film festival, screening a record 300 films.  Its innovative programming, cultivated industry ties, and loyal audiences have made the Festival a strategic and desirable platform for film premieres, drawing hundreds of independent filmmakers from around the globe. This year’s Festival takes place August 5-10, 2008.

For more information, write RIIFF, P.O. Box 162, Newport, RI 02840. Telephone: 401-

861-4445. E-mail:, website:


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About flicksart

Marshall George T.
(FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival)

George Thomas Marshall is the founder and producing director of the Flickers the Newport Film Society & Arts Collaborative, a non-profit organization with 29 years of experience producing programming and creative outlets for filmmakers, visual and performing artists. In addition to producing the acclaimed Rhode Island International Film Festival, one of Flickers' most successful events to date, it also created the annual Jubilé Franco-Américain - a week-long celebration of French Canadian culture, art and cuisine which is held annually in Northern R.I. This event was awarded the Governor's Tourism Award and drew over 20,000 annually.

Mr. Marshall created, produced and hosted the fine arts informational television program, "Between Takes," which received numerous awards from the states of R.I., Massachusetts and national recognition. His work has won three and been nominated for four New England Emmy awards, won four national Telly awards, top prizes at WorldFest Houston, and won three national Communicator Awards for Excellence. He also teaches communications, television production, public speaking and acting for camera courses at various colleges and universities in the area and serves as media / marketing consultant to businesses and non-profit organizations. Mr. Marshall is a frequent contributor and participant on industry panels and seminars exploring the evolution, culture, growth and future of independent film.

Mr. Marshall holds bachelors and masters degrees in political science with a focus on communications from the University of Rhode Island and Brown University, respectively, and studied film at the University of Southern California. He serves on the board of directors for Christmas in Newport and has served as the vice chairman of the Newport Cultural Commission, where he created the city of Newport's First Night Celebration, the annual Scholarship Award, and the January Film Festival. He is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a Media Panelist for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Alliance for Community Media, the International Television Association and listed in the International Who's Who of Professionals. He was selected in the fall of 2002 and 2003 as "One of the Most Influential People" in Rhode Island by the Providence Phoenix. In 2003, he was made a Rhode Island Foundation Fellow for his role as an arts leader in the state. In January 2005, he was presented with an Alumni Achievement Award in the Arts from the University of Rhode Island. In 2007, he was recognized by Mayor David M. Cicilline and the City of Providence with a Citizen Citation for his achievements in the arts and the media industry. In 2008, he was cited by the Providence Phoenix as one of "30 Local Luminaries" in the state of Rhode Island. Currently he is promoting the restoration of the Columbus Theatre in Providence and its use as a community arts center and spurring the evolution of a new regional advocacy group, the North Eastern Film Alliance.

In 2006, he created a Special Topics Course at Roger Williams University on Documentary Film and Journalism, which he now teaches yearly during the Spring semester. He recently completed a chapter entitled "Teaching Digital Documentary Film New Technologies Meet the Art of Storytelling" for the new college text book: “Teaching with Multimedia: Pedagogy in the Blogo/Websphere,” which is being released in 2010. He was on a committee that developed the New Media & the Global Diaspora Symposium, at RWU October 2008, where he chaired a panel on international media and film. He is working with faculty on developing a Film Minor for the Communications Department at Roger Williams University. In the Fall of 2009, he introduced the first Film and Video course on campus. In the Spring of 2010, he introduced a new course to the curriculum: "Curation and and Film Festival Production." Currently, he is enaged with school administration in establishing the Roving Eye Film Festival as a yearly event on campus and will bring the Tournées French Film Festival to campus for the 2010-2011 academic year.

In the Fall of 2008, Mr. Marshall chaired a panel on Documentary Film at the Ruff Cutz Indie Film Conference, Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University, Waltham, MA. and presented on a panel at the International Film Festival Summit (IFFS) in Las Vegas, Nevada. His topic was creating new modalities for "Building a Culture of Community Outreach." In 2010, along with the Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival and the Woods Hole Film Festival, he was a principal in the creation of the New England Film Festival Alliance (NEFFA), an organization designed to link New England Film Festivals and create a nexus for joint sponsorships, information sharing and cross-promotion.

In the Fall of 2010, Mr. Marshall will introduce a new film Festival that he created to the New England region: the Flickers: North Country Film Festival. Scheduled to launch at The Balsams in Dixville Notch, NH, the Festival has been designed with the specific intent to spur cultural tourism and job creation.


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